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Financial ombudsman comes under fire as insider reveals litany of bad practices


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yes i think that would be a good idea if Cag could produce an ugly type oscar and presented it to the national television stations and say it is the OSCAR FOR THE WORST GOVERMENT RUN ORGANISATION AND WASTED TAXPAYERS MONEY

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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yes i think that would be a good idea if Cag could produce an ugly type oscar and presented it to the national television stations and say it is the OSCAR FOR THE WORST GOVERMENT RUN ORGANISATION AND WASTED TAXPAYERS MONEY

HA NOMINATION SECONDED

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Complain to your MP - whatever party. In fact tell all the candidates in your area that the FOS is not fit for purpose and what do they intend to do about it when/if they get into power. Go and see your MP now with details of your particular case. Mine is monitoring correspondence with the FOS and might be asking questions in the House. The Treasury Committee are also very aware of the lack of consumer power in financial services and so is the cross-party Commission for the Future of Banking organized by Which? with David Davis, John McFall & Vince Cable all involved. It is time for us consumers to have more say - on boards of banks, mutuals, pension companies and regulators and at the Ombudsman Service. Remember The Government is Our Government - we get what we vote for in majority and we have the power to make it do our bidding. If you're unhappy with your MP, get involved in politics.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i had a complaint settled at the beginning of March which i passed to the FOS in June 2007 .... that's 2 years and 9 months on a PPI case.

 

Another one went from September 2007 to December 2009, that's 2 years and 3 months, again for a PPI case.

 

Most of my PPI cases have taken around 2 years and charges cases taken around 12 - 18 months.

 

That's why i'm not too keen on passing a PPI case to the FOS again.

 

Then the banks say 'you're out of the claim time due to the Limitation Act', as i'm now getting. What do the FOS say? "Yes, we agree, of there are no charges in the past 6 years there's nothing to be refunded". But the banks wasted 3 years .....

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on a few PPI cases i've had a response from the bank:

 

"as a gesture of goodwill we will uphold your complaint, please find below details of the payment due" then "there are no PPI charges to your account in the past 6 years so no payment is due to you".

 

at the FOS they offered around £450 but wanted to pay towards a settled account at a DCA, meaning i have paid the DCA once and would be paying them again from the bank. FOS agreed with this so i didn't accept the settlements, now banks say 'out of claim time'.

 

what can i do?

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A few points.

 

First, the FOS is not funded by the Taxpayers but by financial institutions

(so I suppose we are all funding the levies and fees charged to Lloyds TSB, HBOS and Northern Rock).

 

Second a lot of financial institutions do not like FOS either. They agree it is not fit for purpose.

 

This is particularly true of IFAs. They are generally far more highly qualified than adjudicators - many of whom have only basic qualifications and are unable to understand what they are looking at.

 

In banking, there are now adjudicators who have no relevant qualifications at all - but then neither does the new Chief Ombudsman!

 

Most adjudicators are now contractors who have their own limited companies and are paid a fee per case - so taking an easy route is a clear temptation and it is generally easy to uphold what you do not understand.

 

The problem is not entirely the fault of FOS - the workload has expanded to the extent that they cannot cope.

 

For those being harrassed by DCAs, I recommend you are very familiar with the OFT guidance. If any part of it is breached (including multiple phone calls) then challenge the adjudicator by asking them why they disagree with the OFT on any point they have not upheld on.

 

It will make life more difficult for them.

 

And do go to an Ombudsman if they don't come up with a satisfactory answer.

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  • 1 month later...

If you don't like the FOS then it's prob best to go straight to court. FOS is a free alternative, if your not happy with their decision you can still go to court after. Your not paying them so the most your losing is a few quid in postage. With regards to funding, it's either the industry that funds them or you, which would you prefer?

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If you don't like the FOS then it's prob best to go straight to court. FOS is a free alternative, if your not happy with their decision you can still go to court after. Your not paying them so the most your losing is a few quid in postage. With regards to funding, it's either the industry that funds them or you, which would you prefer?

