Just want to tell you all of my bad experience with Swinton Insurance brokers and it's gonna be a long one.
My friend was visiting from Belgium at same time purchasing my father's car. He needed car insurance for 3 weeks. We went to Swinton. We were told we'd have to take out a 10 month policy but would be no trouble as long as we cancelled before the new month and there would be a cancellation fee of £60... £10 to Saber and £50 to Swinton. It's cost £179! for 1 month so it wasn't cheap but we had no choice (payments coming from my bank account because he had no debit card for UK).
Well the time came when we should cancel on the 3rd week. We called to cancel but was told we'd have to cancel it with the person we opened the policy with; which I thought was strange. Tired to call all that week to cancel with same story that the person was not available. Finally my friend lost his patients and said he wanted cancelled NOW. He was then told there was a cancellation fee of £165!!! Not £60 like we were told. I then took the phone as my friend isn't from the UK and doesn't speak fluent English, and asked what on earth this man was talking about. He told me the same thing, I said "No we were told by Andy C**per it was going to be £60. He then said "He made a mistake" I said "that's not my problem" He then went on to say "It's your word against ours" Which it wasn't because my sister-in-law was there also and there were two other employees at the branch at the same time not preoccupied I might add. They should have corrected him if he made a mistake.
I said "were is Andy C**per? I want to speak to him." He said "He no longer works there." I said "OK, so if I come into the branch everyday then he shouldn't be there?" He then retracted that statement and said he was actually out sick. Now this man just accused me of not being truthful and he just blatantly lied. I asked to speak to their manager as he was also absent too????
I then finished that conversation by saying send me the bill and I'll sort this mess out on my return to the UK and that I'd already cancelled the direct debit.
When I returned I had two letters one saying the policy had been cancelled and the second threatening that if I didn't pay (which was now £152???) in 7 days my details would be passed to their debt collection agency! These letters were in a space of 13 days!
I write to them in complaint then I received a copy of their complaint procedure. Then I received another letter saying they were going to collect the fee of now £156.86 from my bank account in 7 days. I went to the bank and made sure the direct debit was cancelled. I also received another letter from their customer assistance team saying I needed my friends signed authorisation to put forward my complaint even though they were attempting to dip their fingers into my bank account.
So I sent the same complaint with my friends signature. Also I said if you take anything from my account while I am disputing this then that would be breach of the OFT 2003 guidance on debt collection (unfair business practices) and could also be breaching codes of practice to which they are subscribed. (Which I copied that from a Martin on this forum, thank you:wink:)
And that I had to the complained to the Ombudsman and would also to the FSA.
That must have done the trick; I received a letter saying the debt in question had been closed. :grin:
Didn't receive an apology though??? Tsssssssssk
Still going to complain to their CEO (Peter Halpin) on this matter and the FSA.
I want to warn everyone NOT to do business with Swinton. [EDIT] If you have and are going through same thing then don't yield to their threats.