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Small Claims Court or Financial Ombudsman?


ONAMISSION14
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Hi there,

Can anyone help please as I'm new to this game .... have got to the stage where I worked out the charges from Abbey and wrote to them with all the details. Got a pathetic 'goodwill gesture' offer which I'm not going to accept (obviously!) but have seen other sites that suggest going through the Ombudsman as the next step as these have 'all' been settled (to date). I have read lots of threads on here re going to the Small Claims Courts.

Just wondered if anyone has any thoughts on the Ombudsman route as it does seem like less hassle ... anyone been that way???

Any thoughts would be welcomed.

Many thanks

 

(p.s. well done to all those guys who have got their money back! :) )

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My understanding from the ICO is that the FO should be the first option when making a claim for charges....but I know that the FO is absolutely snowed under so I have no idea how long it would take. The court route takes a considerable length of time and money....whereas the FO doesn't cost anything.

 

I think they are both time consuming so guess it's up to you really. I don't think you get interest or anything like that via the FO.

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Yes, I agree it does......the other interesting thing that the Information Commissioners Office said was that you do not need to have copies of all of your statements for the FO to deal with your claim.....guess they get the info they need direct from the bank, which saves another hassle and months of waiting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update ...

Having weighed up my options I decided to go down the Ombudsman route ( I would still have the option of going to the courts afterwards if need be) and got an acknowledgement by return of post. Within 7 days of that (12th July) I received a further letter from them saying they have written to the Abbey giving them 2 options. These were to either pay me in full or provide details to them so that they can make a 'decision' as to the outcome.

Most interestingly the letter also said that to date not one bank has made them make a decision! Of course it is now up to the Abbey and it may take time for them to settle but this is looking very hopeful! :)

 

... I will post a further update when I hear more for anyone that may be interested.

 

I would welcome any thoughts from anyone else who has gone down this route or is considering it.

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Hi there, just been reading your thread and finding it very interesting, like yourself i am still trying to consider the 2 options and am just trying to way up the 2!!!

 

I would prefer the courts as you have the chance of claiming interest etc but going through the courts means court fees which as im not feeling very confident with my claim im worried about losing the court fees etc.

 

Good luck with your claim.

Keep us posted!!

Hugo

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Hi Onamission,

 

I've been trying to decide which way to go too. It sounds like the Financial Ombudsman route is much easier than the court and does not involve any fees.

 

What did you send to the FO? Was it a letter with a summary of charges attached or did you send anything else?

 

Did the Financial Ombudsman give any indication of how long Abbey have to reply to them?

 

Good luck and I'll be watching this space!

 

June

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Hugo,

Thanks for your post ... I understand that the court fees vary and depend on the size of your claim but you can include these (aswell as the interest) in your overall court claim. I know my court fees would be £120 (I'm reclaiming £2600+) and think this is the maximum fee payable (?). There appear to be many threads on this site re this should you want to check the cost but remember you do get these back. The Ombudsman doesn't cost anything but as mentioned by Clarion48 interest isn't included in the claim (I'm personally happy to forego these for less hassle!).

 

jmsterious1952,

I just sent the Ombudsman a copy of the letters I had sent the Abbey including my spreadsheet of the charges incured (my letter to Abbey asked them for the breakdown of their costs in bouncing my payments etc) and Abbey's reply offering me £175 'goodwill' (the letter included a sentence saying they were "unable to provide this breakdown" but gave no reason why!). The Ombudsman said they'd write to me again in 6 weeks if they haven't heard back from the Abbey.

 

Hope this helps .... watch this space :rolleyes:

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hi, i was geting no where fast with abbey and was on the verge of using the small claims court when i decided to try the FO first. i phoned there number and they took all my details down and posted me a form with it practically all filled in with my details within a couple of days. They sent a letter back about 2 weeks later saying they would contact the abbey about me case and keep me informed and 2/3 weeks later they said that the abbey had agreed to pay back all my outstanding bank charges as a good will gesture. all in all i think it took about 5 weeks for the FO to get the result andi found them very helpfull and suprisingly quick in my case.. hope this helps

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Hi Onamission

 

Thanks for your reply. I looked at the FO site and found the form and it looks quite simple to fill in. I've decided to try this route first as having followed a lot of threads on here I'm not sure I am up to the court battle as I have been off work with stress reaction for the past few months.

 

I'll being following your thread with interest- good luck!

 

Hi Buoy11

 

It sounds as though the FO really got Abbey into gear in your case! Did you get a refund of just your charges or was the interest included too? I just wondered if it was a case of if you don't ask, you don't get or whether the FO disregard the interest.

 

Take care both!

 

June

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Hi Bhoy11,

WOW! Thanks for posting .... that has cheered me up .... here's hoping I get the same result!

 

Hi June,

Sorry to hear your off work, really hope you can have some success with your claim. Sounds as though it's worth going down the Ombudsman route first then. I take it you've written to the Abbey already, did they give you a miserly goodwill offer too?

By the way I did see on another thread (not Abbey) that you can hold out for 8% interest on the amount they owe you if you want to by rejecting their offer so i may look into this further ... I'll let you know what I find!

 

Take care of yourself eh!

 

'O'

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

Just to let you know that I have now received a letter (dated 25th July) from the Ombudsman saying that Abbey have offered a FULL refund of the charges .... £2681 .... every penny!!!

The Ombudsman has been brilliant .... I recommend this to every one, must be simpler than going to court!!

One aside ... I saw a Lloyds thread suggesting that I could now go back to them saying I want 8% on top, any thoughts anyone? I'm not really greedy (honest!) but I'm tempted, after all they have had my money all this time!!!

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One aside ... I saw a Lloyds thread suggesting that I could now go back to them saying I want 8% on top, any thoughts anyone? I'm not really greedy (honest!) but I'm tempted, after all they have had my money all this time!!!

 

Firstly, congrats on your win (I'm not sure this Fisher Price computer lets me do fancy fonts & colours:( ).

 

You can't apply for interest on a claim after it has been file at court via N1 or MCOL. As regards your claim, have you asked the FOS directly?

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Hi Onamission,

 

Congratulations on your win!

 

I had just written back to Abbey re their goodwill gesture saying I would accept as a part payment but was still pursuing the balance via the FOS when the announcement was made about the test case.

 

I had told Abbey in the letter that I was still willing to negotiate until the FOS took over my case. I had the form filled in and was copying letters etc when the announcement was made.

 

I havent heard back from Abbey and I guess I cant pass it to the FOS now but will continue to pursue my claim once the situation is clearer.

 

Take care and once again, well done!

 

June

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