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  1. All kind of similar here really ... I"’m sorry it’s been some time since you last heard from us. Your complaint is still waiting to be reviewed by an ombudsman. I appreciate that you’ve already been given this update before, but I wanted to reassure you that we haven’t forgotten about your complaint and that it’s in the right place. Thank you for your patience." I know that it is easy to bash and complain when you have a single issue, and can't understand why you are not being taken seriously by a very busy organisation with a wide-remit. However ... it does make all the "what a good job we are doing" stuff you see from FOS, in terms of PR, difficult to fathom - in terms of there being any form of credible self-aware grip on reality there. Anyone know any other organisation in the universe that might think they can get credibly away with updating people with a message of, after three years, ... that they are still sort of thinking about who might be available to, perhaps, at some future point, actually even get round to opening your complaint envelope beyond a cursory glance ... but don't worry all in hand? If Natalie had a problem with, say, her home having been fitted with a faulty boiler, was ignored by supplier, complained accordingly to the governing ombudsman and was told years later while shivering in the winter ... on 10th inquiry ... that they might expect to start to look into it at some point and open a case file ... would that seem reasonable? While on my high horse: allocating a competent officer to spend 10 days to check out what is effectively a group-complaint issue ... would seem an awful lot more efficient than having every Adjudicator, and/or Ombudsman, on each case ... start from blissful-ignorance scratch. It takes days to understand the MBNA-calculation issue properly. It takes hours to even remotely understand what the problem might be. Maybe no surprise it is taking years upon years. AMN
  2. Thanks Miaspa 2010 re: "A response to my MP from Caroline Wayman.". A bit more open there than I might expect, and you have a gender identification there perhaps for your Ombudsperson. As you say ... lets see what the new year brings. If cases do start "hitting" an Ombudsman soon (wouldn't want to drop a paper version of my submission on my foot!), I feel it is probably important that we have shared what we can to make cases as strong as possible - as FOS treat everyone without accumulating anything much in way of wisdom gained from looking at similar cases, or even under the broadly same issue with a particular company. While copies of JL's paper included in everyone's file won't exactly do any harm, I have been thinking about something related to one of the difficult points that has been identified by CW there for us - "where a consumer is able to provide evidence that suggests the situation might be different ". While CW's quote is restricted to meaning, I strongly guess, to state where a complainant's circumstances have been misconstrued by identifiable firm's wrong assumptions - it does raise a very related difficulty most folks have - in that "might be different" could also apply to method. But different as in - well, to what ... MBNA have all the data and are not exactly clear and forthcoming in how they do it, strangely enough. In addition to JL's work, I know that other people who do not have a claim themselves have an informed and analysed view on MBNA's method. While some might be claims-firms, ... there is work from one mathematically-disposed independent thinker of my internet acquaintance who had a view when asked - that I reckon may be worth sharing here, so that people can then take what they can from it for themselves. I am reviewing these findings myself, seeing how the analysis works for my own claim, iterating a bit in conversation, and plan to post up a worked example of what he has discovered over time in way of mechanics ... although I am myself finding Christmas prep things getting in way a bit. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas too ... and also have a very strong new year's resolution. I think it is time to make sure we have all presented our strongest possible clear cases for what an alternative calculation would be - using our collected knowledge from here - and anywhere else possible - of what the firm have actually been up to. When this analysis/spreadsheet I refer to is posted with comments, I would be very interested in hearing how his spread-sheeted "this is what they seem to do" matches up with direct experience of values produced from MBNA. And ... also the alternative sheet that suggests "this is what it appears they should have done." A work in progress - in that I would like to make sure I have had a good enough play-around myself with it before posting. Best wishes to all for 2016!
