Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    Legal Ombudsman
    Claims management company (CMC) complaints - ask the ombudsman your question
    • #1
    • 3rd Jun 15, 12:11 PM
    Claims management company (CMC) complaints - ask the ombudsman your question 3rd Jun 15 at 12:11 PM
    Have you used a CMC to reclaim PPI or other financial products and received poor service? The Legal Ombudsman is here to answer your CMC queries and concerns. We resolve complaints about legal service providers and CMCs and our service is free.

    It may be that your CMC has:
    • failed to do what they agreed
    • hasn’t handled your mis-sold PPI claim the way you expected them to
    • has been slow in responding
    • increased their charges without explaining why
    • unreasonably refused you a service
    • pressured you to accept a service you did not want
    We will investigate your complaint and if we decide the service you received was unreasonable, we can make sure your CMC puts it right.


    How to get in touch with your questions and concerns

    We're happy to answer your questions in this thread, so just reply below and we'll get back to you.

    Alternatively there are lots of other ways you can get in touch.

    1. Use our live chat function Mon-Fri between 08:30am and 5:30pm: https://legalombudsman.live-chat-help.com/
    2. Call us Mon-Fri between 08:30am-5:30pm on 0300 555 0333 or on our minicom 0300 555 1777
    3. Email us on cmc@legalombudsman.org.uk
    4. Or write to us at Legal ombudsman, PO Box 6804, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WG

    You can also follow us on facebook or twitter @Legal_Ombudsman
    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 21-07-2015 at 12:08 PM.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
Page 2
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 21st Sep 15, 8:25 PM
    • 1,242 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    Alpine Star, did you sent it to the UK Legal ombudsman as tehre is American spelling in there
    Originally posted by dunstonh

    No, Claims Management Regulator. It's an annoying default American spelling glitch when I copy & paste from an e-mail to a forum post.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hi Alpine Star,

    The CMR are correct in that flight delay compensation is not an area they regulate, therefore there is no requirement for companies doing this to be authorised.

    However, we are not bound by what the CMR class as a regulated claims management activity. If a CMC is authorised by the CMR, then we are able to consider any claims management activity they undertake, whether it’s a ‘regulated activity or not. This includes flight delays, as well as areas such as accident management, council tax refunds etc.

    Unfortunately, if the CMC is not authorised by the CMR, then they also fall outside of our jurisdiction. Just because a CMC deals with unregulated activities it does not mean that they are not authorised, so we are able to assist in some circumstances. We can also look at previously authorised CMCs, where the service they provided was at a time they were authorised. To check a CMCs authorisation status, you can use this link:
    https://www.claimsregulation.gov.uk/search.aspx
    Last edited by Legal Ombudsman; 22-09-2015 at 9:45 AM.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Alpine Star, did you sent it to the UK Legal ombudsman as tehre is American spelling in there

    I would just like to thank the Legal ombudsman for having someone posting on this boards and engaging in discussion. It is a shame that the LO is soft touch and doesnt work in the same way as the FOS (who look at fairness of £25 fees whereas CMCs can get tens of thousands of pounds without a blink of an eye).
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Hi dunstonh

    Glad we can help and engage in useful conversation on here! You may be aware that for the Legal jurisdiction we have frequently published thematic reviews which look into the standard practice of lawyers and highlighted where we think practices need to change. However for this change to happen across the board it is important that regulation is used to deal with issues such as this.

    It may interest you to know that ...

    In the Summer Budget – announced by Chancellor George Osborne on 8 July, he stated:

    “There is a case for reform of the fees that CMCs charge consumers, particularly in those instances where consumer complaints fall within the remit of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Therefore, the government will bring forward proposals for the introduction of a cap on the charges that CMCs can apply to their customers, and will consult on how this will work in practice” [Summer Budget 2015 – 1.207]

    This is work the CMR will take forward and we look forward to feeding into this consultation.

    You can find the Summer Budget 2015 document at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summer-budget-2015
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 23rd Sep 15, 6:00 AM
    • 1,242 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    What are LeO's uphold rates? It's not really clear from the available data.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hello Alpine Star,

    We will be publishing our six month data for our claims management jurisdiction this week, we do not publish our uphold rates and instead focus on information around remedies awarded, percentage of closed cases by informal resolution and similar measurements. Thanks for your comments on here, sorry we can’t help you further on this issue, if you would like any more information then please contact us directly or make a freedom of information request.


