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 3
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hi Brock

    Thank you for your comment.

    We are working hard to provide feedback to the industry to improve working practices. We also continually make the Claims Management Regulator aware of any concerns we have if we identify that a CMC has failed to comply with the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules.
    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"
    • Insider101
    • By Insider101 14th Oct 15, 5:55 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 594 Thanks
    Insider101
    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.
    Originally posted by Alpine Star
    This is the correct answer. It is one thing for someone to seek representation on a specific issue that they have a grievance with (though completely unnecessary in most instances). It is another entirely to ask you to sign an open ended contract which allows them to make what usually amount to a series of utter fishing expeditions on your behalf.
    • Insider101
    • By Insider101 14th Oct 15, 6:05 PM
    • 961 Posts
    • 594 Thanks
    Insider101
    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.
    Originally posted by ~Brock~
    I agree 100%. The only work some CMCs will carry out is asking all the major lenders whether you have had PPI with them. They then reel off a series of standard letters which are either completely contradictory (you never signed up for PPI but at the same time you were told it was compulsory, you had 12 months sick pay but were self employed...) or utterly irrelevant (single premium complaints about credit card PPI, sick pay complaints about unemployment only MPPI policies). I'm not sure to what extent the good folks from LEO understand these issues as they are obviously latercomers to the PPI party. The CMCs then claim they are entitled to a proportion of redress as the contract signed related to any and all cases.

    It is fraud you are correct and should not be tolerated. However, it is a situation partly created by the banks' own inertia and partly by the mass stampede of complaints which is only just starting to clear. In the early days of the PPI scandal when I was working as a complaint handler, it was obvious that several well known CMCs were following this route and sending template letters for every account. However, several banks were just settling small value cases without even considering the merits as it was less hassle and there was no proactivity with regards to sharing notes and making the CMR aware of this. It is only after the majority of the stable has bolted that they have started making an effort to close this particular stable door and liaising with the CMR about it. Nonetheless, anyone who has had a PPI complaint submitted without the CMC making any effort to ascertain their circumstances at the point of sale or the information provided to them really ought to be refusing to make any payment to them as the CMC has effectively made them an accessory to fraud.

    Rant over.
    • Inventist
    • By Inventist 5th Nov 15, 10:03 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Inventist
    Does the LeO hide behind rules that desire a get out clause. In example like passing the buck between the FCA, SRA, LeO. I ask this as in my case the provider was found effectively guilty of 'Conflict of Interest' after documents provided by the legal provider showed they had begun to serve the opposite party 82 days and 45+ work entries before MY insurer received a claim against my policy for RTA injuries. The documents also showed a phantom passenger had worked into the equation which was ignored by the Ombudsman! Even after all this the Legal service provider owned by an ABS CMC type company valued in the same year at over £3BILLION was given a £100 fine. If this does not remedy the Ombudsman service as being Unfair and very Biased toward larger firms I do not what else could constitute this statement.
    • Inventist
    • By Inventist 5th Nov 15, 10:19 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Inventist
    Misrepresentation and Maladministration
    The LeO should bear in mind that when they refer to a CMC as not giving appropriate, Unfair and unreasonable time to pay an invoice charge, they should also accept criticism when an investigator for the Ombudsman submits his Recommendation Report 27 Hours after supplying a complainee large data to look through in order to sanctify his / her concerns!
  • Legal Ombudsman
    If this does not remedy the Ombudsman service as being Unfair and very Biased toward larger firms I do not what else could constitute this statement.
    Originally posted by Inventist
    Hello Inventist,

    We are sorry that you feel that we have been biased towards the firm you have complained about. The Legal Ombudsman is an independent and impartial scheme and our job is to look at complaints about service providers in a fair way without taking sides.

    We can see that you refer to a fine. The Legal Ombudsman is not responsible for fining service providers; that would be for their regulators. If we find that there has been poor service, we can recommend financial remedies, such as a reduction in fees or compensation. Any remedy will be based on the individual circumstances of the complaint and what the impact of the poor service has been.

    If you are unhappy with any aspect of how your complaint has been dealt with, please contact your investigator who will be happy to discuss your concerns.
    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 6th Nov 15, 1:31 AM
    • 1,250 Posts
    • 609 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    In your 'Complaints in Focus' published on Wednesday there is the case study of Mrs A which I'd like to discuss, which I assume is ok as you publish case studies for the purposes of 'transparency' in order for the public to 'better understand' how you work.

    In summary the CMC knowingly over charged the customer by 500% and failed to even acknowledge her 4 attempts at raising the issue over a 6 month period.

    Additionally the CMC failed in its regulatory obligations (and no doubt it's own T&Cs) to update her on her claims for a staggering 4 years.

    When the customer attempted to cancel the contract (if it could be said it still had any legal standing) the CMC attempted to further fleece Mrs A with an eye-watering £2000 'cancellation' charge.

    Yet somehow the Ombudsman identifies the above as merely ''service issues'' and considered it justified that the CMC should be awarded £500 from the customer, despite this meaning that the customer would have paid a total of £740 in fees for receiving a single successful claim amount of £800.

