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Claims Management Companies are taking the PPI

Hand pouring money into another hand

Claims Management Companies will be delighted by today’s news that banks won’t be appealing the PPI ruling. But since you could easily claim the money back yourself, is it worth using them at all?

A quick recap: consumers who were mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) can now, after a long court case, get their money back.

Not only that, but the banks have been ordered to contact affected customers to tell them they might have been mis-sold.

Are Claims Management Companies necessary?

This is great news for consumers – individual PPI refunds could easily run into the thousands of pounds.

It’s also good news for Claims Management Companies (CMCs), who offer to ‘handle’ your claim for you – they do all the leg work, and you pick up a cheque (minus their fee, of course). Today’s announcement that the banks won’t be appealing the court judgement means these companies will be ramping up their marketing, ready to cash in on the news.

But is it really so hard to get your money back? Well, no. Anyone who’s ever written a strongly-worded letter can put in their own PPI claim without using a CMC.

You simply complain to your bank, wait for their response, then complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if you’re not happy with their response, or if you don’t get one in the stated time. Which? has even developed a handy PPI tool to help you craft the first letter.

Should I claim back my PPI?

Sean Scullion, who now works at Which?, was mis-sold thousands of pounds’ worth of PPI in 2005. The insurance, he was told, would protect him if he lost his job.

Unfortunately for Sean, he was a contractor and therefore excluded from the cover, a fact which the salesman neglected to tell him at the time. So when he was unemployed for three months he discovered that the thousands of pounds he’d spent in PPI didn’t entitle him to any help.

Although Sean felt helpless at the time, he’s now been able to put in a claim to get all of his PPI back – without using a CMC. Because he hasn’t used one, he’ll be able to keep all the money the bank pays back, without having to give a large cut to another company.

DIY financial complaints

One of my favourite things about the internet (leaving Twitter to one side, of course) is the sheer amount of help available on really complex subjects. Using just the power of Google I’ve learnt to build websites from scratch, make the best banana bread in the world, prep coaxial cable and even refer a dodgy estate agent to the Ombudsman.

And finance is no different. All the info you need to make a PPI complaint is online, so luckily PPI is no longer a tricky issue, so it does look like Claims Management Companies are a bit redundant.

But perhaps I’m wrong – are you keen on a bit of finance or complaint DIY? Or do you think it’s worth paying for someone else to do it while you put your feet up?

Comments
Alice says:
10 May 2011

I think complaints DIY is definitely the best foot forward. There is so much free information online I personally can’t understand why you would feel the need to turn to a claims management company with your case. The PPI situation is about getting back all the money you’re owed, not sharing it out amongst other financial companies who kick start their ad campaigns in the wake of big consumer wins such as this.

The individual should feel empowered to take on the banks themselves, especially now the figures have come out – apparently the financial ombudsman has received over 200,000 complaints about PPI policies so far and has upheld 3 out of 4 cases in favour of consumers. Great news!

Cherry says:
13 May 2011

I wrote to my bank manager about a PPI I had on a business loan and he told me that business loans are not included. Bearing in mind that I was not told when sold the loan that the insurance was optional and would cost me £250 in interest over the life of the loan, I am not a happy bunny.

Joanna Loane says:
3 August 2011

I followed the procedure and sent a template letter provided by Which to the lender by recorded delivery. I have waited 11 weeks and to date have had no response. I believe they are given 8 weeks to respond. What is the next step?

Rosie says:
5 September 2011

In the past I have had 3 credit cards and paid PPI on all three. I had an operation in 2005 and was unable to work and was off for over three months. I put in three claims of which two responded within about two weeks and paid out. The third took ages which means I had to go back to my GP to send the same details as I did before to all three again which incur a charge. To date I still have not been paid by that one. I have letters to say they would pay the money into my bank account. I have checked several times throught the years and still no money was paid to my account. I have written to them again an they are looking in to it. I suppose that would take another five or more years. The amount they were paying me was half of what the other banks have paid me. I owed almost identical amounts.

Should I claim back PPI from those two banks who paid me benefits? I am sending a claim to the one who did not pay.

Thank you.

Hi Rosie,

Just because you have claimed on PPI this does not mean it wasn’t mis-sold and you can still raise a complaint about this. However, should your complaint be upheld, the bank can deduct the amount of any claim that has been paid out from any redress payable.

Have a look at this mis-selling checklist to check if you were mis-sold : http://www.which.co.uk/campaigns/personal-finance/the-ppi-campaign/mis-sold-ppi/. If you were mis-sold our tool can help you to put in a complaint.

angela says:
16 September 2011

i am interested in claiming my ppi back myself but i am unsure what the procedures are can you give me some information please.

i have sent details to a firm that deals with this but it has taken over 2 years now and i have had hardly any correspondence from them.

please can you help. thank you

Hi Angela, sure, you can use our free online tool to send the complaint yourself. Details are here: http://www.which.co.uk/ppicomplaint

Hi Angela,

To claim it back yourself you need to put in a complaint to the bank or firm that you got the original loan or credit from. Is this what you mean when you say you’ve sent details to a firm already? They should respond to your complaint within 16 weeks.

