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Swinton Insurance - night mare


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first post here guys. Just looking for some advice on how to deal with swinton car insurance.

 

My father got an insurance thru them on the 25th of feb 2009 for a total of 340 gbp for the year to be paid through monthly direct debits.

 

Father had to leave the country on the 16th of may, so he wrote a cancellation letter which I posted a couple of days later. Insurance was cancelled around the 20th of may. So the total period of insurance was just shy of 3 months.

 

In those three months, my father has paid them a grand total of about 155 pounds ( I have looked through his bank statements).

 

Then I get a letter from Swinton addressed to my father asking for £164.82 and the break down is as follows:

 

outstanding balance: 384.99

insurer refund : 254.32

direct debit refund: 23.60

discount recovery: 7.75

cancellation charge: 50

 

Total outstanding: 164.82.

 

Now my father is gone for atleast a year and I will have to deal with ths.

 

Can anyone guide me pLZ. It just seems that to have to pay 155 + 164 = 320 gbp for 3 months insurance when the entire years insurance was 340....seems...well sickening!!!

 

Thank you in advance.

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This happend to my brother in law last year. His renewal was nearly up, so we went looking for a cheaper quote in the meantime they sent him his new insurance and took 1st payment out of bank just before the day of renewal. We saw it was cheaper on line with them (with the same company as well) so we did that. Next we got a letter you us xxamount no we don't renewed on line at cheaper rate, can't do that, yes we can, no you can't pay up or else. Difference they only want 2 months cancellation fee which, suprise suprise meant it had cost him just the same.

Write a very strong letter to them offer them 1 months payment as a final settlement as your father had no choice but to cancel. They will probably come b ack and say its in our terms and conditions.

Another thing don't use Swinton again. My b-in-l will immediately tell them to get lost when his renewal is due.

Thats the best I can offer help wise I'm sure someone may come along with a better idea. It may not be till later with it being such a lovely day and we don't get many days like this.

DG:)

I have no legal training my knowledge comes from my personal life experiences

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outstanding balance: 384.99

insurer refund : 254.32

direct debit refund: 23.60

discount recovery: 7.75

cancellation charge: 50

 

Total outstanding: 164.82.

 

I am assuming that the outstanding balance is the full year's premium, at £340 + the interest rate on monthly payments. They are refunding £254.32 of this premium, which means that you are liable for about £130.67 difference, ie the time that you have had insurance covered for. This is 66% of the amount refunded, equivalent to 8 months.

 

Now it gets tricky because by cancelling you are effectively not borrowing all that money to pay monthly (pay monthly is actually a loan to pay the full amount and not month by month cover), or if in reverse then it is early repayment. That means less interest to be paid. It's the only way I can see why it isn't 9 months of repayment.

 

Now this is fine as of the £130.67 that you should have paid you have actually paid £155, or overpaid by £25, so it doesn't seem like they are pulling a fast one there, just being confusing.

 

 

Now if you take everything else to be correct it seems like the total amount that you owe them for this policy is correct at £164.82. However you have already paid £155, so it looks to me like you owe them an additional £10.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Now that would make perfect sense. However I got a second letter today saying

 

" we will charge 164 pounds to the last credit/debit card you used with swinton"

 

 

I am assuming that the outstanding balance is the full year's premium, at £340 + the interest rate on monthly payments. They are refunding £254.32 of this premium, which means that you are liable for about £130.67 difference, ie the time that you have had insurance covered for. This is 66% of the amount refunded, equivalent to 8 months.

 

Now it gets tricky because by cancelling you are effectively not borrowing all that money to pay monthly (pay monthly is actually a loan to pay the full amount and not month by month cover), or if in reverse then it is early repayment. That means less interest to be paid. It's the only way I can see why it isn't 9 months of repayment.

 

Now this is fine as of the £130.67 that you should have paid you have actually paid £155, or overpaid by £25, so it doesn't seem like they are pulling a fast one there, just being confusing.

 

 

Now if you take everything else to be correct it seems like the total amount that you owe them for this policy is correct at £164.82. However you have already paid £155, so it looks to me like you owe them an additional £10.

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hi Guys, new here but I have the same problem with Swinton. I had to cancel my direct debit in the end to get the Insurance cancelled as they ignored all my letters However i did not sign the credit agreement in the first place so are they acting unlawfully by taking the money with out my signing anything? They also were charging £10.00 extraper month as I hadn't returned the form to them They now want a balance to pay which will bring the total amount to the equivalent of a years Insurance

 

help please

 

vivienne

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Shandoli - I think it is worth your father sending them a Subject Access Request to find out all of the data. In particular you are looking to see what they have recorded for payment received. Make that clear in the letter you send, so say something like:

 

 

All data about me

 

In particular please show all information about any payments received, including but not limited to date and time of payment as well as amount.