    1) What was the £500 charge in respect of and does the Ombudsman believe this represents value for money?

    2) Do you believe that in publishing this case study it promotes confidence in the public for the Ombudsman to provide a fair and impartial service?
    Last edited by Alpine Star; 06-11-2015 at 6:25 AM.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    1) What was the £500 charge in respect of and does the Ombudsman believe this represents value for money?

    2) Do you believe that in publishing this case study it promotes confidence in the public for the Ombudsman to provide a fair and impartial service?
    Originally posted by Alpine Star
    Hello Alpine Star,

    We look at the service provided by claims management companies and so where we find elements of poor service, this will always be classed as a ‘service issue’.

    In this case, both parties agreed to a reduction in the bill to £500. As such, the complainant was satisfied that there were some cancellation charges to be paid out.

    We do believe that is shows we provide a fair and impartial service, as this was a resolution agreed to and supported by both parties. We are not in the business of imposing resolutions when one has already been mutually agreed.
    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 6th Nov 15, 4:36 PM
    • 1,250 Posts
    • 609 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    Hello Alpine Star,

    We look at the service provided by claims management companies and so where we find elements of poor service, this will always be classed as a ‘service issue’.

    In this case, both parties agreed to a reduction in the bill to £500. As such, the complainant was satisfied that there were some cancellation charges to be paid out.

    We do believe that is shows we provide a fair and impartial service, as this was a resolution agreed to and supported by both parties. We are not in the business of imposing resolutions when one has already been mutually agreed.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    It's difficult to see where you provided any service at all in this case.

    Is this really a case of ''poor service''? I think most right thinking people would more accurately categorise the CMC's conduct as dishonest and fraudulent.
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 7th Nov 15, 5:38 AM
    • 1,250 Posts
    • 609 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    We are not in the business of imposing resolutions when one has already been mutually agreed.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    Just on this point it highlights the fundamentally different approach you have to that of the Financial Ombudsman.

    They describe their function as ''Our role is to reach a fair and reasonable decision about the complaints we look at'', meaning that it is they who will decide the outcome of a case.

    This contrasts with yourselves: ''we will look for opportunities to resolve your problem that you and your service provider can agree to, in order to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible for you'' meaning that you'd rather avoid having to make a decision yourself and prefer that the outcome of cases were mutually decided by the complainant and service provider, regardless of what you believe the outcome should be.

    So the Legal Ombudsman is first and foremost mediation service and not an Ombudsman as such.

    Of the 478 'resolved' complaints you have you state that 53% ''required a remedy to put things right for the customer'' but of that 53% how many were remedied by way of a mutual agreement between the 2 parties and how many were decided by an Ombudsman's decision?
    • magpiecottage
    • By magpiecottage 11th Nov 15, 12:12 PM
    • 9,101 Posts
    • 5,584 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    I think Alpine Star has in mind the "wider issues" role of FOS, which will look beyond the letter of what a complainant actually says.

    FOS explains this here. In particular, in Green Denman v Financial Ombudsman Service [2003] EWHC 338 (Admin), the High Court found in favour of FOS.

    In particular, the judge said:

    "Most complainants are insufficiently versed in the complexity of the subject and would be unable unassisted to assess whether the advice they were given was sound or inadequate.

    It is for this reason that they turn to financial advisers for advice; it is because their relative ignorance renders them vulnerable that financial advisers are regulated; it is for that reason that financial advisers were required to review their pensions advice; and it is to provide an informal but informed adjudicator that the financial ombudsman scheme was established."

    There seem to be to be parallels in disputes between complainants and CMCs.

    After all, any consumer capable of taking on a CMC and properly understanding the rules would have no need to employ them when FOS is free and would look at general fairness automatically.
    • magpiecottage
    • By magpiecottage 5th Jan 16, 11:28 AM
    • 9,101 Posts
    • 5,584 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    We are working hard to provide feedback to the industry to improve working practices. We also continually make the Claims Management Regulator aware of any concerns we have if we identify that a CMC has failed to comply with the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman
    Unfortunately, I had a case rejected by the Legal Ombudsman which argued that the CMC cannot be held responsible for spamming by an introducer - despite the fact that the introducer was apparently not itself authorised by the MOJ and gave no contact details.

    It seems that the Legal Ombudsman thinks CMCs can be allowed to hide behind the anonymity of an unauthorised third party spammer - although I believe the regulator and ICO think differently.
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 5th Jan 16, 12:54 PM
    • 1,250 Posts
    • 609 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    Unfortunately, I had a case rejected by the Legal Ombudsman which argued that the CMC cannot be held responsible for spamming by an introducer - despite the fact that the introducer was apparently not itself authorised by the MOJ and gave no contact details.

    It seems that the Legal Ombudsman thinks CMCs can be allowed to hide behind the anonymity of an unauthorised third party spammer - although I believe the regulator and ICO think differently.
    Originally posted by magpiecottage

    The regulator certainly does:

    ''Where introducers are acting as agents of an authorised claims management business, their activities are covered by the principal business’s authorisation. For example, where a claims management business employs agents to market on their behalf, then the agents will not require authorisation. Where an authorised business uses agents, they will be responsible for the activities (including breaches of the Conduct Rules) of the agent.''

