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Swinton creating debt when there was none to bein with.....help!


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I started a policy with Swinton Bikes 9 months ago and immediately paid the premium of £85 in full by debit card. The bike was sold a few days ago so I called Swinton to cancel, expecting to get a refund on the 3 months left on the policy. Instead, I was told that I would have to pay them £50 to cancel and no, they will not be refunding the existing amount already paid :x

 

I told them that the policy was paid in full at I wasn't due them anything, that they were due me a refund. I said that I had signed no agreements or anything and told them I wasn't prepared to fork out another £50 for nothing. The man on the phone became rude and obnoxious and threatened me with a debt collection agency.

 

Talk about bully boy gangster tactics.

 

Late last night (well passed office hours) I got a call from Swinton. The chap says he has been looking at my policy and has noticed that Breakdown Cover had not been activated and he was going to activate it for me. :???: I didn't take Breakdown Cover in the first place, nor did I pay for it and as the policy has now been cancelled, I certainly didn't want it. Alarm bells are ringing!

 

From what I have read during recent research of Swinton, they have the power to access your bank account and basically take what they want. There is also a section in their small print that basically says they can help themselves to bank accounts :!: so have had to go and cancel my debit card today in case they try.

 

In the meantime, as well as being frantic with worry, can anyone advise me on what to do now please? From what I can gather about Swinton, my £50 non existant debt will get passed to a debt collection agency. These agencies go under the Swinton umbrella. The £50 will accrue all sorts of added costs and charges, pushing me further into a debt that doesn't exist.

 

Surely they should at least send out a bill for the fleeced money to begin with and at least give me the chance to be ripped off.........I mean, pay up? A bill along with a threat would buy me some time to sort this out.

 

I did consider sending back the policy with a cover letter today and a cheque for £50 just to keep them off my back but a cheque would give them my bank details which I don't want them to have access to. I have read a lot of scary stories over the past few days regarding the tactics of Swinton and am now so scared that I am unable to eat or sleep.

 

Any advice most welcome.

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Hi huggy41. I don't think you understand. They don't intend to give me anything back and are charging me £50 to cancel, except they aren't sending me a bill and giving me the option to pay this, they are passing it straight over to debt collectors where it will grow all sorts of extra costs and fees.

 

I have held dozens and dozens of insurance policies over the years and never once has there been any problems or hidden costs whenever I've had to cancel them due to selling or scrapping vehicles.

 

I am indeed well 'with the life' which is why I feel their tactics are indeed very wrong and why I am asking for advice. :wink:

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Can't add anything to help but you might like to feel that you are not alone. I have car insurance with Swinton and I certainly will not be going back with them when it is due for renewal. I had exactly the same problem with them wanting to charge me £50 to cancel an insurance policy (that hadn't even started), so I basically had to stay with them. They then charged me £25 to notify them of a change of vehicle, then another £25 when I notified them of my new address - wouldn't mind but it took over a month and 4 phone calls before they actually got the correct address on the policy. Now I get phone calls pushing their breakdown cover that I made quite clear at the start that I didn't want and still don't want, and to add insult to injury they quoted my old address at me!!

 

I gather that some of these charges seem to be quite standard amongst insurers, and I suspect that this is a way of them making up costs for offering us 'cheaper' insurance deals.

 

I know you will probably say that it is the principle and that you no longer need the insurance, but would it be cheaper for you not to cancel the policy and just let it run to the end? While it is doing this you can make your complaints to them and then take it further if they don't want to do anything about it. At least, for the time being, you won't be stung for the £50.

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was not going to coment but got bored so you want your £21.25 which is 3 months insurance if you canncell early there is a penelty of £50 do the maths and get on with life .

 

there is no legal remit for ANY admin charge to cancel

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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The FOS allows Insurers to include cancellation admin fees within their policy terms up to a max of £50 for private Insurances. There are different rules regarding commercial Insurance contracts.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

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If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Thanks so far for the replies :-)

 

To Mrs E Blackadder - yes, running the policy out naturally did seem the best option. But Swinton said that as soon as someone else insures the bike, it would show up on a database as then being double-insured, therefore landing me in BIG trouble :!:. Jeez, those agents are so adorable.

 

To unclebulgaria67 - Whether The FOS allows Insurers to include cancellation admin fees within their policy terms up to a max of £50 for private Insurances or not, does not make it ethically right. There was no contract signed at any time. Would you or anyone for that matter be happy to lose what you had already paid, fork out £50 for something you aren't even getting and get abused and threatened into the bargain?

 

There are horror stories all over the internet about this company. Bully boy tactics such as these must be stopped. They are not sending out a bill, just referring me directly to their debt collectors and extra charges.

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Suggest that you make a formal complaint to Swinton Head Office and advise them that you will involve the FOS if you have to. Once a complaint is registered, they are not allowed to undertake any collection activity, while it is ongoing.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Yeah i too had a rather nasty experience with Swindles. I took out, online, a fully comprehensive policy for my brief paid in it full but made the classic schoolboy error of not unticking the box that said it would renew itself unless i cancelled it. I feel this, relatively new tactic, is at the very least sharp practices.

 

Of course next year i no longer had the car and had also changed bank accounts. I then started getting letters from Swindles saying i now owed them two months worth of insurance payments which they, obviously, had been unable to collect. I explained the situation to the nice lady who said no bother sir we can cancel this for you immediatley. Then the shysters hit me with a bill for over £350!!! Which was for them having issued documents, what a hassle eh?! and a huge cancellation fee stuck on the top. Dont get me wrong i would have, more than likely, paid a reasonable penalty. However this bill comically enough was much more than a years insurance!!

 

I refused to pay it. Stating that the option to tick was not on the website when i used it. Phonecalls followed. I simply stuck to my guns. Never lost my temper, always polite:-) They sent letters, which i just sent back unopened marked not at this address. Insurance was at my mums. In the end they got bored. This was over two years ago, so i think i'm home n dry now.

 

Motto don't give in to these shylocks and their exuberant preposterous hughely highly ficticious and completely inflated demands......

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the input everyone. I stuck to my guns and took the complaint to head office and stuck with it. Took a few letters but they gave up in the end and decided to waive the fees. Hoorah!!

 

Too many people out there want something for nothing nowadays but if we can stick together and help each other, we can win the fight.

 

Thanks to all!!!

 

xxxx

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