    Many thanks
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
  • esmerellda
    Today then

    http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/the-results-are-in-latest-cmc-data/

    Get the vital statistics regarding our first six months of dealing with complaints
    about claims management companies (CMCs) from our downloadable infographic.



    not massively informative really xx
  • esmerellda
    Ahh and three case studies

    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 25th Sep 15, 7:13 AM
    • 1,242 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    Hello Alpine Star,

    We will be publishing our six month data for our claims management jurisdiction this week, we do not publish our uphold rates and instead focus on information around remedies awarded, percentage of closed cases by informal resolution and similar measurements. Thanks for your comments on here, sorry we can’t help you further on this issue, if you would like any more information then please contact us directly or make a freedom of information request.


    Many thanks
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    Thanks.


    Are the 56% closed cases resolved by informal resolution a percentage of the 648 cases you accepted?
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hi Alpine Star,

    Out of the 478 cases that we resolved, 56% were by informal resolution. Please call us if you would like any more information.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
    • widdler
    • By widdler 1st Oct 15, 1:43 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    widdler
    Just asking for an opinion
    Hi I recently requested the services of a CMC solely on the basis that I have no time to trace through my history to find the 'basic' details. I work away a lot and lecture so cannot be making phone calls in the daytime.

    I was unimpressed when they harassed me for all the technical information they claimed I wouldn't actually need and so some of my loans have been left unclaimed. I have noticed how their recent marketing material claims they will 'guide you through it' instead of 'taking care of it all' as they used to claim.

    After the few claims were made, I was contacted a couple of times and asked to call back. Every time I did I was told they were experiencing high call volume, and so was asked to leave a message and they would call back - I couldn't even hold on the line. A few times I left messages and they never returned my calls.

    After a couple of my claims came back unsuccessful I finally had success with one on my bank overdraft (a claim that the CMC devised as I had no idea). This claim was to the value of 1 British pound and I had a letter from the CMC saying they will waive their fee due to the low value of the claim.

    I then received a response from my credit card, which was a claim I truly felt I was owed. This came back unsuccessful also and so through all of the CMC work I got back 1 pound.


    I felt the need to appeal the Credit card claim and so got involved myself making all the phone call and providing the evidence and reasons why. Through my appeal I was awarded my claim of approximately 4.4k.

    Naturally now I have been awarded a significant value my phone is ringing again, I am getting text messages and letters from the CMC wanting their cut - I am happy to part with it as I knew it was part of the process..

    However I do feel as if the CMC involvement coming back unsuccessful and myself having to appeal and get involved directly kinda suggests that the CMC didn't earn it... I might add that my appeal was all done directly with the CC company and I never discussed the initial failed claim result and appealing with the CMC.


    Again, I am not trying to swindle out of paying, I'll gladly do so.. but I am just wondering if I have a right to complain??


    Thanks for your time.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 1st Oct 15, 9:08 AM
    • 88,148 Posts
    • 53,378 Thanks
    dunstonh
    However I do feel as if the CMC involvement coming back unsuccessful and myself having to appeal and get involved directly kinda suggests that the CMC didn't earn it.
    Very few of them earn it. Most just put the form in the envelope and post it to the free of charge complaints address you could have sent it to yourself. That is the extent of it.

    but I am just wondering if I have a right to complain??
    You have a right to complain about anything you like. However, you got what you paid for. The problem is that your expectation of what you were buying was wrong. That is unlikely to be a successful complaint.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hi widdler,

    Thanks for your post and sorry to hear about the problems you are having. In short, yes, you do have the right to complain. Based on your post, it would seem that you are unhappy with both the initial advice you were given by the CMC (about the level of involvement you would have to have in your claim), and the failure of the CMC to appeal your unsuccessful credit card claim and/or advise you of your right to appeal. These are service issues that would fall within our jurisdiction to consider.

    You would need to complain to the CMC in the first instance, and we would recommend that you do this in writing (letter or email). If you are not satisfied with the CMCs response, or do not get a response within eight weeks, we can then investigate matters for you.