 

 

You need this in order to work out what the *total* cost (ie this outstanding £164 they are claiming for + any payments made). If they give back all the payments you are expecting to see then you can ask them how the total cost of the policy to you would be £164+£155 = £309, when that figure is not listed anywhere in their documentation.

 

 

 

-----------

 

feylin I'm a little confused by your post, and what exactly has happened. Could you please retell us what happened in more detail? In particular:

 

 

What letters did they ignore? Did you state any as a complaint? FYI a complaint can be given either verbally or by fax/email.

 

Did you agree to take out the policy and then not sign the credit agreement? Or did you never take out the policy?

 

What form did you not return to them? What was their reason why you should be charged extra? Was this extra £10 a one off fee or a monthly increase?

 

What methods have you tried to cancel the policy?

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I agree Swinton are a nightmare, I cancelled a policy at the end of its 12 months, they kindly, without my permission, renewed it despite me cancelling it. I only found out when £30 was coming out of my bank a couple months later (more fool me, i shouldve noticed i know). Cue the call to swinton finding out what was going on..Sure enough they had renewed it, denied all knowledge of me cancelling the policy, added on breakdown cover (£60 ish) and were demanding to know why i had cancelled the direct debit. Problem is i sold the car when the policy ended so i have been arguing with them for months, i have sent several letters to thier head office and stated if they want to take me to court do it instead of demanding £160 in threatening letters. Will see what happens with them, they also had the cheek to phone and ask if i wanted them to insure me on my new car, i think screaming high pitched down the phone worked, they hung up...

Shirley :lol:

 

LLoyds TSb- £750 **Won**

Abbey- £1308- Stay

RBS-£2038- now with FOS

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If head office aren't helping, then sounds like your next step is Financial Ombudsman which is free. Here's what happened to me which was also payment thing.

 

My father also had a problem with Swinton earlier this year. He paid his insurance premium up front so owed them nothing.

 

He rang them for a quote on a new car and they said they'd ring back but didn't so he didn't even get a new quote from them. He insured the new car through someone else that I sorted online, then Swinton rang him demanding £50 cancellation fee completely out of the blue 2 months later - he hadn't even cancelled the insurance! He told them he wasn't paying. They sent a letter demanding money or would be sent to debt collectors.

 

As my father is 65 and was confused I took over at this point. I WROTE to Swinton asking for breakdown of amount, invoice and reasons for it. They wrote straight back merely saying it was in the hands of a debt collector and had gone up by a further £30. Debt collector then rang my father which really worried him (at this stage they had only been asking for the money for 2 weeks so even if he had owed it sending to a debt collector was extreme).

 

My father actually wanted to pay it to make it go away but I wouldnt' let him. I wonder how many others have been ripped off in this way?

 

I wrote to head office, said I would not have my father who is a pensioner bullied and I would be dealing with this from now on. I asked for a full explanation of where the charge had come from, why the local branch had seen fit to pass to debt collector and why they had not thought it necessary to answer our queries in writing.

 

A debt collector rang me whilst I was waiting for reply - he didn't even know what he was chasing, thought it was unpaid monthly premiums. I told him I wouldn't speak to anyone regarding this - I wanted it all in writing as I was prepared to complain to Financial Ombudsman, FSA and take to court if necessary.

 

Two weeks later head office came back and said they would write-off the debt. They did not apologise for the problem or accept responsibility. I found their attitude arrogant and would never deal with them again.

 

So, if dealing with them I would say:

 

refuse to speak to them on phone. Insist on everything in writing - this is sensible in case you decide to take it further but also I don't think Swinton have a clue what they are doing. They contradict themselves. Their debt collectors aren't even told what they are chasing.

 

If head office don't help, then do go to Financial Ombudsman which is free (google it) and complain to FSA.

 

The £50 "cancellation" fee appears to be a nice little earner for them!

 

I hate them with a vengeance and would never go to them for anything. If I get insurance from anyone else I always ask whether they're connected to Swinton before I proceed.

 

Good luck.

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My father actually wanted to pay it to make it go away but I wouldnt' let him. I wonder how many others have been ripped off in this way?
Sadly a lot. Good news that it is totally illegal. Make a complaint to the FSA saying that you believe they acted against their TCF policy, and chances are that Swinton will begin to take you very seriously, as this sort of act has landed quite a few insurance companies/brokers with large fines. Think Hastings has the current record at £750k.

 

 

Remember the FSO is for disputing money owed. The FSA is to give the consumer protection from firms acting illegally/imorally afterwards ;)

Edited by MARTIN3030
inapp wording removed and changed for something more acceptable.
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Thanks Wulfyn.