  3. Conventional advice used to be that banking a cheque was not worth it as could be seen as an admission of acceptance. However, since MBNA complaints seem to take at least 2 or 3 years plus, and a cheque is valid for six months perhaps - there can be little arguing (IMHO) that taking it as a partial payment is/was the correct thing to do. You may have recognised that it seemed low at the time and have taken the time to understand why your gut feeling was shared, and discover yourself that the mechanics of affecting factors within calculations had been worked on by other people. It takes a very-long-time for anyone at all (even after passing hurdle of awareness/motivation) to fully appreciate what has been done here. If anyone had been aware, at time, of possible underpayments they could have written to MBNA with a "without prejudice acceptance of partial payment". Can't see it doing any harm to issue that at any point really, particularly if one has complained to the firm on the issue at any point in the past or intends to do so (then wait, then join consecutive FOS queues). AMN
  4. While V20F2 calculations may be a prototype (which is all a bit bizarre) looks like the Chester crew are still up to known practices in it. And FOS are still somewhat reluctant to get their hands dirty by actually looking at much in the way of "argument" from complainants, preferring to simply believe that "MBNA must know what they are doing". Well, it is difficult not to conclude that MBNA do know what they are doing, but not in the "fair" and practical sense that FOS assumes. It is becoming harder to fathom why no-one at FOS has ever (despite many clear and rationale submissions, and related queries, from folks here and elsewhere) yet actually seen fit to spend some time looking at "the issues". Maybe we should all be asking for "group complaint related" complaints to all be handled by an individual or section ... that has an appreciation ... that there are more people than one with very related complaints for this firm. While that may go against the ethos of "looking at each complaint individually in it's own merit" - one does wonder how much it would take for someone in at least some power at FOS to think "hang on, wait a minute, let's check rather than assume - as we have been asked to do so in a number of cases." While we have all anecdotally from each other have heard of adjudicators (but not yet an Ombudsman?) dabbling [a little] in trying to appreciate what is actually being complained around, I don't think anyone has ever seen a considered and independent analysis (or defence) of the nitty-gritty issues that make such a difference. As in - FOS do not as much just fail to appreciate the "sense" of the complaints, but are serially failing to appreciate that there is a problem worth looking at, or what that actually is. While we may all be individuals with related problems (and take a moment to think of the multitudes who simply accepted MBNA on their word) - I feel it may be approaching time for a group letter (or similar request one anyway) from us all simply asking the question of "why has no-one at the service in the last two or three years appeared to have understood why people might complain about MBNA's methodology, and can they really state that anyone has taken time to truly understand what has been happening with it". If there was a study (at FOS, not an external one they can dismiss) which analysed the procedures (they have had enough guidance) and came up with a reasoned, independent-of-MBNA, and in-depth view that concluded "different but fair" it would at least give something to discuss, as opposed to the less than reassuring "Nah, without going into detail beyond boiler-plate guideline reporting, we think, on advice from MBNA, that it is likely all fine".
  5. Will be interesting to find out, when (!) we variously reach Ombudsman stage, if these are then handled by a disparate set of issue-inexpert "completely new to the alleged problem" people too. I would suggest that when we are, we could perhaps use post initials as a form-acceptable way of determining. Also not sure where FOS are without outsourcing at present, as something I believe that they have done in the past to a different (but within UK) service provider location, and if this is just (presumably) for lower-level initial complaints... While I am happy to have my, say, o2 mobile account questions competently handled by Capita, some things are different... AMN