    If you would like any further information on our process, or need advise and assistance with making your complaint to the CMC, please contact us on 0300 555 0333 (option 1). You can also visit our website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk/cmc/ where we have a Live Chat facility.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
    • magpiecottage
    • By magpiecottage 1st Oct 15, 10:43 AM
    • 9,130 Posts
    • 5,584 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    Just to say that I managed to get my complaint re-opened. There seems to have been a failure to match documents to the file properly. The adjudicator (sorry - that is FOS rather than LeO terminology) has taken the view that it should be upheld but it is now going to an ombudsman.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Consumer guidance:
    We have created some consumer guidance recently that that we hope you find useful:

    Claims management complaints - can we help? http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/can-we-help.pdf

    Top tips if you are considering instructing a CMC: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Top-tips-instructing-a-claims-management-company.pdf

    Common mistakes made by CMC customers and how to avoid them: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Common-mistakes-customers-of-CMCs-make.pdf
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 13th Oct 15, 4:36 PM
    • 1,242 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    In the Common mistakes made by CMC customers and how to avoid them it says:


    ''1. Be aware of which accounts the CMC are going to make a claim about on your behalf. Most CMCs’ contracts will say that they are going to look into all of your accounts and, if you have joint accounts, they may look at these too. Be aware of which accounts the CMC are going to work on and let them know if there are any accounts you do not need their help with, put this in writing (an email is fine).''

    I don't know how that's going to work. How can you unilaterally vary the terms of the contract by simply sending an e-mail?

    CMCs who's contracts mean that you assign the rights to PPI claims on any account you might have had and for which there is no specified end date are unfair especially because it can make it very expensive to cancel and LeO shouldn't tolerate them.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hello Alpine Star,

    Thank you for your comments. We recommend that you are clear with the CMC about which claims you are instructing them for and which ones you are not. If they then look into claims that you have specifically told them not to look at, we will consider this when looking into any complaint about the service provided.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
  • esmerellda
    So I think you are saying that if I signed up with a CMC back in 2011 and they have yet to obtain any refunds for me, I could write to them to tell them I don't wish them to look into, say, Halifax Loan, Barclay Credit Card, Welcome Finance etc and then pick up sorting it out myself ? And this would stop the CMC trying to claim 35% from any refunds I successfully obtain from those companies, despite it being in the contract they have the rights over 35% of any and all refunds for PPI ?

    ( just checking )

    Actually, would I be able to cancel any services ordered with the CMC for lack of service over the last 4 years, take up the complaints myself, succeed and not worry about having to pay the CMC... where would the LeO stand on that ?
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 13th Oct 15, 8:05 PM
    • 1,242 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    We recommend that you are clear with the CMC about which claims you are instructing them for and which ones you are not.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    The problem is that many CMC don't work like that ie take 'instructions' on specific claims. They get your agreement to rifle through your credit history to find potential claims with any and all lenders. You know like the ''Have I got PPI?'' model.


    This leaves the consumer with no control. And as esmerellda alluded to, if at any point you attempt to restrict or cancel the agreement the CMC will charge you for ''work done'' on what was their own self-initiated fishing exercise without even having identified any claims.
    • ~Brock~
    • By ~Brock~ 14th Oct 15, 9:34 AM
    • 1,568 Posts
    • 1,455 Thanks
    ~Brock~
    The problem is that many CMC don't work like that ie take 'instructions' on specific claims. They get your agreement to rifle through your credit history to find potential claims with any and all lenders. You know like the ''Have I got PPI?'' model.


    This leaves the consumer with no control. And as esmerellda alluded to, if at any point you attempt to restrict or cancel the agreement the CMC will charge you for ''work done'' on what was their own self-initiated fishing exercise without even having identified any claims.
    Originally posted by Alpine Star
    The subsequent issue with the 'Have I got PPI' model is that after the fishing exercise has been completed, the subsequent claims they make to the individual lenders are based on completely fabricated series of allegations.

    This is a clear breach of Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and it is a complete and utter joke that this practice has been virtually ignored by the relevant regulators since the day these firms crawled out from under their stones.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hi Esmerellda and Apline Star,

    Thank you both for your comments.

    The key is to agree with the CMC what accounts / lenders are to be included in their investigations before you sign a contract. The contract you sign should reflect what has been agreed; if it doesn’t you shouldn’t sign it.

    If you have already signed a contract that allows the CMC to investigate all potential claims in your name/joint names; you will need to consider the cancellation terms in the contract. These can vary, so I would recommend that you review these terms before you decide to pursue the claims yourself and / or cancel the contract with your CMC.

    It is often the case that a cancellation fee will be charged to either reflect the work done, or if a claim has been started, to maintain their percentage fee of any successful outcome in the future.

    If you feel the terms are unfair and / or you are dissatisfied with the delay you have experienced, you can complain about this to the CMC. If unresolved, you can bring your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. Any agreement to the terms will clearly hold weight in our investigation, but we can conclude terms are unreasonable and direct remedies to resolve this if required.
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official organisation representative of the Legal Ombudsman service. MSE has given permission for me to post. You can see my name on the organisations with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com"
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

887Posts Today

7,012Users online

Martin's Twitter