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  • 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 1
    • Office Knowall
    • By Office Knowall 22nd Jul 15, 3:20 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Office Knowall
    • #2
    • 22nd Jul 15, 3:20 PM
    Data protection issue / 'refer a friend' offer / pressure to make claims
    • #2
    • 22nd Jul 15, 3:20 PM
    Stanton Fisher continually get mine and my husband's claims mixed up. They call me about his claims and vice versa. Paperwork sent for checking & signing is incorrect with information mixed up between myself and my husband. I have told them numerous times about this but it is still happening. The information on the forms is supposed to be what we have told them on the phone but it is rarely correct.

    Their information promises £25 for a referral, my husband referred them to me but so far no payment. He has asked them about it at least 3 times. I have received PPI back on 2 of my claims so far.

    I am also being pressured into claims against companies that I have told them I definitely didn't have PPI from.

    What can I do?
    • magpiecottage
    • By magpiecottage 22nd Jul 15, 4:33 PM
    • 9,131 Posts
    • 5,583 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    • #3
    • 22nd Jul 15, 4:33 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Jul 15, 4:33 PM
    Making a statement that is false in an attempt to make a gain or cause somebody else to make a loss is fraud.

    If they attempting to pressure you into committiong a criminal offence, I suggest you make complaint to them and, if necessary, to the Legal Ombudsman.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    • #4
    • 22nd Jul 15, 4:33 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Jul 15, 4:33 PM
    We are sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your Claims Management Company. At the Legal Ombudsman, we investigate complaints about the service received from Claims Management Companies and your complaint sounds like something we can deal with.

    Before we can accept your complaint for investigation, you need to raise a formal complaint with the company. We suggest that you do this in writing so you have a record; email should be fine. You should allow the company eight weeks to respond to you. However, if they provide you with a final response to your complaint within the eight weeks, there is no need to wait any longer. Come back to us as soon as you can after trying to resolve your complaint; you have a maximum of six months after you receive their written response to bring your complaint to us.

    If you have already complained to the Claims Management Company and you are not satisfied with their response you can get in touch with us now on the contact details outlined above and we can talk to you about the next steps.
    Last edited by Former MSE Zorica; 16-09-2015 at 12:22 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"
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 8th Sep 15, 5:35 AM
    • 1,239 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 15, 5:35 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Sep 15, 5:35 AM
    I had high hopes for consumers when MOJ first announced that the Legal Ombudsman would be responsible for claims management complaints but I've seen some questionable decisions from them.

    One in particular in which I assisted a vulnerable couple with their complaint was in my view utterly outrageous.

    Although it would be improper for me to go into detail about the case here it seems to me that LeO does not take into account contractual terms that are clearly unfair and it too readily accepts the CMC's argument that a consumer agreement, no matter how onerous, should be abided by.

    I appreciate that under UTCCR only a court can rule that a term is unfair by virtue of section 5(1) but LeO could and should take account whether the performance and particularly the effect of a term complies with General Principle 1(a) of the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules which requires CMCs to act fairly and reasonably in dealings with their clients.

    In short it appears that LeO allows CMCs to act unfairly if their consumer contracts say they can.

    I believe that the Legal Ombudsman is failing consumers in this regard and as such is not fit for purpose.
    Last edited by Alpine Star; 08-09-2015 at 5:43 AM.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 8th Sep 15, 11:08 AM
    • 86,770 Posts
    • 51,931 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #6
    • 8th Sep 15, 11:08 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Sep 15, 11:08 AM
    Although it would be improper for me to go into detail about the case here it seems to me that LeO does not take into account contractual terms that are clearly unfair and it too readily accepts the CMC's argument that a consumer agreement, no matter how onerous, should be abided by.
    So, the complete opposite of the Financial Ombudsman Service who take knowledge and understanding into account and ability to understand into account.
    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
    • #7
    • 8th Sep 15, 12:10 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Sep 15, 12:10 PM
    Hi Alpine Star and dunstonh,
    Thanks for your messages – we have to look at each complaint on its individual merits and as we’re sure you’ll appreciate we are unable to discuss individual complaints. We don’t operate a ‘one size fits all’ policy, when considering any complaint, we will always consider what is fair and reasonable in all circumstances of the case.