The easiest way of doing it yourself, if you have the policy number of the insurance (which you can find on your statements), is to use our free online tool which you can find here: http://www.which.co.uk/campaigns/personal-finance/the-ppi-campaign/claim-back/ Click on “start your claim” and follow the steps and it will take you through the process.

It will ask you for:
1. the name of the bank or firm that you got the loan/credit from
2. the insurance policy number
3. how you were mis-sold – there is a checklist with the different types of mis-selling, so have a read through and select the one that applies to you.
4. your contact details so the bank/firm can get in touch with you to let you know how your complaint is progressing

The tool will create a tailored letter of complaint for you, with your name and contact details, and it will either email it directly to the bank/firm, or you might have to print and post it yourself.

You then need to wait for a confirmation letter from the bank/firm, to let you know they’ve received it and they will then deal with your complaint within 8 weeks- or 16 weeks at the most as they’ve been given a time extension to deal with PPI complaints.

There is also a Frequently Asked Questions page here that may answer some of your queries: http://www.which.co.uk/campaigns/personal-finance/the-ppi-campaign/frequently-asked-questions/

I hope this helps- let us know how it goes!

My father (87, deaf, housebound, frail, on Telephone Preference Register – with NO PPI or debts) was persuaded to give his card details to a claims management company which took £250. I have power of attorney and cancelled the agreement within the cooling off period. They wrote to say the refund was in progress at the beginning of July – but nothing has appeared. The Financial Ombudsman say this is not in their remit, and I have sent all info to Claims Regulation at the Ministry of Justice – but nothing is happening – and I am not sure whether they are able to make the company refund my father. How do I get my father’s money back? Do I have to go to Small Claims Court?

Hi Helen, the simplest way to get your money back is Section 75, but that only works if the payment was made by credit card. Just put in a claim with your financial provider. If it’s a debit card you can do something similar by issuing a chargeback request with your provider, but that’s less of a guarantee. You can also re-establish contact with the company, and tell them they should be refunding your money in a reasonable time. You could quote citing section 14 of the Distance Selling Regulations which refer to 30 days as a reference point for what reasonable should entail. Finally, your last resort would indeed by taking them to a Small Claims Court, and it may be worth your while stating that this is your intention in your final correspondence with the company.

Could I also ask you to send through an email stating what happened (your father’s name, the date and time of the call, the number dialled, whether he received any contract information, the date and time the payment was taken, and anything else you feel may be pertinent) to the letters@which.co.uk email address citing my name – Nicolas Frankcom – in the subject line? The situation you’ve described sounds familiar to us and any evidence will allow us to look in to this matter further with the regulator.

Nick

nick wolkenstein says:
27 September 2011

Ihave had several loans and creditcards , i am unsure if i have been missold ppi can i still apply for a refund

mrsmav says:
30 September 2011

i have car finance with blue motor loans, but apparently they were not fsa approved when i took my loan so will not give me back my ppi money!!!
is this correct?? can still reclaim it??

Helen Thomson says:
6 October 2011

I have had two holiday ownership loans from First National. I wrote to them regarding mis-sold ppi. I was never given the choice of ppi. I received a letter from GE Money Consumer Lending Ltd was unaware of any dealing with them. Letter stated “Whilst GE Money provided the finance to you for the ppi GE Money did not sell it to you.Because your complaint is specifically about the advice you were given, and because GE Money neither sold this ppi to you,nor were they present at the point of sale,I do not feel we can investigate your complaint fully or fairly”
We bought our holiday points from Grand Vacation Club GE Money state that we will have to take it up with them. Our loans were taken through First National, never were GE Money mentioned to us , can you advise on this matter.

Maria says:
6 October 2011

I received an offer letter 2 months ago from lloyds for my ppi refund. I have telephoned them on few occasions asking why they have not refunded me as they said they would refund the money straight into my account. The answer I keep getting is they have no time limit and cannot give me even a rough idea of when they are actually going to give me the money. Can anyone advise me what I can do to get the money they offered me. I used a company invester compensation to make the claim for me and they have already taken their money, over £550. and said they have done their job by getting me the offer letter.

Hi Marie , we are having the same thing with Lloyds as you are we have been waiting for the same amount of time for our refunded money to come back to us , we are going to contact them next week to ask what the hold up is we were told that it would be sent ot us via a cheque asap but 2 months on we are still waiting .

HI Marie &Sue

I am having the same problems with LLoyds. I originally starting claiming in 2009 and didnt hear anything from them, so I phoned them back in August and they said they had closed my case because i hadn’t responded to any correspondance (which i did not receive!!) I have been an offer in October but still haven’t received my payment! I am getting increasingly annoyed with Lloyds so much so that i am thinking of changing banks completely!

Have either of you received payment yet?

