Case studies complaints resolved for people Financial issues

How to complain about financial institutions

How to complain about financial products and services

So much can and does go wrong when you’re dealing with a financial institution! This post will signpost you to various posts on The Complaining Cow blog which will help with most bank/credit card and insurance problems.

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The Financial Services Regulations 2004

Financial products are covered by the Consumer Rights Directive 2013. These regulations cover the sale of most financial services that take place at a distance (such as online), directly,or through an  intermediary such as an insurance broker. Generally, you have 14 days to cancel starting from the day of purchase. There are some products where you don’t have the right to cancel, e.g. where the price of the service depends on fluctuations in the financial markets.

For pension products, you get 30 days from when you enter into the contract, and for life insurance you have 30 days from when you’re told that the provider has agreed to accept you for cover. f you decide to cancel, you should receive the payment within 30 days of the date that you notify the company.

How to complain about insurance

How to save money on your car insurance tips for saving money before you take out any insurance

Do Morethan just comparison websites for insurance quotes! case study describing how you can come unstuck if you don’t do your full research when purchasing insurance

Warning about insurance procedures how to complain when an insurer doesn’t want to pay out

FCA stops insurance companies’ loyalty penalty Changes to come into force September 2021

Banks and credit cards

How to increase a bank’s offer of redress case study where first offer of redress from bank was increased

Who else wants to get back those bank charges? how and when you can get back bank charges

How to ensure banks don’t break the Misrepresentation Act 1967 case study being wrongly charged commission for travel money

A guide to credit and debit cards and the Consumer Credit Act 1974 how you can get money back for goods and services from your bank or credit card company

VISA outage – what you need to know covers what you need to know if your credit card provider’s system goes down

credit cards in a black wallet

Using finance to purchase items

Everything you need to know about financing your car purchase the different ways of financing your car and what to do if you encounter problems

Taking things further

Why use the Financial Ombudsman? a guest post from a lead ombudsman on how, when and why to use the Financial Ombudsman

Gift cards

Looking a Gift Card in the mouth? all you need to know about your rights regarding gift cards

Looking a Gift Card in the Mouth

Payday loans

Everything you need to know about Payday loans guest post regarding information about your rights regarding loans

Bright ideas for complaining about Brighthouse (& avoiding them in the first place!) refunds and rights regarding Brighthouse

Other financial stories

Contactless – what you need to know about fraud and more The contactless limit rose on the 15th October 2021, will this lead to a rise in fraud and what do people think of the increasing cashless society?

More effective complaining resources

Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively the importance of writing not phoning when complaining

5 top tips for complaining effectively

For more help on complaining effectively see Top 20 Tips How to Complain!

Want to act now without waiting? Purchase downloadable templates to gain redress

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For masses of information, tips, guidance, laws and regulations and templates GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!



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Want to get better at complaining? See 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer




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Save yourself time and effort finding the laws and wording a letter of complaint and download a template, fill in your details and get that redress

Purchase downloadable templates to gain redress

Templates for complaining about financial institutions


pink piggy bank and coins how to complain about financial products and services



Complaining about customer service Complaining about faulty goods

15 Great words to use in complaints

How to express yourself well when writing a complaint email/letter

What is the best way to complain? You should always write wherever possible when you need to complain. This is for a number of reasons. See Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively It is easy to be tempted into being aggressive or abusive when you are really frustrated with being fobbed off. However, this will not get you the best results. See Top 20 tips for complaining effectively which will give you lots of pointers in what to put in your email or letter.

So now you are all set to write your letter of complaint! Here I provide some of the best words to use in your complaints!

This is a list of excellent words that I frequently use in complaint correspondence. Remember you should always remain objective when it comes to describing events. You can however say how you feel about them. Don’t exaggerate, be honest. Various words carry differing levels of strength so you should use what you believe is appropriate and proportionate to the issue. You should use these words carefully. Only a couple is fine you really don’t need to use them all in the one piece of correspondence! And remember don’t use all capitals which is the equivalent of shouting.

Words can often be used with “really”,  “absolutely”, “blatantly” and “utterly”


You can use these words when describing the service you have received about a faulty item or poor service etc. This will help when you include your rights under the relevant laws, in particular the Consumer Rights Act 2015 

More help with consumer rights and how to assert them

Complaining about goods and services – all you need to know

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!


You can also get more advice, tips, information and templates for your letters and further information in the book How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, redress & Results!



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If you don’t want to wait you can Purchase downloadable templates to gain redress to help with most issues.




What words do you like to use in your complaint correspondence?

5 top tips for complaining effectively

BBC Breakfast 23/08/19 Helen Dewdney discusses the Which? customer service survey