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.

2 piggy banks,coins in two jars credit card and machine to pay

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

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

More help and advice on effective complaining

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

Top 20 Tips for Complaining Effectively

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

 

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo

 

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!

 

 

 

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

 

 

Will your Gift Cards keep on giving?

Or will they expire before you can use them?!

The press release with more background information on the story from 2016  can be found on Looking a gift card in the mouth

1) Carefully check the expiry date of the Gift Card, which could even be different to advertised! Tesco sells the Pizza Express card with an 18 months expiry but when I contacted them they said this was mistake and would change the figure on their website to 24 months. Many independent restaurants can be 6-9 months and experience days are usually 6 or 9. Most will start the clock running again from when the card was last used if you have credit.

2) If you find a card that you haven’t used, go into the store and ask for a balance check. Many of the larger retailers will do this and your time will start again. So if you have only 3 months left on a card but started with 24, the 24 will start again.

3) Remember your consumer rights stay the same. If the item you buy with the card is not of satisfactory quality then under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you can take it back within 30 days for a full refund. After that time a repair or replacement may be offered. But you get refunded using the method by which you paid, so the money will go back onto the Gift Card

4) It isn’t just gift cards as presents you need to be careful of, as sometimes gift cards are given as goodwill gestures by companies. So for example, Eurostar or Ryanair may give you a Gift Card and you don’t intend to travel for a couple of years, but their cards only last a year.

5) Often its grandparents giving children Gift Cards. They don’t like the idea of just giving cash and sometimes feel that if they hand over money in a shop it is more of a present than cash, but those younger children go out shopping less often than adults so check their cards too. Buy them off the children, if you can use them.

6) My mum always bought mine at face value when I was a child because she’s nice, but if you don’t have the option of exchanging for face value you can always sell them on a website. Zeek* has been going for a couple of years in this country. It provides a way to can sell your unwanted gift card for slightly less than face value and Zeek takes 7% (you just have more than 3 months to go on the card). Zeek checks balances on cards before they can be sold. You may find gift cards on auction st of course eBay doesn’t check what sellers sell. Useful guidance can be found  on eBay Buyers Guide to purchasing Gift Vouchers & Gift Cards from the UK Giftcard and Voucher Association.

7) Keep the receipt in a separate place to the card. If you lose the card you will still have the details so that if you act quickly enough the store maybe able to cancel the card. But in essence the card acts like cash.

8) Check that you can use in concessions within a store and online, as again all varies from store to store!

9) If store goes bust act quickly. It will be up to the administrators as to whether they will continue to accept them.

10) If your card has expired don’t despair. Although it is unlikely you will get a full refund it is worth asking at the checkout, then with customer services and then the CEO, by telling him or her what you think of their ridiculous unnecessary expiry dates!

 

 

 

Big name companies which only have one year expiry dates are:

12 months
Wiggle, Eurostar, Habitat, Ticketmaster, Crew Clothing, Ryanair, Spafinder, O2 Climb, Vue, Westfield Shopping Centre, JD Sports and Restaurant Choice (variety of chains and you can’t even use with any discount promotion either!)

10 months
Buyagift and Spabreaks

6 months
Various independent restaurants, We Are Vertigo and UK Paintball

Other cons!
Be really careful of the Post Office One4all gift card! “Quoted from their site “There will be a charge of 90p applied to the card on the19th month after the card sale date and each month thereafter until the card balance reaches zero.” That stinks!

Matalan may not give you any change when you use their gift cards!

Useful information

Consumer Rights Act 2015

20 Top Tips for Complaining Effectively

 

Signed copies of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! . Or get unsigned copies from Amazon

 

 

 

See Ceoemail.com for the contact details for any CEO.

Newsletter. Promise not to fill up your inbox with lots of rubbish on a regular basis! I don’t send them very often, but when I do it’s usually to tell you about changes in the law, updates and items of interest. So go on sign up you know you’re interested and I shall of course complain if you don’t!

Looking a Gift Card in the Mouth

*refer a friend link