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How to complain to the ombudsman about a mobile phone provider
If you had doorstep loans from lender such as Provident, you may be able to get a refund of the interest you paid if the lender should have realised the loan was unaffordable for you.
Doorstep lending – also called home credit – is where a collector comes to your house to collect the repayments. Doorstep loans are used by over 1.3 million people in Britain. The four largest lenders are Provident (includes Greenwoods), Morses Club (includes Shopacheck), Mutual and Loans At Home.
What is an “unaffordable” doorstep loan
The regulator says that a loan is unaffordable if you couldn’t make the repayments without borrowing again. This could be borrowing from the same lender, from someone else, getting deeper into your overdraft or by not paying a bill such as a utility bill.
So even if you always paid your Provident loan on time, it could still have been unaffordable.
If the lender should have realised the loan was unaffordable they shouldn’t have given it to you – that was irresponsible lending and you should get a refund back of the interest you paid.
With doorstep lending complaints you don’t usually get a refund of all your interest, the common award is a refund on interest on the last few loans.
You are very unlikely to get a refund for only one loan. But if you borrowed several times and especially if you took out a new loan when you were having problems paying an existing one, then complain.
How to complain about doorstep loans
For the last 18 months, lots of people have been getting large refunds from payday loans, see How to ask for a payday loan refund. The good news is the process is exactly the same for doorstep loans – the regulator’s definition of affordability is the same for all sorts of lending.
That article has template letters for complaining and it describes what you need to do and when to take your case to the Financial Ombudsman. You can use that letter – just delete the word “payday” – but also see if their are any special doorstap lening points to add, see below.
At the bottom of that article there are thousands of comments from people making payday loan claims, so you can see how it works in practice. And now people are having success with complaints about doorstep loans – see the comments at the bottom of this article!
Special points that may apply to Provident and other doorstep lenders
Here are some points that often crop up with doorstep lending. If any of the following happened to you, add a similar sentence to the standard payday loan refund letter:
Contact details for doorstep lenders
Include your customer reference number if you had one. Explain if you have moved address or changed your email so they can locate your account. Keep a copy of online complaints or letter sent – if you email it to yourself it’s easy to pass on to the Ombudsman if needed.
How good is your complaint
The more loans you had, the better your case. Borrowing for prolonged periods by taking out new loans or refinancing existing ones shows you were dependent on the loans.
The larger the loans became, the better your complaint is. The first few loans may have been affordable but if they kept going up, that is a sign of increasing trouble.
Some people have had Provident loans for a very long while. You will not be able to have a complaint about loans before 2007 considered. Most refunds being given are just for the more recent loans.
If you think you have a good case, don’t be put off if the lender rejects it. People are winning these cases at the Financial Ombudsman. The payday loan refund link above describes how to send your complaint to the Ombudsman, what details to include etc.
If you are offered a small amount, don’t worry you will lose this offer if you go to the Ombudsman. We have never seen this happen.
What will the Ombudsman say
Read What happens at the Financial Ombudsman for an overview.
You can take cases with doorstep loans more than 6 years old to the Ombudsman. The lenders may say they haven’t kept the records of the credit checks for these older loans … but they don’t seem to be very good at producing the records for the more recent loans either!
You probably won’t get a refund back of all the interest you paid – most refunds given are for your more recent loans. But ask for it all and let the Ombudsman make the decision about where your loans became unaffordable. You don’t have to calculate and ask for an amount.
You had a poor credit record
It’s worth emphasising if you had a poor credit record, especially if it got worse as you carried on borrowing from the doorstep lender. Get a copy of your free Noddle report – this will show defaults and missed payments going back 6 years. Send that to the Ombudsman with your complaint. Don’t wait to be asked for this, said it straight away.
Did you “refinance” loans
It is also worth emphasising if you repaid some loans early because you borrowed more that month from the same doorstep lender – this is sometimes called “refinancing” your loan.
In this case you may have paid more in interest that you would have if you had just been given an extra loan because of the way the “early settlement calculation” were done. If this wasn’t explained to you by your agent (and I bet it wasn’t!) then you paid more interest than you should have.
Who suggested you borrow more
It is also worth pointing out to the Ombudsman if it was always your agent suggesting you borrow more, perhaps because it was getting near to Christmas, or in August when you might need more money for new school uniforms, or because you had paid off a lot of a previous loan.
The FCA (the lenders’ regulator) said this in a report (its long report – look at page 32) in May 2018:
“Section 49 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (CCA) prohibits the canvassing and soliciting of cash loans off trade premises where this is not done in response to a signed written request made on a previous occasion.”
ie a lender such as Provident should only have offered you a loan if you had asked them in writing for it, they shouldn’t have sat in your home and offered new loans. So if this happened to you, mention it in your complaint to the Ombudsman.