 

Unless they take so long to fail to deal with your complaint that any possible court claim is then out of time.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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FOS BUM OUTFIT HUH in my honest opinion i have been waiting for a response since 2006 they have lost several very important documents ? ggggrrrr i repeat BUM OUTFIT dont waste your time

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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  • 3 months later...

I have to say, like any organisation, it will depend on who is dealing with your case. i made 2 complaints - one was dealt with poorly, but Lloyds still made an ex-gratia payment. The other was dealt with superbly and ended up with an £18K refund covering a period of over 8 years.

What the FOS don't make clear is that they don't operate like a court where both sides put their evidence & someone looks at the balance of probabilities (civil law). The FOS can be asking both sides different things & not telling the other side what was asked or answered. The way I worked my case was to provide all the information and more; My own opinions as to why things were wrong as well as quoting legislation and to do my own calculations for the amouNTS i thought were due back. Yes it took several years & that was 3 years ago when they weren't dealing with so many cases.

Be aware, the banks always say they are right; so look for ways to pick holes in their story - if the FOS says they're right & you aren't, query it, put forward your evidence & ask the FOS for a written explanation of why they believe the bank is right - The banks will be doing the same thing in querying everything you say.

In my case the bank spent more time critisising me & my actions than defending itself. I was lucky in that the ombudsman got fed up with their behaviour & accepted my calculations.

It was very stressful even though I was doing it for a friend - but I got the result i wanted.

 

Elmo & Lucy

 

 

I'm not sure how to post a link to my thread but have a read as it is a success story.

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What the FOS don't make clear is that they don't operate like a court where both sides put their evidence & someone looks at the balance of probabilities (civil law). The FOS can be asking both sides different things & not telling the other side what was asked or answered. The way I worked my case was to provide all the information and more; My own opinions as to why things were wrong as well as quoting legislation and to do my own calculations for the amouNTS i thought were due back.

 

Good work on your part! Wish more people would be constructive and help themselves like this.

 

I work for the "other" side, for an insurance firm, and the FOS are just as much of a mystery to us. Before declining an insurance claim here (mostly cars in my department) somebody senior has to OK the whys and wherefores, and the FOS technical advice line keeps getting called if it's not a straightforward one (cynic me says it's not straightforward even if your claimant is in jail by now for defrauding his insurer!)

 

So far, "apparently" based on certain FOS decisions, it's OK to lie about your driving record on an insurance application, spend thousands on "car bling" and expect us to magically know about it and repair/replace it because we once saw a fuzzy phone photo of some car that you say looks like yours that had not-the-same car bling on it, leave the keys in the ignition all the time, and expect us to pay out if it gets nicked.

All three of those things (driving record, modifications, security) are specifically mentioned in the insurance policy, and I can understand maybe one speeding ticket in the last year not getting mentioned, just say so at renewal, but some people just take the mick, and some days the FOS swallows their story.

 

Maybe part of the reason FOS have gotten so busy, slow, and a bit weird in the last few years is that each and every one of the folks I personally consider "no chance of being paid" seems to go to the FOS, partly because it's free, and some know it costs us £500 or so and think we'll pay a twenty grand car claim to get out of paying the £500. Really? Maths is not their specialist topic, I reckon:p In most cases, we've had solid grounds to not pay the claims, usually fraud, or serious misrepresentation. If it was mild, like an extra endorsement on the licence, or maybe little Jonny drives it a bit more than you said, we'd just charge a top-up premium to bring the policy up to the real world situation, probably what would have been paid if they'd told the truth/we'd known that (your POV varies here:) of course.) Some get overturned and we deserve it, usually because we didn't ask the right question at the right time, but it's a tiny minority because these days we only void where we're certain.

 

These lovely people who've had their claim bounced will always write to the FOS in simple terms, their complaint never presents anything new, that might change our decision. Same happens with appeals in house, the appeals always comes down to "I disagree. Pay." without any evidence or reason. If there's anything else, it's accusations of victimisation, rudeness or lying. I work in an all-calls-recorded office, so proving what was said is easy. Victimisation is harder to prove or disprove, but the claims handler's position is often that they only started "victimising" them by questioning them, and then only when it became apparent they were a fraudster. Rudeness? Not if I want to keep my job, some people think challenging their changing stories, or asking for proof of something because the claimant keeps BSing us, is rude. I disagree.

