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Hannay100

Clarification of time before raising case with the Financial Ombudsman

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There is an 8-week grace period prior to involving FOS, to allow the subject of the complaint to investigate the matter and respond.

 

I lodged a complaint three weeks ago after more than a month of trying to obtain assistance/clarification from a financial institution but having my first and subsequent written communications entirely ignored. The initial reply to my complaint then failed to address the point in question, and also was flawed in various factual regards. There has been further communication but this has been little more than stonewalling. An internal investigation is under way and their formal reply is awaited by mid-January 2013.

 

For these and other reasons which include much time pointlessly spent in two months trying to progress, cost of numerous recorded delivery letters to named department heads and others, and a certain amount of unnecessary stress, I am keen to involve FOS and pursue a proper outcome and appropriate compensation.

 

My question is this:

 

Does the 8 week period for FOS involvement start from the time contact was made requesting reasonable attention, or is it measured from the time a formal complaint was lodged after already wasting time getting nowhere - for a month in my case?

 

I suspect the latter, however I note on the FOS website that they say they can only become involved formally (their italics) after 8 weeks have passed, from which it is possible to infer that they can make an informal contribution to matters before that point maybe ... so any clarification would be useful if anyone has any direct experience of FOS in action, as I am now getting my thoughts together.

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nothing to stop you ringing them up

 

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It is normally 8 weeks or if they send you their 'final response' some companies don't respond so if it was me I would measure the time after I sent my first letter / email.


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Thank you both for your thoughts. I had previously called FOS, and someone genuinely trying to be helpful gave quite an ambiguous response hence my request here for anyone having had first-hand experience.

 

It was suggested that primarily their involvement is available 8 weeks after a complaint if either that complaint has not been responded-to or if the response is unacceptable. My formal complaint was made just under a month ago.

 

It was also suggested that after my initial letter nearly two months ago seeking information was not replied-to and led to further follow-ups, those MAY be considered as complaints by default and so be an acceptable start-point from which 8 weeks needs to have elapsed.

 

It was felt that the only way to know would be to apply to raise a case now and see if the examining officer knocked it back.

 

I will be calling again to see if there is a clearer/better opinion in a new conversation, though am inclined to go ahead.

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