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Aviva - Horror Story case is with FOS. I'll take court action next


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Hi,

 

I'm a First Direct Customer and have had a mortgage with them for over 15 years. I am so impressed with their customer service, that I bought their buildings insurance. I've had the policy for donkey's years.

 

In May 2015 I had a leak which came in from the next door neighbour. The ingress of water stayed well below the joists and never damaged any flooring or contents. I repeat, water never ever at any point damaged any of the building or my personal belongings!

 

Asprea, which is a claims management company which is owned by Aviva, assigned a surveyor to manage the claim. However, back at Asprea they were going through a restructure, and the surveyor who was assigned was made redundant. He was never replaced. As such, the builders assigned to do the work had nobody there to control them.

 

The repair contractor brought in by Asprea, a company called Alltrades, went on the do the following to my home and personal property, without my permission and knowledge.

 

1. Remove all the floorboards from the Dining Room, Hallway and Front Living Room.

2. Remove my entire kitchen (cupboards, tiled flooring, contents), which sits on a concrete base, and as such is completely impervious to water. The kitchen was thrown into a skip.

3. Remove all the wallpaper from the dining room, hallway stairs and landing, and front room.

 

You're probably wondering at this point why I've not mentioned anything about the contents of the kitchen, front room and dining room. Well, they were all wrecklessly dumped and damaged into the upstairs 3 bedrooms. The builders, aren't members of any recognised professional organisation in the building trade - such as the federation of master builders, the national federation of builders, or trustmark.

 

I have pictures of everything which I sent to the company, and I have also created a YouTube video showing the chaos left by Asprea and their contractors.

 

The company, Aviva or Asprea has never said sorry, nor has it responded in writing to written complaints, and has just told the Financial Ombudsman that it intends to stop paying for my alternative accommodation at the end of June. I have been out of my house for 11 months, and have moved 15 times!!! 15 times!!!

 

I was forced to live in the following accommodation:

 

9 days -Stayed in Bedsit

83 days -Lived in a converted garage

6 days -Stayed in Hotel Rooms

20 days -Stayed with Friends

187 days -Not a "like-for-like" property, ongoing Electrical wiring and plumbing problems. Poorly maintained

 

Aviva and Asprea cut all contact with me in December 2015, 6 months ago, without notice or reason. The company has lied to the Ombudsman about what is damaged in the house, and so I have a surveyor coming on Wednesday 18th May 2016, to do a detailed report of what is damaged. What is actually damaged is considerably more than what Asprea claim. Aviva have said that I shouldn't get 1 penny in compensation! one penny! The report will cost me well over £800 to have written.

 

I have just spoken to my household insurer and they tell me that I have legal cover of up to £100,000 to take Aviva to court. I have lots of clear photographs and documents that show everything Asprea have done. The legal advice that I have just received said that it is a cut and dried case of negligence, because of the volume and quality of evidence I have. My case has just moved from Adjudication stage to the full ombudsman. If Aviva (well Asprea) try to evict me onto the street, I'll have no choice but to invoke the legal cover through my household insurance to prevent this! I cannot be turned out into the street. They have broken my home and damaged all of my contents! This is plain just wrong!

 

My video on YouTube is called "My banking and insurance Horror Story - Battle with First Direct Bank and Aviva Insurance". I would urge you to look at it and give me your opinions. Please bear with the length of the video. As you know, long and complex stories are really difficult to edit down. The video does however cut to the chase reasonably quickly to the photographs of the damage.

 

I had no idea that Aviva operated in such a poor and wreckless way, and it's customer service is none existing. I would welcome people to share their experiences of the company, including Asprea.

 

Kind Regards and thanks for listening!,

 

David

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Hi, and thanks for your question.

 

The YouTube video tells the full story in more detail.

 

But, to briefly answer your question, I returned home to discover all the damage caused by the Asprea appointed contractor, locked the contractors out by changing the locks, then took photographs of everything. I was told the work would take 10 days to complete, and therefore to take 10 days clothing.

 

That was 11 months ago! My house was fine. Now it's a shell. But don't just take my word for it... I urge you to look at the YouTube video, make up your own mind, then post your comment.

 

David

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HI, and thanks for your question,

 

As I mentioned earlier, all the chronology and photographic evidence I have posted onto YouTube explains the full story. But to answer your question directly - I brought Aviva/Asprea in to fix a simple leak.The leak was traced to the next door neighbou as coming from their drains. I have a suspended timber floor on the ground floor of my property because I live in a terraced 3 bedroomed house. Because the floor is suspended, it has what is called a sub-floor crawl space, a physical gap between the earth and the floorboards. The ingress of water always water stayed within the crawl space and never rose high enough to reach the joists, the flooring, or damage any of my contents.