 

The perception in the car insurance part of the world is that the FOS is stacked against insurers these days, the three examples above being a reason to think that.

 

I guess that what I want to say, rant apart, is if you're going to the FOS, follow Elmo's example- be sure, give FOS loads of help to overturn actual bad decisions, and try to get everything down in your complaint, so they don't feel the need to go back and forth asking questions.

 

On my own account, please don't clag up the FOS in-tray on spec when you've been caught fair and square, and don't throw accusations about because it just annoys me. Annoyed me performs to job/contract and no more, things happen at deadline. Happy me will exercise discretion, things happen as fast as I can make them. And the best bit is, nobody can touch me for that, for I shall remain the very soul of non-apologetic, non-admitting-anything politeness. And the call recordings will prove it.

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Its not upto consumers to "put their case" they 'employ' insurers to do that. As for being caught they better have evidence cos if am ever accused of anything dishonest by an insurance company they can expect a writ the next day

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Its not upto consumers to "put their case" they 'employ' insurers to do that. As for being caught they better have evidence cos if am ever accused of anything dishonest by an insurance company they can expect a writ the next day

 

Hang on, after you had a case decided against you, appealed it, had the appeal turned down, and had a final response, you would think the case file at the insurer is going to do anything other than point to you being wrong? Naive at best, methinks! You choose not to take a full part in the FOS process, that won't weaken the insurer's position one bit.

 

As to writs, if you get accused by *me* there will be evidence, enough that I'll have written a statement to the police for a fraud prosecution, which means you're unlikely to be accused by me, and far more likely to be accused by a behelmeted uniformed type.

It may sound harsh, but fraud being criminalised is great- higher standard of proof so fewer "borderline" court cases, independent investigation by police, and no credible way to complain of being victimised by insurer when it's fraudster versus CPS in court. It takes the decision to go to court away from insurance people, which does take the sting out of any backlash on the case, and if the case is shaky, the police and CPS won't run with it.

 

Most of the time in my experience, what people interpret as "being accused of dishonesty" is actually me trying to get them to prove a loss, to get a case clean enough to pass it for payment. To my claimants: Expensive stuff you don't have receipts for, can't describe to any degree of detail, was never in a photo, has no warranty, was never registered (guarantees etc) that you claim great sentimental attachment to, and was stolen in a burglary you never reported to the police, you said all that on a recorded call, and you want me to "just believe you"? Fine, I might, but nobody else will. Serving a writ on me personally for asking (and people have) just makes me go into "letter of the law, letter of the policy" mode. On really exceptional days, (ie if I smell rodent, and there's a letter threatening a writ/OFT/Watchdog/divine retribution to put me off the scent, as opposed to actual writ) I go into uber-helpful mode, and will offer to report the burglary/theft to PC Plod and co, offer to call mobile operators to block the stolen phone, and offer to call the shops they bought the stuff from to track down serial numbers to report the stuff as stolen too. After all, if I believe the loss is real, I should do everything in my power to mitigate the criminal's gain, shouldn't I? I really hate fraudsters. You can tell, can't you?

 

I get writs against me or my employer now and again, never had one proceed after the company lawyer sends on the call recordings and notes to "put the case in context" for the issuing solicitor. I'm not always right, but so far I've been right when it matters.

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As someone who has worked both sides of the fence I can assure you that false accusations by insurers happen all the time. eg even though its been proved utterly unreliable some insurers still think that their voice stress equipment works when it doesn't & usually decisions of fraud are based on no more than supposition by an individual who knows little of the concept innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. They assume that half the population are thieves & the other half just haven't been caught yet.