Describe what happened with the loans
It’s important to try to show the links between your loans if there were a lot of them. Something like this can explain your case:
I took loan 2 out as soon as I repaid loan 1 and it was for a larger amount. I then took out loan 3 whilst loan 2 was still going. After a few months I couldn’t afford the payments so my collector suggested I took out a loan to repay off the loans 2 and 3 and spread the repayments over longer. So loans 2 and 3 were repaid early only because I borrowed more. etc etc.
Send your bank statements with your complaint. If you haven’t got them all, send ones you do have and set about asking your bank for the rest, then send those. You are more likely to win a complaint if you send them. Don’t wait to be asked!
Don’t be worried because your bank statements show a lot of gambling. Read Gambling and payday loans complaints for examples of how the Financial Ombudsman handles this sort of case -it is hardly ever a problem.
What about your current loan
If you are still repaying a doorstep loan, you can still complain. If you tell the doorstep lender, they will usually allow you to pay less each week over a longer period without adding any more interest.
But if you have other problem debts, talk to StepChange and they can see if a debt management plan would help. You can still complain if you are in debt management.
Need some help
Your local Citizens Advice can help with writing these complaints, that will be free.
You don’t need a lawyer or a claims company. They take a LOT of your refund and you can make a better claim on your own than they can instant phone cash loan A good claim involves telling your own story, you know it and a claims company doesn’t!
Comments or questionsMore Debt Camel articles:
Short term or pay day loans, available from stores such as Cash Converters, The Cash Store and Money 3, can become a debt trap if you are in financial difficulty. These loans have exorbitant fees and interest rates which can in effect amount to several hundred per cent a year. If you cannot make your payments on time, the interest and other charges will make it very difficult for you to get out of debt.
Pay day lenders usually require you to pay by direct debit, which means that if you are in financial difficulty, you may not have enough money left for essentials such as food or rent.
For low income earners these loans often push them further into debt.
Since 1 July 2010, lenders have not been allowed to take security for the loan over your household goods, nor can they attempt to seize these items if you don’t pay. However, if you’ve entered into a loan like this and your lender is demanding payment or charging excessive interest, you should complain to the relevant EDR scheme.
Find out more about debt collection procedures.
Do you have legal protection for your short term loan
Most short term lenders are required to comply with consumer credit legislation and must consider flexible repayment arrangements (a hardship variation).The strongest legal protection short term borrowers are likely to have is the responsible lending laws, which make it an offence for a lender to provide a loan for household or personal purposes which is unsuitable for the consumer. It will be unsuitable if it does not meet your requirements and objectives or you could not repay the loan without experiencing substantial hardship.
Many short term loans involve people already in financial difficulty or those in receipt of Centrelink income. If you fit into either of these categories it may be comparatively easy to argue that you should not have been given the loan in the first place and that your lender may have committed an offence in lending to you.
Lenders must check that a borrower can repay any loan without substantial hardship. Those who offer short term loans must also consider a borrower’s bank statements for the 90 days before the loan. A lender will be presumed to have breached the law if the borrower has a short term loan on which they have defaulted or has been granted two or more loans in the last 90 days.
If more than half of your income is from Centrelink, your loan repayments cannot be more than 20% of your gross income.
Should your lender not agree to waive all charges and interest, you should lodge a complaint with the relevant ombudsman scheme.
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Must you repay your short term loan
If you have no assets and your only income is from Centrelink, creditors cannot enforce repayment. Whatever they or their debt collectors say, your income is protected from any court action.
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No or low interest short term loans
This scheme provides loans between $800 and $3,000 from NAB (with Good Shepherd and other community agencies). Generally borrowers hold a concession card and are in stable accommodation (for 6 months residence). The interest rate is 3.99% a year (in September 2013) with no other fees.
Visit: nab or Good Shepherd
This scheme is run by Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service through community groups such as neighbourhood centres or charities. A typical loan is between $800 and $1,200 for white goods or any other essential household item. The loan is repaid over 12 to 18 months and the money loaned out again how to consolidate private student loans
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Home Loan Journey towards Housing Loan IDFC Bank
Try to resolve the dispute by explaining your problem and what you want done about it. If your mobile phone provider has its own internal complaints procedure, follow it.
2 Get a letter of deadlock
If your mobile provider refuses to do what you ask to sort out the problem, ask for a ‘letter of deadlock’ to show you've done all you can to resolve the complaint.
If the mobile company fails to respond to this final letter within a reasonable period of time (say, 14 days), you can take your complaint to the ombudsman.
3 Find the correct ombudsman
There are two ombudsman services that deal with mobile phone complaints - Cisas and Ombudsman Services: Communications.
Find out which one your mobile provider belongs to, as this will be the one you'll need to use to escalate your complaint.
These ombudsman schemes only deal with complaints about mobile service providers, not about other mobile phone retailers such as third party sellers like the Carphone Warehouse, for example.
Contact the ombudsman to find out how to submit a complaint. Different ombudsmen have different procedures – some may ask you to fill out a complaint form, while for others you need only write a letter outlining your problem.
If it’s the latter make sure you include the following information:
You can submit a complaint to Cisas through their online claim form.