  6. Re: FOI - I think FOS have a special dispensation of some form (in their reckoning anyway) from FOI, although not that I have tried, but had previously picked something like that up in my trawls. Re: Naming: I suppose mentioned or quoting Service staff names could mean these are picked up and insulted by individuals less assiduous than AC, hence getting everyone into potential hassle, so better perhaps avoided on advice, but I can understand the frustration very well. Maybe the price of open discussion and required form. JL's paper is public domain if one looks for it well enough, and is an interesting read, although arguably a little limited a bit, in that she only had access perhaps to an example or two to reverse-engineer, and there are other factors afoot in other claims, which I am sure she would find interesting, mathematically speaking. AMN
  7. Quick check So far it seems ... that cases around the subject of MBNA's PPI redress calculation method in recent years have, after a long wait, eventually been so far handled (my own case included) by Adjudicator-level individuals only. Adjudicators have then typically trotted out the oversimplified Service's view (a la name edited's disturbingly MBNA-trusting earlier belief) that there is probably nothing wrong (essentially as MBNA are reporting that they are doing the right things that would make redress fair). This perspective is not then accepted by the complainant, and the case is bunged into an Ombudsman queue. Nobody has reached an Ombudsman yet in my understanding, on the central point of redress methods and assumptions? While there is a strong chance that Ombudspeople (initially anyway) will also follow through with what is sadly just considered "received wisdom" at FOS (so no necessity therefor to look into presented information in any detail at all, as MBNA-way has already been deemed fair) ... they do nominally anyway have a remit to think-through things more than processing Adjudicators, and could be less closed-minded, or set in thinking their job is "solve-simply or pass-up". If anyone has or does reach an Ombudsman themselves, it would be good to know, and see how anyone else may help, for their own and everybody's potential benefit. Nothing I can see is available in published Ombudsman's Decisions. Been a few years .. but as far as we know, no one has yet reached Ombudsman level stage yet? AMN
  8. Many people on here are by now something of subject-experts on potential ways that a firm could "creatively" or "imaginatively" stretch plausibility-envelopes, and choose to try to minimise recompense for previous PPI miss-selling without anyone noticing. Name edited also has spent a fair time becoming expert in how one firm made this step, and how they did it, but there are probably bits that she even she may have missed in MBNA's method (such as Miaspa2010 explains above, on misapplication of interest rate "averaging".) MBNA, in turn, know exactly what they have done, and are most very expert indeed ... in the art of payout-minimisation through any method ... using anything they may be able be able to get away with. The design of their spread-sheet maths, hidden assumptions, overly-interpretative portrayal of the rules that apply to them ... are quite frankly excellent work. If, that is, you could consider excellent work to be ... something that saves the firm returning customer's money previously taken. The entire process/procedure for calculating PPI redress, as performed by MBNA now for a good few years, is and was the product of a small team of very smart, but questionably-motivated people. Maths minimisation - tick. Hidden assumptions - tick. Information obscurity - tick. Regulator windows dressing - tick. Prepared glossing for half-hearted FOS inquiries - tick. So, in turn, now we have FOS (and FCA) looking more and more like the only party involved who does not even realise that there was even any form of a problem here to (so inventively) cover-up. FOS continuing to say they have looked at it and it is not a problem, while missing almost everything involved through under-application of effort, or some other motivated or unmotivated reason ... is starting to look very "stupid" of the service. FOS need their own team of smart people to look at this issue (it has affected thousands of people who know it or not). The occasional thing said by an adjudicator from what people have reported from FOS experience, shows that staff there seem to have had very occasional twinklings of understanding. However I have yet to see ANYTHING that shows that FOS have actually twigged to what is being done under their name. That includes public pronouncements, Adjudicator responses, or anything at all. MBNA claim "all done under FOS guidelines". MBNA know this in not actually true, on several counts. FOS, however ... believe this to be true ... because MBNA have said it is true, with also showing a few minor "look, we've done this here" embellishments. A defence of MBNA which stretches approximately as far as "no, I can't believe anyone would ever do that" versus "mysterious-but-surely-OK 50% pay-outs" .... certainly adds up to embarrassment for FOS.