 

AND of course when dealing with insurers one has to put up with those who are NEVER EVER wrong

Edited by JonCris
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without any evidence or reason. If there's anything else, it's accusations of victimisation, rudeness or lying. I work in an all-calls-recorded office, so proving what was said is easy

when you have been under 6 feet of water due to floods from the sea, i would nt trust an insurance company as far as i could throw a ten ton lorry, the **** of the earth, i had to put up with living in a caravan for 11 months due to them not paying out the builders and other trades, me and two neighbours had to go to court, when it came our day in court they could not do enough for us and were desperate to settle,princple made me sit in the courtroom just the thought of accepting their offer turned my stomach, they had to admit the claim in full and pay compensation plus a written apoligy,,it was the vindication i was after so any high and mighty insurance person ever tells me that they are fair i would class insurance companies even lower down than the baliff or clamper...

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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As someone who has worked both sides of the fence I can assure you that false accusations by insurers happen all the time. eg even though its been proved utterly unreliable some insurers still think that their voice stress equipment works when it doesn't & usually decisions of fraud are based on no more than supposition by an individual who knows little of the concept innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. They assume that half the population are thieves & the other half just haven't been caught yet.

 

AND of course when dealing with insurers one has to put up with those who are NEVER EVER wrong

 

Agree on the voice stress widgets, that stuff has to have been sold by people from the Gene Hunt school of policing. "But he SOUNDS like a dodgy geezer, guv!"

 

As to false accusations, I can only speak for myself, and I'd go back to my earlier post- I ask questions, but people "hear" accusations. There doesn't seem to be a good way out of this, the obvious "I'm not accusing you of anything, I just need to understand..." always gets the other side riled up good an proper, and always seems to end in a complaint against me. Some "special" people find it an affront to their honesty that they can't just ask for a cheque and get one, and they can't understand I need to know a bit more if there's something obviously missing or wrong. Undisclosed driving bans are an unpopular one, because you just know somebody's going to say they didn't know they'd gone to court and been banned.

 

I think turning real, provable, fraud cases over to the criminal courts has had an effect on accusations- I certainly got the full fire and brimstone about the offence of false reporting, don't say it if you can't prove it, it could be you in a court for wasting police time etc etc a couple of years ago in training.

 

Now we get complaints about "dragging out" a claim for weeks because every time we find what used to be a reason to decline a claim, we give everyone a chance to explain it via a letter, which of course takes an extra couple of days c/o postie, rather than take the story as given, because nobody wants to be that guy who tried to write up a fraud case and got stuck on because the case failed. And we aren't allowed to decide on fraud based on supposition, opinion, or anything we worked out ourselves, we always have to apply for police reports/database disclosures to prove or disprove it, and that means a wait for the police to complete their enquiries, which takes months in some places. Not exactly helping the customer "journey" though, is it? If I try to shortcut anything, like not waiting for a police report because that police service takes forever, I get the claim kicked back down anyway.

 

Frustrates the crap out of me some days, that the only way to be fair and not make unfounded accusations seems to be to take an unfairly long time. Answers on a postcard, but only ones that don't involve fraudsters getting away with it!

 

The never EVER wrong? Yeah, we have them too. Sadly, they get everywhere. I try not to be one, I know we have them in the office, and sometimes we have them as policyholders too. My favourite was the chap who absolutely flat out demanded satisfaction under the Freedom of Information Act, and would not get off my phone until somebody with a legal authority in my company accepted notice of his FoI demand for X Y and Z unrelated to his claim. For those who don't know, FoI only applies to government-type places, not us, but could I explain that to him and explain his rights under the Data Protection Act might help him get information? Could I bunnies. Apparently I am a lowly peon who's not qualified to understand the complexities of FoI law (true, as far as it goes), get me someone who knows what they're talking about. I finally got a compliance officer to agree to talk to him. Cost me a bar of chocolate that did, and I never did get to find out what happened.

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without any evidence or reason. If there's anything else, it's accusations of victimisation, rudeness or lying. I work in an all-calls-recorded office, so proving what was said is easy

when you have been under 6 feet of water due to floods from the sea, i would nt trust an insurance company as far as i could throw a ten ton lorry, the **** of the earth, i had to put up with living in a caravan for 11 months due to them not paying out the builders and other trades, me and two neighbours had to go to court, when it came our day in court they could not do enough for us and were desperate to settle,princple made me sit in the courtroom just the thought of accepting their offer turned my stomach, they had to admit the claim in full and pay compensation plus a written apoligy,,it was the vindication i was after so any high and mighty insurance person ever tells me that they are fair i would class insurance companies even lower down than the baliff or clamper...