    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. For example, while it is true that only a court can rule that a contract term is unfair, if we also consider a term was blatantly unfair we have the power to direct an appropriate remedy.

    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.

    We also work with CMCs to help them improve their service to consumers, we offer sessions on better complaint handling and will be publishing research and thematic reviews which should help identify further steps the industry can take to improve.

    We hope this helps explain our process a bit more – feel free to ask us any other questions.
    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 16th Sep 15, 10:37 AM
    • 9,131 Posts
    • 5,583 Thanks
    magpiecottage
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 15, 10:37 AM
    Problems with Legal Ombudsman
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 15, 10:37 AM
    I had high hopes that the Legal Ombudsman would rein in the unacceptable behaviour of CMCs.

    Sadly, I have to report that a complaint I made to it has been rejected on the grounds that I supposedly did not provide evidence, despite the fact that I provided sufficient evidence.

    In particular, I an e-mail I sent to it nine days before the Ombudsman rejected it seems not to have been taken into consideration.

    So, on the basis of my experience, I am not convinced that the Legal Omnbudsman will be able to help.

    However, I still recommend you take your complaint to it in the first instance. You may get lucky but if not, I believe court action is still an option if you have to.
    • Stevie Palimo
    • By Stevie Palimo 16th Sep 15, 10:43 AM
    • 2,971 Posts
    • 4,229 Thanks
    Stevie Palimo
    • #9
    • 16th Sep 15, 10:43 AM
    • #9
    • 16th Sep 15, 10:43 AM
    I had high hopes that the Legal Ombudsman would rein in the unacceptable behaviour of CMCs.

    Sadly, I have to report that a complaint I made to it has been rejected on the grounds that I supposedly did not provide evidence, despite the fact that I provided sufficient evidence.

    In particular, I an e-mail I sent to it nine days before the Ombudsman rejected it seems not to have been taken into consideration.

    So, on the basis of my experience, I am not convinced that the Legal Omnbudsman will be able to help.

    However, I still recommend you take your complaint to it in the first instance. You may get lucky but if not, I believe court action is still an option if you have to.
    Originally posted by magpiecottage


    I've heard similar to this also and believe it is another Government bodie set up to make the public believe that something is being done, Looks like money for old rope and lets pretend we help the public whilst taking a wage for doing sweet fa.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hi Magpiecottage,

    Thank you for your comments and I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced.

    Our office makes decisions based upon the evidence which we receive during the course of an investigation.

    In your post you mention your complaint was rejected on the basis you had not provided evidence. However, you have said you provided evidence and also sent an email to us before your case was closed. You believe this information should have been considered, but was not.

    The Legal Ombudsman seeks to be fair and provide good service to all who bring complaints to this office. This includes considering both the evidence we receive from parties to a complaint and their views. If you think we have not received the evidence you sent to us, and believe it should have been considered before we made our decision, please get in contact with us.

    I would be grateful if you would call us directly on 0300 555 0333 to discuss this matter furtheror alternatively please contact the investigator who was looking into your case.


    If you remain dissatisfied, then please follow our complaints procedure: http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Service-Complaint-Procedure-V31.pdf


    Many thanks
    Last edited by Former MSE Zorica; 16-09-2015 at 12:20 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"
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 18th Sep 15, 6:19 AM
    • 1,239 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    Hi Alpine Star and dunstonh,
    Thanks for your messages – we have to look at each complaint on its individual merits and as we’re sure you’ll appreciate we are unable to discuss individual complaints. We don’t operate a ‘one size fits all’ policy, when considering any complaint, we will always consider what is fair and reasonable in all circumstances of the case.

