I really need some advice.
On the 18th Feb I got a letter from Swinton dated 16th Feb telling me that 'due to outstanding amounts' my car insurance was in the process of being cancelled. I panicked and called my bank immediately to make sure I was up to date with all my monthly payments. I was advised that I was.
It was after 530pm so had to call Swinton on 19th Feb. I spoke to Paul who advised me that because my direct debit had been cancelled they were cancelling my car insurance. He also advised me that my payments were indeed up to date. He then told me I would have to pay a 50 cancellation fee.
I was horrified by this - basically I didn't cancel the direct debit. There is a dispute between myself and an ex so my bank acc has been frozen (it was a joint account). I told Paul that I had not wanted to lose my policy and asked why I had received no warning prior to my insurance going straight to cancellation.
He said a letter was sent out on the 9th Feb advising me - well I didn't receive any such letter regardless of whether their system says it was sent out or not. I told him I hadn't received this and he told me he would speak to his manager, Ian.
I didn't get a call back so after nearly two hours I rang back and finally got put through to Ian who again agreed that no money was outstanding but that 'because we knew the direct debit was cancelled and there was no point trying to get the money, we cancelled the insurance'
I am really upset and angry about this and asked whether they had a policy in place for people who did not receive the 'first letter' they send out as a 'warning'. I was told they did not. I then offered to make a payment then and there and give alternative bank details. This was refused.
Paul had initially told me they could waiver the cancellation charge. Ian then refused to do this and said he would only waiver £25. If I wanted them to waiver the whole £50 I was told I would have to take out a new policy with Swinton. I was very angry by this point and told them no way.
Ian then told me to write a letter of complaint and contact the customer service team.
I sent a letter w/c 28th Feb to which I have as yet received no reply.
Then on 11th March I have received another letter dated 9th March. This letter says my car insurance has now been cancelled but there is an amount outstanding of £128.97 for a period of cover I have already received. They have said they have passed my files straight to debt collection agents.
I am furious. I have not even had a final bill from them and they have gone straight to DCA. They know I am disputing the cancellation fee and I am not convinced I owe them £78 for cover because I was paying on a monthly basis and was up to date!
I rang customer services yesterday morning and was told that they hadn't received my letter (hmm funny that, why are they allowed to say that but I'm persecuted for not receiving their letter!?) and that I would need to write again.
I asked him to make a note on his system that I am not ignoring their letters and would be writing again which he said he would do.
I am livid about the way I have been treated as I have been a good customer since 2009.
Please can anyone give me some advice about how to deal with this? Can I take it to the FSA??
Thanks in advance.