If you have any issues, you can contact them on 44 (0)20 7520 3814
Contact Ombudsman Services: Communications
The best way to contact the Ombudsman Services: Communications is by phoning them on 44 (0)330 440 1614
Or you can send them an email at [email protected]
Ombudsman Services: CommunicationsPO Box 730Warrington
5 Await a decision in writing
The ombudsman will look at the evidence provided by both sides.
They might contact you for more information, but there isn’t a hearing, as there is with a court case.
Once the ombudsman has made its decision it will write to you and the company with details of the ‘award’.
If the award is in your favour (they agree with your complaint), this will include details of what the company must do to put things right d e cash loans
No Fee v Bad Credit Loans v Loans For Adverse Credit
If you have forgotten your 6 Digits Security Number, or locked yourself out of your accounts, please call us on 0345 2660001 and we will send you a new 6 Digit Security Number by post. This may take a few days to arrive in the post.
If you have forgotten your User ID please call us on 0345 2660001 and we will re-confirm over the phone.
How do I change my 6 Digit Security Number
Log in and select 'Manage your details' from the menu.
From here you can change your 6 Digit Security Number. When choosing a new 6 Digit Security Number we recommend you:
What is a linked account
To keep your money safe we will link all your AA savings to one UK Bank or Building Society account in your name(s).
All deposits must be made from this account. We are unable to accept deposits from any other account.
All withdrawals will be sent back to this account
You can, of course, make internal transfers between your AA savings accounts.
How do I change my linked account
Log in and select 'Manage your details' from the menu.
For your security, when you change your linked account, your new linked account will not be available for withdrawals for a short while (we'll tell you the exact date when you make the request). In the meanwhile you will be able to continue sending deposits from, and making withdrawals to, your existing linked account.
How do I pay money in
You will need your AA savings account number and sort code to hand.
Simply use the internet/telephone banking service of the bank/building society that you hold your linked account with and set up a payment to your AA savings account.
You can choose to make both one-off payments and set up a regular payment by standing order.
You can make internal transfers between your AA savings accounts (excluding AA ISA products) at any time.
Simply log in, choose the account you wish to make the internal transfer from and select 'Transfer between AA accounts'.
How do I make a withdrawal
Simply log in, choose the account you wish to make the withdrawal from and select 'Withdraw to linked account'.
When will withdrawals reach my linked account
This will depend on the amount of the withdrawal and when you ask us.
How do I close my account
Simply log in and choose the account you wish to close. Select either 'Withdraw to linked account' or 'Transfer between AA accounts' depending on whether you would like the closing balance to be sent to your linked account or another AA savings account.
Instead of entering a withdrawal amount on this page simply tick the 'Close this account' tickbox.
How do I update my personal details
It is important we hold up-to-date and correct personal details for you.
To update them please log in and select 'Manage your details'
Can a representative manage my account for me
We can accept an Enduring Power of Attorney or a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney registered with the Court of Protection. This provides the authority for your representative to open and manage accounts on your behalf. We can't provide any advice about this so please contact your legal adviser. We will not normally accept any other form of third party authority.
Both the donor and representatives will be subject to our standard account opening checks. We will also need to see an original or certified copy of the Enduring Power of Attorney or Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney document.
For more information please call us on 0345 2660001.
How do I notify the passing of an account holder
We need the personal representative of the deceased account holder to write to us at FREEPOST AA Savings and provide a certified copy of the death certificate.
How do I make a complaint
If you have a complaint, you may contact Customer Care at: AA Customer Care, PO Box 3191, Bristol, BS1 9HY.
If you are still unhappy you can write to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Making a complaint will not affect your legal rights. You can contact them by:
Writing to: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR
Calling: 0800 023 4567 (calls to this number are now free on mobile phone and landlines)
Emailing: compl[email protected]
Visiting: www.financial-ombudsman.org instant emergency cash loanuk
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has set a deadline of 29 August 2019 for making a PPI complaint. For your complaint to be considered, you need to have made your complaint to us by 29 August 2019.
If you had Tesco Bank PPI, then you can make a PPI complaint by phone, post or online. How can I make a PPI complaint
We'll acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing (if a Claims Management Company is making the complaint on your behalf, we will send this to them).
If you are unsure whether you had Tesco Bank PPI, you can contact us by phone or in writing to check if you have ever held Tesco Bank PPI. How do I find out if I had PPI
Please note: Tesco Payment Protection Insurance was only sold under the Tesco Bank and Tesco Personal Finance brands.
Once we have received your complaint, we will review and fully consider your complaint and may contact you for further information to help us do this.
You will then receive our decision. We'll write to you/your Claims Management Company within 8 weeks of receiving your complaint to let you know our decision. If we agree with your complaint we'll confirm the amount of refund that we are offering.
If you accept our offer we will pay the funds into your bank account within 7 days of receiving your written acceptance.
If you are unhappy with our decision you have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You can telephone them on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123 or visit their website for further information student loan servicing department
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