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/313625/Claims-management-companies-who-needs-to-be-authorised-notes.pdf
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Unfortunately, I had a case rejected by the Legal Ombudsman which argued that the CMC cannot be held responsible for spamming by an introducer - despite the fact that the introducer was apparently not itself authorised by the MOJ and gave no contact details.

    It seems that the Legal Ombudsman thinks CMCs can be allowed to hide behind the anonymity of an unauthorised third party spammer - although I believe the regulator and ICO think differently.
    Originally posted by magpiecottage
    We can look at the service provided by a regulated claims management company. We cannot consider any breaches in conduct rules that fall under the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) or the Information Commissioners Office (ICO); this would be something that those organisations would need to investigate. We do make referrals to these organisations where we feel a breach in rules has been made.
    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 5th Jan 16, 2:02 PM
    • 1,250 Posts
    • 609 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    We cannot consider any breaches in conduct rules that fall under the Claims Management Regulator (CMR)
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    That's difficult to reconcile with what you said in post #7.

    ''For us (in a similar way to the Financial Ombudsman) when we look at what is ‘fair and reasonable’ we consider, but are not bound by,such factors as what decision a court might make, the regulators rules in place at the time, and what was considered to be good practice at the time of the act or omission complained about.''
    Last edited by Alpine Star; 05-01-2016 at 2:07 PM.
    • magpiecottage
    • By magpiecottage 5th Jan 16, 2:25 PM
    • 9,101 Posts
    • 5,584 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    We can look at the service provided by a regulated claims management company. We cannot consider any breaches in conduct rules that fall under the Claims Management Regulator (CMR)
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman
    Given that it is the rules of the Claims Management Regulator which, in essence, define what is or is not a good service, that would seem to make the Legal Ombudsman a rather pointless body - at least in respect of CMCs.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Magpiecottage is commenting on the details of a specific case which we are unable to discuss in this forum. All of our cases are considered based on the evidence and facts connected with that case which will differ on a case by case basis.

    We do consider the regulators rules when we are looking at the service provided by a CMC. However we cannot determine whether a specific rule has been breached, only the CMR can do that. Which is why, as referenced in post #7, 'Where we consider that the Claims Management Regulator’s rules have been breached, we will also advise the regulator of this, for them to take whatever action they consider appropriate'.

    There are some circumstances where we will look into complaints about unsolicited emails and telephone calls made by or on behalf of a regulated CMC. We would encourage anyone with an enquiry to contact us so that we can discuss the facts and evidence specific to your case.
    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 6th Jan 16, 6:34 AM
    • 9,101 Posts
    • 5,584 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    We do consider the regulators rules when we are looking at the service provided by a CMC. However we cannot determine whether a specific rule has been breached, only the CMR can do that. Which is why, as referenced in post #7, 'Where we consider that the Claims Management Regulator’s rules have been breached, we will also advise the regulator of this, for them to take whatever action they consider appropriate'.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    Definitely a difference from FOS - it is not unusual for one of its ombudsmen to specifically say which rule(s) of the FCA have been breached in a final decision.

    If spam comes in from somebody who is not themself regulated by the MOJ on behalf of a CMC then the CMC should not be doing business with the spammer. If they ARE accepting such business then the only lawful way this could be done is that the spammer is a de facto employee of the CMC.

    So, if one receives a spam which does not confirm the spammers full geographical address AND its own registration number with the Claims Regulator (so that you can make a complaint against the spammer in its own right) then the CMC it is acting for is responsible.
    Last edited by magpiecottage; 06-01-2016 at 6:37 AM.
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 6th Jan 16, 11:59 AM
    • 1,250 Posts
    • 609 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    Magpiecottage is commenting on the details of a specific case which we are unable to discuss in this forum. All of our cases are considered based on the evidence and facts connected with that case which will differ on a case by case basis.

    We do consider the regulators rules when we are looking at the service provided by a CMC. However we cannot determine whether a specific rule has been breached, only the CMR can do that. Which is why, as referenced in post #7, 'Where we consider that the Claims Management Regulator’s rules have been breached, we will also advise the regulator of this, for them to take whatever action they consider appropriate'.

    There are some circumstances where we will look into complaints about unsolicited emails and telephone calls made by or on behalf of a regulated CMC. We would encourage anyone with an enquiry to contact us so that we can discuss the facts and evidence specific to your case.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    Ok I think I get that, thanks. In Magpiecottage's case he was complaining about a conduct issue and as a non-customer, so wouldn't be a customer service issue.
    • magpiecottage
    • By magpiecottage 6th Jan 16, 1:56 PM
    • 9,101 Posts
    • 5,584 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    Ok I think I get that, thanks. In Magpiecottage's case he was complaining about a conduct issue and as a non-customer, so wouldn't be a customer service issue.
    Originally posted by Alpine Star
    But they say they will look at cases of unsolicited e-mails on behalf of a CMC - which my case was. The spammer was not regulated (or at least gave no indication of who they were or that they were regulated). The only geographical contact and CRM reference were those of the CMC I complained about.
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

940Posts Today

6,827Users online

Martin's Twitter