I finally lost patience and contacted the Claims Management Regulator - on 23-07-12. I received a recorded delivery letter from Redress Claims on 11-08-12. They were offering me £295 - one fifth of the up front fee - in compensation, for their woeful service. I have turned it down and will be sending them this reply, tomorrow. I don't hold out much hope, to be fair. I guess we'll see.
Dear Mr xxxxxx,
I received your letter today, Saturday 11th August 2012. Your offer of compensation is unacceptable. Therefore, I will not return the acceptance form you sent me with the letter.
I must assume that the reason I have heard from you at all, is that I contacted the Claims Management Regulator. Prior to that, you last contacted me by e-mail on 27-03-12. I will be sending the CMR a copy of this e-mail and yourself a written copy - by recorded delivery.
Allow me to explain why I think your offer of £295 in compensation is unacceptable. Firstly, your letter is the very first intimation, of any kind, I have had that each of the claims you were pursuing for me had a fee of £295. Had I been made aware of this by your agent, Mr. xxxx, when we met, on 22-01-11, I would have been able to calculate the total cost and perhaps reconsider.
He also assured me that, if an unenforceable credit agreement review was unsuccessful, I would be refunded. It would appear that he deliberately misled me. Also, at no point did he, or anyone else who works for you, tell me that, in addition to the £295, I would have to pay a solicitor's fee, of £149. Again, this may have given me cause to reconsider.
Furthermore, he assured me claims of this nature took approximately eight weeks. I did not hear from the Halifax regarding repayment of missold PPI until 28-07-11; six months after we spoke.
I also told him that there was no PPI claim to be made against the Co-op; but he took all the details in any case. Redress Claims had to be reminded of this by me, after sending me a letter on 10-03-11, asking me,
'Could you please check your records and if you have any evidence of having payment protection insurance on this account could you please forward this to us as soon as possible.'
even after it was very clear there was no such evidence.
I have wondered why you were so keen to pursue this and I now realise it was because you had charged me £295 for nothing. Is it purely coincidence that this is the only part of the 'up-front' fee I paid Redress Claims, that you are willing to reimburse me with?
Regarding the Halifax, I received compensation for the PPI they missold me on 29-07-11 and was happy to. Redress Claims kept their £295, fair enough - and then took 30% of it from me, as per our agreement. It was the handling of the unenforceable credit agreement review that caused me further annoyance.
The claim was unsuccessful and I do not take issue with this; other than with the fact that it was not resolved until 14-03-12, almost a year after I first contacted Redress Claims. As you know, it cost me an additional £149 and, apparently, in contradiction to what Mr. xxxx told me, I will not get my fee returned to me.
This seems due to the very convenient - from Redress' point of view - clause 5.5. You stated in your letter of 09-08-12,
' .... we will not provide a refund under clause 5.5 where any one of those other services has resulted in an award of compensation, or rebate to you.'
I may be mistaken but this seems to indicate that, no matter the amount of compensation your company secures for a client, you get to keep 30% of it and the entirety of any fees paid, even if only one out of five claims is successful; or one in a hundred, come to that? Or is it that clause 5.5 only refers to the solicitor's fee. Perhaps you could clarify this?
Clearly, if the former, after my compensation award from the Halifax, you were able to relax because you knew that, however any of my other claims went, you were going to profit.
Either way, CCS did not contact me until 14-09-11 and then took six months to finally close my case - with the Halifax alone. No progress with CapitalOne, of any kind, was mentioned. Indeed, when I asked CCS about it, on 19-03-12, they referred me back to you and, on 27-03-12, you sent me your first e-mail, suggesting I should make a formal complaint; which I was loath to do at the time.
Your letter further states that my claim for an unenforceable credit agreement review with Capital One may be heading the same way my claim against the Halifax went. I fail to see why this should cost me another £295 and I cannot afford another £149 for a solicitor's fee.
You also tell me that my claim for missold PPI with CapitalOne has been submitted to the FOS - some eighteen months after you took my fee.
That is the most pertinent reason for my dissatisfaction with Redress Claims and why I do not feel your offer of £295 in compensation is acceptable. You have had the £1475 I paid you for a year and a half. You have had the £994.90, from my award from the Halifax, for almost a year.
The extra interest payments on my credit card, due to your £1475 fee, have accrued to £1080. At least some of that total is as a direct result of Redress Claims failing to provide the service they say they will, according to their own terms and conditions - and certainly not in a timely fashion.
As far as I am concerned, Redress Claims are still treating me with contempt because contract law allows it. Undoubtedly, my complaints seem invalid because I 'did not read the small print'. However, I only engaged with your company at all because Mr. xxxx gave me assurances and I trusted his word because, like everyone else working for Redress Claims, he made much of the fact that you are registered with the Ministry of Justice. I have not contacted them, regarding my experience with you; perhaps I ought to.
A fair settlement, in my opinion, would be the return of 3/5 of my £1475. The way things stand at the moment, I would be far better pursuing things with CapitalOne by myself - it would cost me far less.
As I previously indicated, I do not accept your offer. I await your reply and hope that you will treat me with more respect.