  9. Hi suvin50 Yes - while your Adjudicator has given some thought to some of the points, and while some may not be all that unreasonable to conclude TBH - some, however, of the reply ... is clearly adopted MBNA-thinking, to the point of what I suspect is practically direct-quote. The text follows the style of the "look we are being reasonable and here's what we have done" MBNA method communication ... that assumes lots, glosses over sleights - and reassures of tick-box correctness (while whitewashing). Currently it still appears to me that MBNA ... are simply telling FOS that MBNA are doing it all within FOS guidelines, with the simplest of plausible-sounding reassurances about doing things with various noble-sounding and FOS-compliant sounding procedures that (without going into any details of mechanics) - portray as a picture - a simple but effective way to return client to position. Apparently that is, to the under-initiated. FOS's under-critical, wholly assumptive (and only semi-understanding) role to MBNA's "informative" submissions " communications from the firm being just exactly as they appear on the surface ... is becoming so painfully obvious to any other party except FOS and FCA. MBNA must not be believing their (previous) good luck that no-one took any complainant seriously. Still ... it seems that FOS and FCA still think and report the firm is providing good service and a fine level of reasonable methodology ... simply because MBNA keep telling them (with tick-boxes) that it is. Apparently looking below the surface of MBNA official-sounding responses of "we have catered for that, and done so here - just so" ... is either far above most FOS Adjudicator level remit, or far below any necessity for a requirement-to-understand.
  10. It would seem the time is right to have another channel to shame FOS/FCA into doing more than previous work of assigning under-qualified/under-caring staff to take a quick look - so if we can add to that momentum individually through BBC and/or Andrew Tyrie channels that would be good. I can picture follow-up stories with a more human "case study" examples. If you do want to fully appreciate the complete ins-and-outs of what MBNA have been doing, it requires a significant investment in time and mental effort to follow it and "get" what is being done. The "beauty" of the value-minimisation-project from MBNA's perspective was that it was so opaque that there was a problem at all, that few (none they hoped) would have the observation and then motivation and audacity to suggest it was rigged. I can fully appreciate it would take someone with ability around 80 hours to comprehensively understand, on the basis of starting from source materials, and knowing the end "50%" result question. FCA and FOS in contrast have however had supplied examples, work-throughs, primers, articles and guided conversations (and low-level no-assumptions-step-by-step guides) freely provided to them both. And haven't so far "got it" - even to the extent that there is any problem at all. Wonder how many person-hours FOS have spent on it. Anyone like to bet it has been under 80 hours? The conclusion of FOS/FCA efforts, so far, are sadly either, simple under-inspection efforts, or ... alternatively somewhere along the line of underwhelming consideration ... somebody deemed that the "balance of probabilities" had probably been considered enough, and no point in upsetting apple-carts. Well done AC in bringing this quickly to everyone's attention - and also to anyone who has been trying to chip away at media and governmental channels to get these interested. AMN
  11. Quick survey perhaps? Of where people are re. MBNA redress method complaint at FOS, and who is active at present (please add a similar line if interested) AfterMidnight, complained formally Jan 2013: July 2015 = after Adjudicator level, in a queue for Ombudsman level, having submitted yet further summary/report with points for consideration.
  12. " When MBNA respond I will get a copy of the adjudicators decision plus the revised offer or that MBNA wish an ombudsman review. If MBNA fail to respond it will go to the ombudsman. Not sure how long they have after the deadline to submit a response but a guess a bit more than a week due to bank holidays." " Well Miaspa 2010 ... if MBNA don't reply and goes to ombudsman level review ... can't exactly damage your chances ... have seen a number of Decisions which kind of imply that ... "well, if the firm didn't bother to reply..." Although ... counting any form of spring chicken before hatching, even at Easter is probably inadvisable ... but does suggest that MBNA may not have already had the defences entrenched that I suspected they might (expensively in time and money) already have had in place ... AMN
  13. Here's hoping that FOS staff come back from Easter breaks with a renewed sense of getting on with things with an open mind, a willingness to consider and check basic assumptions, and an ability to get to grips with the issues. Interesting times in that they now have enough well-argued cases to build a picture that they themselves (in addition to '000s of customers) have been taken for a ride now for years. If, that is, there is a willingness to even examine, in any degree of depth, the possibility that this just might be the case that we are proposing ... and that the points are very difficult to deny and not being apparent ... if you only, however, actually do look. I guess this stage of the war comes down to - if ombudsman stage FOS people just as lazily and easily make the same assumptions in the same way as adjudicator level staff have : that is - that they don't really actually have to actually read and understand the heavy and onerous consumer-level allegations, as "the chances are the bank is right, or someone in authority would have noticed!" AMN
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