 

Asprea brought in a drainage contractor at one stage to try and establish the source of the leak. The drainage contractor, lanes for drains, produced a report and took photographs of what the water looked like when they arrived. However, I have a copy of this report, and have posted the photographs from their own report onto my YouTube video. The pictures show the joists are bone dry, and also the level of the water, which can be clearly seen as well below the joists.

 

So to summarise.

 

1. I had a strange smell in my kitchen. I called out DynoRod and they found standing water underneath my floorboards. The level of the water was well below the joists.

 

2. I called Aviva to identify the source of the leak, fix it and remove the standing water.

 

3. They botched the job because they use Asprea, which i explain much more fully in my YouTube video.

 

Nobody has been in contact from Aviva to apologize for what has happened. I'm extremely angry! And people will completely understand why why they watch my video.

 

I can tell that it's Asprea that I'm dealing with at the Financial Ombudsman by their responses. None of them make sense, just like the company's actions.

 

What people on CAG need to understand about the FOS, and something that I'd like to highlight as a person going through the FOS process, is that it's not a court of law. It won't say who is right or wrong, which is what a court will do. FOS doesn't refer to case law. The FOS can't impose any fines or sanctions on Aviva. Aviva/Asprea know this. All the FOS can do is tell the company to put things right. A legal process is completely different as it goes into the detail regarding the evidence much more thoroughly than the FOS will, and the sanctions on Aviva in a court case are much higher.It lessens the risk for me to take it legal if I'm unhappy with the FOS decision as I have Platinum cover with Admiral Insurance, which has legal cover of upto £100,000 as standard. It also covers disputes with buildings and contents. To quote from what Admiral's Family legal protection covers:

 

"Property damage - We'll help you take legal action for financial compensation against a person or organisation that has caused damaged to your home". I spoke to Admiral and have been told that I am clearly covered.

 

Aviva will mainly leave you to deal with Asprea. Anyone that's dealt with Asprea will tell you just how poor they handle customers and their complaints. Look for posts on CAG and judge for yourself.

 

Kindest Regards,

 

David

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I have looked at your YT video and can totallly understand your position. Avivas appointed contractors have wrecked your home and Aviva are trying to avoid responsibility. This is shameful conduct by Aviva and their CEO should be putting this right, before this ends up with media coverage damaging the companies reputation.

 

Whilst you can take court action, i suspect it would take a long time. If any of the major newspapers were interested, i suspect you would get a much quicker resolution.

 

I suspect the contractors have said to Aviva that because you locked them out of the property, they never had a chance to put right damage to your home and it made the situation worse. They might also be denying sone of what has been done.

 

If you have not sent Aviva a Data Protection Subject Access Request, i would send this, asking for copies of everything in your claim file, including all contractors reports to Aviva. I suspect that the contractors have tried to cover their backsides by not giving Aviva accurate information.

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Thank you to everyone whom has read this post, and also maybe taken the time to visit YouTube to look at the video that I have posted there to highlight my case. My story is starting to circulate around other social media channels.

 

I intend to send Aviva a Data Protection Subject Access Request as suggested earlier.

 

Yesterday I took video to show how my house looks, and the impossible position Aviva/Asprea have left my situation. I see that Aviva monitor this forum. I hope this new video footage will prove what I'm saying about Asprea and it's contractors to the Ombudsman is true. Aviva and Asprea have left me in an impossible position, and if you see te video footage you will understand the reasons why. I've now been threatened by Aviva that they will terminate my alternative accommodation by the end of June.

 

Thanks you for reading and I hope you find my new video informative..

 

You can find the new video by going to Youtube and typing into the search "Part 2 - My Banking and Insurance Horror Story with First Direct and Aviva"

 

Kind regards,

 

David

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Having now viewed both videos, it still beggars belief that the contractors did what they did, especially to the upstairs. I appreciate them having to remove floor boards on the ground floor so that they can clear the excess moisture but they used fans. If they had used dehumidifiers, none of the upstairs problems would have occurred.

 

As I could see no wicking of moisture up the walls, I cannot see why they stripped the wall paper or the need for a full rewire. The kitchem should never have been touched as it had a concrete base. I do dispute your opinion of concrete being waterproof. Not all concrete is the same and water can wick through. Why skip the kitchen? They could easily have removed it and stored it in a safe place.

What assurances did the builders give you for the reason why they did the work upstairs? A novice would trust what they are saying.