 

I still have all copy letters - is it worth sending to FSA now? to try and get them action taken against them ? Got what I wanted in the end but no apology.

Edited by MARTIN3030
inapp wording -substituted
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Please has anyone got any advice for me as i am going around in circles.

I know this sounds terrible but a family member took my car without consent. I informed the police of this within ten minutes. Two officers visited immediately and asked me what i would like as the outcome of returning my car in other words would i like a court case or did i just want the vehicle returned. Luckily traffic police stopped my car fairly quickly the person was arrested and the car was taken off the motorway to a storage place.

I have fully comrehensive insurance and first of all everthing seemed okay but now firstly i was refused a courtesy car as i did not pursue the option for a court case with the police.

I was then told that the insurance company would definetly recover my car from the police storage and take to a garage for repairs. even though there is only miminal damage to the bumper. my excess for this would be £100. It took several days for this as they told me there named garages were all booked. the car was collected yesterday and after ringing my insureres today to ask them if they would now prioritize the work i have been told they indeed will not repair the car as they are reverting back to what i had been previously told that i should have told the police i wanted a court case.

I was advised by my insureres to cancel the claim and they then told me that they will fax the garage and as long as i pay £250 that had to pay the police storage i can then have my car.

I have not had the car long and used up a lot of money to pay for it. The long and the short of it is that i do not have the money, i think this is disgusting service from the insurers please can anyone help me with advice.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Today I received insurance documents from Swinton, problem was I called them well in advanced of the renewal date to cancel the renewal and had already taken up insurance with another and much cheaper insurer. I called them up and asked them about it and they told me they have no record of me calling them and telling them not to renew.

 

 

When I called to cancel the renewal I was told if I find any cheaper insurance to let them know so they can possibly offer discounts, I found insurance that was practically half of Swinton and really I didn't think they could match it so I didn't bother calling them back, I did get confirmation from the person I was speaking to that my insurance won't be renewed, unfortnetly it seems I've been dealing with complete morons. I will never look at Swinton in the future for insurance!

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Shandoli - I think it is worth your father sending them a Subject Access Request to find out all of the data. In particular you are looking to see what they have recorded for payment received. Make that clear in the letter you send, so say something like:

 

 

All data about me

 

In particular please show all information about any payments received, including but not limited to date and time of payment as well as amount.

 

 

You need this in order to work out what the *total* cost (ie this outstanding £164 they are claiming for + any payments made). If they give back all the payments you are expecting to see then you can ask them how the total cost of the policy to you would be £164+£155 = £309, when that figure is not listed anywhere in their documentation.

 

 

 

-----------

 

feylin I'm a little confused by your post, and what exactly has happened. Could you please retell us what happened in more detail? In particular:

 

 

What letters did they ignore? Did you state any as a complaint? FYI a complaint can be given either verbally or by fax/email.

 

Did you agree to take out the policy and then not sign the credit agreement? Or did you never take out the policy?

 

What form did you not return to them? What was their reason why you should be charged extra? Was this extra £10 a one off fee or a monthly increase?

 

What methods have you tried to cancel the policy?

 

 

If its just account transaction info that you want,then you dont need to do a SAR.

You are entitled to ask for this with a request under the Consumer Credit Act enclosing £1.00

The other benefit of this is that they do not get 40 days-they have to supply within 12-14.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Today I received insurance documents from Swinton, problem was I called them well in advanced of the renewal date to cancel the renewal and had already taken up insurance with another and much cheaper insurer. I called them up and asked them about it and they told me they have no record of me calling them and telling them not to renew.

 

 

When I called to cancel the renewal I was told if I find any cheaper insurance to let them know so they can possibly offer discounts, I found insurance that was practically half of Swinton and really I didn't think they could match it so I didn't bother calling them back, I did get confirmation from the person I was speaking to that my insurance won't be renewed, unfortnetly it seems I've been dealing with complete morons. I will never look at Swinton in the future for insurance!

 

This demonstrates the importance of dealing in writing and sending recorded delivery-so you have some proof.

However its not always possible at short notice.

If you are doing this by phone-make sure you record the time date name of the person you speak to,the department/office and the phone number called.

Some Insurers will not accept instructions by phone and request them in writing within timescales that allow their compliance/suitable response.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Swinton should send complainants a copy of their complaints procedure.

They will usually give a reply within 14 days.

As with all organisations regulated under the Consumer Credit Act-they must uphold FOS guidelines in keeping a complainant updated,and concluding any complaint in 8 weeks or else give a final response by 8 weeks.

Once the 8 weeks is up,or if a final response has been given inside 8 weeks the complainant is free to escalate it to the FOS.

The FOS will require originals of all communications brtween each side.