 

Couldn't agree more insurance claims departments 1st task is to find a way to deny liability & to achieve their goal they'll trawl the application to try & find something which they can claim is wrong even though that 'thing' is totally unrelated to the claim. The courts are continually admonishing insurers for this practice.

 

I know of an incident were the insurer denied liability because the insured had got the date of their smoking wrong They had stopped about 30 years ago & there was a 3 year mistake in their calculations/memory revealed when the med records were examined. Threatened with court action they eventually conceded defeat on the day before issue & paid indemnity costs

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  • 2 months later...

there has been a new CEO in place at the fos for sometime now which should be a good thing given that she isn't a banking insider but it just seems like things are getting worse. last week i was issued with a 2 paragraph letter rejecting my complaint i guess their idea of getting rid of delays is simply by whizzing through and rejecting my complaint. when i said i wanted my complaint looked at again the adjudicator rang me and stated that even if i went to the ombudsman things would not change as they had already discussed my complaint with them and the ombudsman was minded to reject my complaint. surely thats not right or legal that i have a right of appeal but its just a token. as far as i'm concerned the fos only care about the 500quid they get from the business to rubberstamp the crap the businesses put us through.

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i note that even the industry has a problem with the fos.... it seems to me that thr FOS can't get anything right whilst genuine cases are rejected, they are more than happy to support dishonest cases basically they are w**kers... i wish they would abolish it a replace it with a more suitable small claims court system

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I'm about to make a complaint to the fos regarding the grossly incompetent 1st Central Insurance. Bearing in mind their head offices are in Gibraltar and Guernsey does anybody think I'm wasting my time.

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there has been a new CEO in place at the fos for sometime now which should be a good thing given that she isn't a banking insider but it just seems like things are getting worse. last week i was issued with a 2 paragraph letter rejecting my complaint i guess their idea of getting rid of delays is simply by whizzing through and rejecting my complaint. when i said i wanted my complaint looked at again the adjudicator rang me and stated that even if i went to the ombudsman things would not change as they had already discussed my complaint with them and the ombudsman was minded to reject my complaint. surely thats not right or legal that i have a right of appeal but its just a token. as far as i'm concerned the fos only care about the 500quid they get from the business to rubberstamp the crap the businesses put us through.

 

I do hope you have a name of the individual you dealt with as claiming that amounts to misconduct When you contact the Ombudsman tell them what was claimed. I should also complain direct to that persons boss for attempting to mislead you into giving up

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HELP !!! FOS Descision - Answer needed before Friday 22 October

Please can someone help.

 

This is a bit long winded but I will try to keep it short as possible. I had been paying all my creditors a small amount each month. This was due to being totally dependent on benefits. I acknowledged all the debts except one. This particular bank was offered a
Full and final
link18.gif
settlement offer but they declined. Around 2006 I realised that this debt was not mine. Before that I had been paying this bank a small amount also. Although it was stupid to do so if I didn't acknowledge the debt. in mitigation, I did so because I had been ill for a number of years and the amount was so small, about £2 a month.

I asked for the credit agreement but they could not produce it because the debt went back to the 1980s. On the advice of Trading Standards I involved the Financial Ombudsman
link3.gif
Service. It has taken a number of years for them to the outcome to the conclusion that I must owe the debt because I had been paying. They have now given me until Friday, 22 October to say that I acknowledge the decision or not. They say that the bank should accept this am I originally offered in full and final settlement.

I cannot accept what has been said. Also the fos
link3.gif
has not looked at all the evidence I provided.

The latest advice be the OFT is that although the debt is not enforceable the bank sent me a default notice and register the default with a credit reference agency. I don't want this to happen because I might need credit in the future. Again I state that I have no knowledge of this debt. I paid off all the other debts and one of them was larger than the one owed to this bank.

I appreciate any advice given even if it seems yoor eyes that the fos
link3.gif
is right.

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