 

There are a few builders on CAG who could give opinions which would differ from yours but on the whole, I feel many would support your stance.

 

I'm not sure if you are aware of this but if you accept the Financial Ombudsmans decision, you will be unable to take court action for the same claim.

 

If you feel the Ombudsmans decision is wrong, you can reject it then take court action on the grounds you have listed and use the Ombudsman decision as evidence.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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The builders tried to maximise their pay by transforming a non existent job into a massive job.

They thought that because insurance was paying it was fine.

Can you please explain why you let them wreck your house knowing that the problem was with the next door property???

Surely if my neighbour had a leaky roof and I was getting damp on the walls, I would ask the insurance to repair the neighbour's roof, not wreck my house.

Please explain...

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The builders tried to maximise their pay by transforming a non existent job into a massive job.

They thought that because insurance was paying it was fine.

Can you please explain why you let them wreck your house knowing that the problem was with the next door property???

Surely if my neighbour had a leaky roof and I was getting damp on the walls, I would ask the insurance to repair the neighbour's roof, not wreck my house.

Please explain...

 

Insurance cover is not for the neighbours property, just to repair/replace/cash settle the damage caused to the op's property.

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Insurance cover is not for the neighbours property, just to repair/replace/cash settle the damage caused to the op's property.

 

Sure, I meant next door insurance.

What I don't understand and any judge would surely ask, is why the op let work commence in his house when he knew that there was no damage and the problem was with the neighbour's property.

The op seem reluctant to answer this simple question.

As said, if I had no damage in my property I wouldn't let a bunch of bodgers wreck it.

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I was told at first that the source of all the water underneath my floorboards was coming from a broken drain at the rear of my property. Aviva replaced the drain.

 

I was then told that Aviva needed to drain the standing water underneath the floorboards, and in order to do this i would need to move out of my property and into alternative accommodation. I moved out and handed over the keys to the company brought in to pump out the water. Therefore, they (Aviva) had my front door keys to get in.

 

Aviva then pumped out the standing water, however it returned. They then brought in a second drainage contractor to find out where the water was coming from. Aviva's contractor said it was coming from my next door neighbour. I contacted the neighbour and they repaired their drains. The source of the water was therefore permanently fixed.

 

However, the company that still had my front door key still had to pump out the water underneath my floorboards, and I was still away from the house living in alternative accommodation at the time.

 

Aviva only said that they would remove some flooring in the dining room and underneath the stairs to pump the water out and dry it out. However, they then went on to do severe damage to my house and virtually all of my personal belongings.

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There was damage, there was water in the sub floor - not good, secondary flooding can be an absolute nightmare.

 

The nice guy in me want's to say that the OP put their trust into the underwriter, allowing them to survey the damage, appoint the contractor , had no reason to do anything other than go into the accommodation for the period recommended by the insurance company, they are the professionals who deal with thousands of claims year upon year ??

 

I'm not sure it's as simplistic as that once the claim started moving and the further damage was discovered.

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I was told at first that the source of all the water underneath my floorboards was coming from a broken drain at the rear of my property. Aviva replaced the drain.

 

I was then told that Aviva needed to drain the standing water underneath the floorboards, and in order to do this i would need to move out of my property and into alternative accommodation. I moved out and handed over the keys to the company brought in to pump out the water. Therefore, they (Aviva) had my front door keys to get in.

 

Aviva then pumped out the standing water, however it returned. They then brought in a second drainage contractor to find out where the water was coming from. Aviva's contractor said it was coming from my next door neighbour. I contacted the neighbour and they repaired their drains. The source of the water was therefore permanently fixed.

 

However, the company that still had my front door key still had to pump out the water underneath my floorboards, and I was still away from the house living in alternative accommodation at the time.

 

Aviva only said that they would remove some flooring in the dining room and underneath the stairs to pump the water out and dry it out. However, they then went on to do severe damage to my house and virtually all of my personal belongings.

 

Ok, all clear now and absolutely not your fault.

Make sure you line up your facts straight if you end up taking them to court

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  • 3 months later...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think you will find you legal expenses insurance to be useless as it probably excludes action against banks or insurance companies hence my petition at the official government petitions website headed Make it illegal to exclude Legal Expenses cover against Financial Institutions

 

 

Family legal expenses policies commonly sold by insurance companies as an add on for about £30 specifically exclude taking any legal action against any insurance company or bank for any insurance contract, savings, pension or investment policy. This should be outlawed as an unfair contract condition

 

I cant put the link as I am new to this site and it will not allow me to.

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