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

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

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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!


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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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The journey ends – Malvern Group travel company goes under

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What you need to know when a holiday company goes bust

It was announced today (2 August 2019) that the Malvern Group have ceased trading.

The failed company encompasses a number of holiday brands, including Late Rooms, based in Manchester and Mini Holidays, also known as Super Break, based in York.

Although relatively small compared to the big household travel names, it is thought that 53,000 customers have been or will be affected.

Amazingly Late Rooms was still advertising on Twitter as of 31 July!

However, just 24 hours later it tweeted:

Now that the company is in administration, here’s the Complaining Cow’s advice on what to do next if you have a holiday booked or are currently on holiday with one of the companies in the Malvern Group.

What are your rights if you have a booking with the Malvern Group?

It is slightly complicated because those on Super Break package holidays are protected by the travel association ABTA but gift vouchers and tickets for entertainment and attractions are no longer valid. You will not be able to claim these back. You could try the bank/credit card methods below but it is very unlikely.

There is no cover for Late Rooms as they are not members of ABTA.

What should you do if your travel company goes into administration and is an ABTA member?

If you have booked a package with an ABTA member company that did not include a flight then you are protected. So, if you travelled by train, for example, you should still be able to travel. But you should check with ABTA if you have any have any problems or think there may be any. It will be able to advise. See link below.

What should you do if your travel company goes into administration and a flight is involved?

All flight-based holidays that include a flight must be ATOL protected. This means that you will get a full refund of the amount paid for the holiday. You will need to contact ATOL and go through their process for getting a full refund. If you bought just a flight you will not be covered.

What should you do if you bought a flight separately?

You MAY be covered where you have booked flights but do not receive your tickets immediately. Most charter flights operate like this but sometimes can also apply to discounted scheduled flights or if you have paid for flights in instalments. ATOL protection does not apply to flights booked directly with scheduled airlines or to flights booked with airline ticket agents. So, you will need to follow other routes for getting your money back, as detailed below.

If you bought your airline ticket from an airline and you receive a valid ticket in exchange for payment, you are not covered by ATOL.

What if the company didn’t take payment and the hotel was paid directly

Sometimes the payment made by you goes direct to the accommodation provider. This is unusual, but in the case of Late Rooms, your money was paid directly to the hotel by Late Rooms. So, you should check with the hotel as your holiday could still go ahead.

What should you do if your holiday is neither ABTA nor ATOL protected?

Look at your travel insurance which may cover you. Look for “end supplier” cover throughout all the small print. You can also try your bank for cashback if you paid by bank transfer or, if you paid by credit card contact your credit card company and use Section 75A of the Consumer Credit Act.

What are your rights regarding excursions?

It is unlikely that these will be covered, but you should check with ABTA and you can try the methods above for getting your money back. Details in the link.

What about gift vouchers?

Unfortunately you are unlikely to get this money back. Contact the company that is put in charge of the administration process and add yourself to the list of creditors but you will be bottom of the list of people to be paid. There’s more in my article gift vouchers for a company in administration.

What if I am currently on holiday with a company that has gone into administration?

If your holiday is covered by ABTA you should still be able to continue your holiday. If you get into any problems with transport or accommodation please contact ABTA for advice. If you are covered by ATOL you should be able to continue with your holiday.

Links for more help

Check all your paperwork or on ABTA and ATOL websites to see if they are members.




At the point of writing administrators have not been appointed.

Update 03/08/19 KPMG as been appointed as administrators.

Look out timber frame on a beach "researching, booking and complaining aabout holidays and flights. Tips, ideas and your rights"


All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights/travel

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