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Pursue complaint with bank or take to financial ombudsman?

(11 Posts)
NinaRose Mon 29-Dec-14 14:55:09

DH made a complaint to his bank about incorrect advice he had been given by the customer service team over the phone. The bank has written back, saying that in their opinion no incorrect advice has been given. DH is very financially savvy (works in a closely related industry) and double checked the advice given to him at the time and is not very happy about the bank's response, especially as it seems that the bank have (deliberately?) misunderstood the main reason he complained and left a number of points raised by DH out of their response. The bank have told him in their letter to contact the financial ombudsman if he's not satisfied with the response.

Can we request transcripts of the phone calls from the bank to prove that DH double checked the advice given? Is it even worth it or should DH just take the matter straight to financial ombudsman? We will definitely want to pursue the matter further as the incorrect advice cost us £££s.

Dollyemi Mon 29-Dec-14 14:59:48

It'll need to go straight to the ombudsman now that they've had a chance to respond to the complaint. That's as much as I know I'm afraid, citizens advice may have more info

thatstoast Mon 29-Dec-14 15:04:59

Write back, state you're not happy and you'll consider the matter closed if they agree to x (whatever figure works for you) and if you don't receive confirmation of that within 10 working days then you'll forward the complaint onto the ombudsman. I wouldn't expect a response from the bank, it's more of a courtesy. I've dealt with the ombudsman before and found them really useful. If nothing else it'll make sure the complaint gets seen by the right people.

Lokisglowstickofdestiny Mon 29-Dec-14 15:07:02

You can go back to the bank to get transcripts of the calls, they have to give these to you under the Data Protection Act (although they have up to 40 days to comply with your request. You can go to the Ombudsman though now as you have received a response from the bank. There is no reason why you can't do both at the same time.

NinaRose Mon 29-Dec-14 19:29:14

How does it work with the ombudsman, do they only consider the points responded to by the bank or all of the points raised by DH in his complaint? The bank chose to (?) ignore several points included in the complaint letter, one of which was the main reason why we consider that we are due compensation.

How do we "build the case" for the ombudsman? Obviously we are furious at the bank but want to present a well reasoned argument that will give us best chance of getting the ombudsman to rule in our favour.

thatstoast Mon 29-Dec-14 20:08:23

You might be overthinking it. As I said, it's more about getting the right people to see your complaint. I used to work for a bank (lloyds), the front line complaints team are trained to fob people off. The FOS team which would deal with the higher level stuff are trained to actually resolve things.

You send in a very simple form which states your issue. You should send them pretty much exactly what you sent to the bank. You can include your correspondence. If you're not being completely unreasonable then I would expect a good result.

NinaRose Mon 29-Dec-14 20:13:47

Thank you! We will write back to the bank and contact the ombudsman. Just wanted to make sure we won't be doing anything that could jeopardise our case.

LordEmsworth Mon 29-Dec-14 20:19:51

Well, you have to have exhausted the bank's complaints procedure before you can take it to FOS. If their letter gives FOS' contact details, then it means they consider their procedure complete so there's no point going back to them.

Have you actually lost out financially or otherwise as a result of the wrong information? If your DH double checked then how did that not show it to be wrong? You wouldn't get compensation just for it being wrong, or your original complaint being badly handled (which is what your second post implies, though your first post is clearer) - your complaint to FOS should ideally be clear about this.

NinaRose Tue 30-Dec-14 07:53:39

Yes, we have lost out directly (bank told us something would cost x and it cost y) and indirectly (as a result of the incorrect advice we did something which we then had to undo, at cost). Bank has not addressed the first point in their response (not sure why, would have thought it was the easy one to resolve) and disagree with the second as they consider that they didn't give incorrect advice in the first place.

It's complicated but it all comes down to handling a fairly complex transaction, which is exactly why DH double checked the advice given to him as he didn't trust the first customer adviser he spoke to as they didn't seem to know what they were talking about. He was then given the same advice by a second customer adviser. Somewhere along the way he was then told by a third customer adviser that the original (x2) advice had been wrong, by which point it was too late.

NinaRose Tue 30-Dec-14 08:06:42

Under DPC, can we request for copies of all communications to do with our case - not only phone calls but file notes, emails etc?

LordEmsworth Tue 30-Dec-14 09:58:11

You can ask, there may be a small fee but you should be able to get a copy of everything that relates to you personally.

Is the bank saying the information given was correct? Or are they saying that the wrong information was not given? The problem with the former is whether it could be considered to be correct in some circumstances; so look out for anything which indicates the person you spoke to knew enough about your circumstances that they could have known it would be wrong for you. If the latter, then the correspondence incl. phone recordings will presumably be all that's needed...

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