Hamoud says:
12 October 2011

Hello,
I need help and guidance from anyone who is kind to help. I have PPI with the bank and really I do not know who really to trust in their help in getting my PPI back as I have no clues where to start.
Thank You.

Michael says:
19 October 2011

Hi, I had 2 credit cards with PPI on it. I cancelled 1 of PPI’s and then half a year later I cancelled PPI on the second card.
The problem is I don’t know the policy numbers. I guess I could phone Lloyds to ask.
Also, I found a document from lloyds tsb, “your personal summary & our recommendations” back from 2007 when its says that PPI was sold to me because my current circumstances allow me to have it. Well, as far as I remember I was getting paid by cash weekly without any sort of agreement with my dodgy employer. The bank clerk said as long as I’m working I should be fine and handed the letter with policy explanations together with credit cards agreement. How to challenge that? Am I still eligible to claim PPI ?

Hi Michael, if you cannot find the policy numbers then yes, you should start by contacting Lloyds and asking them to provide them. We have heard from people who were told that the policy numbers couldn’t be located, or that they don’t have a record of them having had PPI. However, don’t accept this as the last word on the matter – you can ask the PPI provider for details of whoever it is that underwrites their PPI policies, then you can contact the underwriter directly and find out the policy numbers yourself. I realise this is a bit more of an effort than it should be, but do pursue the matter if you feel you were mis-sold as you are entitled to compensation. And let us know how you get on.

Robert says:
23 October 2011

How long should lloyds be taking to pay me, they have admitted they missold but that was two months ago ,and still no money ???

stacy says:
23 October 2011

i have recieved an offer off lloyds tsb for ppi can someone please help me in telling me where this money will get paid off my existing loan or straight into bank account?

A company got in touch with me to see if I was entitled to anything from the PPI.. to cut a long story short… the bank have made a good offer and I can claim it from them… what is confusing me is that the company say that the letter I got from the bank they want me to copy it and send it to them as the Lenders (the bank) will not forward that info to the company… what do I do…I realise that the company will want to be paid for the services.. (I have already paid £120) do I do as they say or do I just accept the offer from the bank… yours sincerley… jenny

phil says:
23 October 2011

hello charlotte slayford i just want to ask regarding my claim.barclay send me a letter that i have my refund in 40days but now it’s already 45days i haven’t get my refund yet.what i gonna do?i call them already but they said the money will be soon in my acct..40days waiting is so long now more than 40days still no money yet.

I recieved an offer from barclays and they stated I will hear from them within 40 WORKING DAYS. It is now 42 working days and still waiting.

Sharon says:
13 November 2011

Have you had your money yet? I’m at 50 days now 🙁

Kath says:
24 October 2011

Can you clarify several points on PPI and sorting out of an estate? The person died without a will, but a claim against Capital One had been started before they passed away. A letter has come back from a claims company stating a refund of £20k plus is coming. What happens to the money? Also can the estate administrator claim refunds on PPI on other policies which had been taken out by the deceased and jointly with the surviving spouse?

chris says:
31 October 2011

Hi all. On the 06/10/2011 I sent a FOS credit card complaint’s template letter to Natwest’s ppi complaint’s department in Manchester, On the 25/10/2011 the letter came back to me inside a separate envelope which in turn was addressed to me. My template letter had been opened. On the front of my letter there was a royal mail sticker with six tick box’s. One tick box marked ‘refused ‘ had been ticked. Could you try and enlighten as to why this should be?. As far as i’m aware i filled in the letter correctly, giving all my detail’s. Has anyone else had this experience with Natwest when dealing with credit card ppi?

ian minto says:
3 November 2011

hi, I know i was miss sold ppi on a credit card ( capital one ), but it was a few years ago and the card is now payed off and i have no details, ( account number ). is there anyway i can get back my insurance payments?

Kath says:
6 November 2011

I am helping someone in a similar situation. One option is to ask the three main credit reference agencies for a copy of your credit record. For £2 each you will get a copy of the data they hold on you (Equifax, Experian, and Call Credit). This will tell you when you had the card. From the details you will be given you can piece together your claim. A good site to look at is run by Martin Lewis. http://www.moneysavingexpert.com Hope this helps.

Hi. I started a loan with FirstPlus back in 2000 and paid it off in 2003. Does anyone know if this too long ago to have any success claiming back the PPI which we were told we needed in order to get he loan?

Hi Des – the clock starts ticking in terms of when you can make a complaint from when you first became aware that you may have been mis-sold. You have three years from when you became aware to make a complaint to whoever sold you the PPI. Regulation of insurance sales didn’t go over to the FSA until 2005, but there were still clear rules that sellers of PPI had to follow, depending on who sold it to you. Please do look at the PPI infomation pages on our website and if you decide to put in a complaint, consider using our free on-line complaints tool http://www.which.co.uk/campaigns/personal-finance/the-ppi-campaign/mis-sold-ppi/ and don’t forget to take your complaint to the Ombudsman if you are not happy with the response from your lender