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Petplan Problems - Advice Needed **SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME **

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Hi,

 

One of my cats went missing recently and so I decided to pay a company called Animal Search UK to produce some posters and do some advertising to help find her. As part of the advertising they did the following:

 

1) Came to my local area and asked neighbours whether they'd seen my cat.

2) Searched people's homes, gardens and sheds.

3) Asked neighbours to display posters in their windows.

4) Asked neighbours to check with their friends and family in the area whether they'd seen a cat like mine.

5) Put leaflets though the doors of people who weren't home.

6) Put up posters on lamp posts and bus stop shelters.

7) Visited local business and got their permission to display posters on their premises.

8) Arranged for me to be interviewed on the radio and in the local paper to highlight my cat's disappearance and appeal for help finding her.

 

The publicity generated from all this was fantastic and there were several possible sightings of my cat as a result. This wouldn't have happened without Animal Search's involvement. None of the sightings turned out to be my cat but luckily she returned after 5 days anyway and thankfully was fine apart from having lost some weight. I think she must have been trapped in an empty house as she smelt of perfume.

 

I'm insured with Petplan and they offer cover for advertising so I thought it would be no problem claiming for the cost of the advertising on my policy. Before I decided to go ahead with it I actually called Petplan and asked them whether the claim would be allowed. All they said was that they can't authorise any claims over the phone.

 

It's now nearly 6 weeks since I sent my claim form in so I called today to ask about the progress of my claim. The person I spoke to informed me that they are only prepared to cover the cost of the posters and that they don't want to pay for the other part of the claim as 1) they don't consider the activities described above to constitute advertising, and 2) I should have carried out these activities myself.

 

There is nothing in the policy documents to say that pet owners need to do all their own advertising so that argument is invalid. It's also very unfair to try to use that as an excuse not to pay as I have severe arthritis in my hip and so am unable to walk the distances that would be required to carry out door-to-door advertising. This was the main reason I hired Animal Search in the first place.

 

To me their assertion that the advertising wasn't really advertising is crazy and is just another excuse to try to get out of paying.

 

From Dictionary.com:

 

Advertising: the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., especially by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.

 

The policy's terms and conditions don't have a definition for advertising, so the word can only be interpreted in its general sense, and the policy wording simply states "We will pay... the cost of advertising." There are a few exclusions but none of them relate to what I've claimed for.

 

When I asked why I couldn't have been told the advertising wasn't covered when I'd called the first time, I was told that they'd never come across this type of claim before and so hadn't been sure whether it would be allowed or not. The advisor then went on to say that since my claim there have been lots of others. I find both these assertions impossible to believe as Animal Search have been in business for over 10 years.

 

After speaking to a customer services advisor I spoke to her manager, and he repeated the same thing. He then said he'd forward my complaint to the complaints department and I'll hear from them within the next 2 weeks. It's quite obvious that they'll reject my complaint and I'll have to take further action to recover my money (about £750).

 

I'm quite prepared to go to court if necessary but before I do that I'd like to hear other people's opinions. Would you consider the activities listed above to be advertising, and if not, why not? If you do agree with me, do you have any suggestions as to the best way to proceed?

 

Thanks!

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Well their policy (all 3 of them) state the limit they will payout for advertising and reward are £1000, £1500 and £2000 so I can see no reason why they would be able to get out of paying up.

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I think you should write and ask them to revisit their decision as you find it unacceptable.

 

I guess your alternative is the Ombudsman.


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Advice & opinions given by citizenb 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.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Thanks for your replies.

 

The policy I have provides £1500 of advertising per year and my claim was for about £1150 so it was well within the limit.

 

I spoke to Animal Search yesterday and they told me they'd had a very interesting conversation with Petplan themselves. They asked where in the policy document it said that face-to-face advertising wasn't covered and the advisor checked the policy to find out. He then had to admit that it doesn't say anywhere that it's not covered and he said he therefore didn't understand why the claim had been rejected. He called the underwriters to find out and they apparently said that they've just decided not to cover these types of claim!

 

I hope that call was recorded as it will be very helpful if I need to go to the Ombudsman/court.

 

Petplan told me that there was no need to write a letter of complaint as they will forward details of our phone call to the complaints department themselves. I think I'll write in anyway though as then I can be sure I've got my point across properly.

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Yes, I think you need to write and confirm the conversations you have had - and I think at the same time you should request a copy of that telephone call - just in case they decide to over write or destroy it.

 

Please keep us updated on this situation.


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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

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2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

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2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

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Advice & opinions given by citizenb 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.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Did you call Petplan before engaging this company and ask if they would cover there costs?


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as with any insurance, you need to contact them to ensure that an action is covered before going ahead. If your car gets damaged, you don't just take it to whatever garage and tell them to do whatever they feel they want, you speak to your insurance company first and agree what can be done.

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as with any insurance, you need to contact them to ensure that an action is covered before going ahead. If your car gets damaged, you don't just take it to whatever garage and tell them to do whatever they feel they want, you speak to your insurance company first and agree what can be done.

In case you missed it, the OP did contact Petplan and make an inquiry, but was told to put it in writing. By the time they get around to authorising it, the animal is probably long gone. Many people would do what the OP did to recover her cat at the earliest opportunity!

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as with any insurance, you need to contact them to ensure that an action is covered before going ahead. If your car gets damaged, you don't just take it to whatever garage and tell them to do whatever they feel they want, you speak to your insurance company first and agree what can be done.

 

I did contact them first, but they refused to say whether the claim would be authorised. They will only decide whether treatment, advertising etc is covered by your policy after you've paid for it and have submitted a claim form.

 

As I couldn't get my claim pre-authorised, I read the policy terms and conditions from cover to cover to ensure there wasn't a clause excluding face-to-face advertising. I couldn't see one so decided to go ahead with it.

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I wrote to Petplan to complain about them refusing to pay my claim and they replied saying they'd investigate. As expected, they took the full 8 weeks to reach a decision but I'm very pleased to say they upheld my complaint and I've just received a cheque for the full amount I was owed:-D There was no apology or explanation as to why the claim was initially rejected so I can only assume it was just a case of them deciding they didn't want to pay it and hoping I'd accept that.

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Well done for standing your ground, but more importantly, thank goodness the cat came home!

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I wrote to Petplan to complain about them refusing to pay my claim and they replied saying they'd investigate. As expected, they took the full 8 weeks to reach a decision but I'm very pleased to say they upheld my complaint and I've just received a cheque for the full amount I was owed:-D There was no apology or explanation as to why the claim was initially rejected so I can only assume it was just a case of them deciding they didn't want to pay it and hoping I'd accept that.

 

Well done for standing your ground, but more importantly, thank goodness the cat came home!

 

Well done for persevering, I agree with J&W, thank goodness the cat cam home :)


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

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb 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.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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