Swintons usual procedures are a process of internal escalation up to CEO level.

 

There is every possibility that complaint that vremain unresolved near the end of the 8 weeks timescale will end up with a response from the CEO.

 

The contact details for those who wish to go there ;

 

Steve Billington (CEO)

Swinton Insurance,Swinton House, 6 Great Marlborough Street, Manchester M1

By telephone - call 0845 168 3676 or fax 0161 236 7102.

 

 

Swinton Insurance are covered under the Financial Services Association compensation scheme which allows the FSA to award compensation where its considered appropriate.

more details from the FSA website;

 

http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register

 

 

Incidentally, I claimed quite a few charges back from these myself-I can say that they had to be pushed all the way,and only settled when I was preparing a County Court claim-just something to be aware of.

Edited by MARTIN3030
Adding further info.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Yes, definately put in writing and follow their complaints procedure which is also set out on their website. It worked for me. I am going to report them to FSA anyway as they were so obnoxious to deal with, plus they certainly can't have followed FSA guidelines in the way they treated us.

 

They seem to attract customers who want to pay by cash as they have so many shops - that is why my father used them. They are certainly not cheap! I got his insurance £150 cheaper after a trawl through the internet.

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One question - whilst I was waiting for a reply from their head office (after following their Complaints Procedure), their debt collectors were still chasing - ringing/writing. Is that allowed? I would have thought that they should hold off whilst complaint is investigated. "Debt" was only 2 weeks old anyway.

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Just a quick note if you want to chase compensation from Swinton due to thier negligence, they are OBLIGED under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme as Motor Insurance is compulsoryto give you 100% of anything you have paid, dont accept offers ;)

Shirley :lol:

 

LLoyds TSb- £750 **Won**

Abbey- £1308- Stay

RBS-£2038- now with FOS

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One question - whilst I was waiting for a reply from their head office (after following their Complaints Procedure), their debt collectors were still chasing - ringing/writing. Is that allowed? I would have thought that they should hold off whilst complaint is investigated. "Debt" was only 2 weeks old anyway.

 

 

No if the account was in dispute,then any collection activity should have been suspended.

This is a 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.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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If its just account transaction info that you want,then you dont need to do a SAR.

You are entitled to ask for this with a request under the Consumer Credit Act enclosing £1.00

The other benefit of this is that they do not get 40 days-they have to supply within 12-14.

 

 

You could do this if it were just account transaction info that was needed, but it is not.

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Ok then it needs a full SAR.

To obtain everything,the request must specify exactly whats being requested.

Copies of the following;

 

1.Statements that show payments made,the date payment was made,and method of payment.

 

2.Correspondence,sent to Swinton by Policy holder,sent to Policy holder by Swinton.To include letters,electronic mail and Facimiles.

 

3.Correspondence between Swinton,and any third parties that concern the processing,exchanging,or sharing of the Policy holders data.

Giving the names of any individuals or organisations that such data was processed with.

 

4.Details including screenshots or account activity logs,that show whether any manual intervention took place.

 

5.A telephone activity log,or telephone log,showing telephone calls made to the policy holder by Swinton,and Telephone calls made to Swinton by the Policy holder.

 

6.A copy of any legal documents,including default notices,notices of intended legal action,or notice of account assignment,that concern the Policy holders account.

 

Any abbreviated or coded transactions or entries,to be explained by side notes attatched,as per ICO guidance.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I'm into it with them over insuring my son who has a foreign licence. first year fine then after asking him if anything changed to which he said no they issued second years policy. He thought since he had insurance that meant he could continue to legally use his foreign licence. 8 months and £500 later we find he's driving illegally and so the insurance isnt and hasnt been valid. and they want another £50 cos I cancelled the last 4 months.

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  • 10 months later...

I am under a similar problem at the moment with swinton

i phoned them last week regarding cancelling my policy because i needed multicar and they dont do multicar i was told on the fone that i wouldnt have to pay anything because there was a fault claim and that i wouldnt get a refund either (wich is fair enough if there is a claim). i fone today to be told they want £600 off me and that they were gonna contact the debt collection agency if i didnt pay up.

the problem i have is calls made to branch are not recorded so there is no record of the call and there customer services agent just fobbed me off

is there anything i can do????

regards

Graham

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If you had a claim, the full years premium is due. This is contained in your policy documents.

 

Suggest that if you are unhappy that you make an official complaint in writing using their complaints process. While a complaint is in process they are not allowed to take debt collection activity. If after 8 weeks Swinton cannot resolve your complaint, you can then pass to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS are taking atleast 6 months to look at complaints.

 

So by following the complaints process to the end, you will stop Swinton from taking action, until the matter is fully investigated, including by the FOS if necessary.

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