    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. For example, while it is true that only a court can rule that a contract term is unfair, if we also consider a term was blatantly unfair we have the power to direct an appropriate remedy.

    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.

    We also work with CMCs to help them improve their service to consumers, we offer sessions on better complaint handling and will be publishing research and thematic reviews which should help identify further steps the industry can take to improve.

    We hope this helps explain our process a bit more – feel free to ask us any other questions.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    Thanks for your reply.

    Although it's correct to say that you are not bound such factors as what decision a court might make or the regulators rules in place at the time, it doesn't paint the complete picture as the Scheme Rules also require that you ''will take [them] into account'' (emphasis supplied).

    I would be grateful if you could clarify what you said about ''For example, while it is true that only a court can rule that a contract term is unfair, if we also consider a term was blatantly unfair we have the power to direct an appropriate remedy.''

    For you to consider that a term is blatantly unfair, is it a requirement for a court to rule as such?

    I ask because the Scheme Rules provide that the Ombudsman can refer a legal question to court if, for example, representations to that effect are made by the complainant and the legal question is central to the outcome of the dispute.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hi Alpine Star,

    Thanks for your message. For clarity the Scheme Rule that is being referred to is 5.37(a) and states:

    In determining what is fair and reasonable, the ombudsman will take into account (but is not bound by) what decision a court may make.

    A copy of our Scheme Rules can be found on our website www.legalombudsman.org.uk

    This is the approach we take when considering the appropriate remedy in an individual case. It is not a requirement for a court to rule that a contract term is blatantly unfair before we can direct an appropriate remedy, we only need to be satisfied that a court would consider that term blatantly unfair. However, you are correct in saying that we may also refer a complaint to court if we consider that to be necessary.

    To give you an example, if a CMC were to have a term that required an invoice to be paid within 48 hours of the date it was posted (not received), and applied interest penalties if cleared funds were not received by the CMC within that time period, we would consider that term to be blatantly unfair – we would expect a customer to be given a reasonable time to pay an invoice before any recovery action was considered/taken. It would be reasonable of us to make such a decision without the need to refer to a court for them to make a ruling as to whether it breached any unfair contract terms regulations.

    As we consider each complaint on its own merits, this is not the forum to discuss individual circumstances and/or contract terms. If you have a specific claim that you wish us to consider, please call us on 0300 555 0333.
    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 19th Sep 15, 4:35 AM
    • 1,239 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    As we consider each complaint on its own merits, this is not the forum to discuss individual circumstances and/or contract terms. If you have a specific claim that you wish us to consider, please call us on 0300 555 0333.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    With respect we're not discussing individual circumstances or any particular contract term.

    Rather, we're discussing how the Scheme Rules operate and the factors LeO takes account of when considering the merits of a complaint, in general terms. Something that I would have thought was part of your function.

    I fully appreciate that you can't discuss individual complaints here but if you or anyone reading this is interested in knowing more about the case referred to in my first post see here from post #15 http://www.legalbeagles.info/forums/showthread.php?44156-having-problems-with-Bank-Smart
  • rucs
    edited for privacy reasons
    Last edited by rucs; 21-09-2015 at 3:38 PM.
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 20th Sep 15, 7:32 AM
    • 1,239 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    Flight compensation claims management isn't an activity that is covered by the Claims Management Regulator and as such falls outside the jurisdiction of the Legal Ombudsman.
  • Legal Ombudsman
    Hi rucs,

    Flight delay compensation is certainly something that falls within our jurisdiction to consider, as we are able to consider any claims management activity undertaken by a regulated claims management company. However, you will need to complain to the company before we are able to investigate the matter.

    If you would like to contact us in the first instance on 0300 555 0333, we can discuss your specific complaint with you. We can also forward your complaint to the CMC on your behalf.
    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"
  • rucs
    Hi rucs,

    Flight delay compensation is certainly something that falls within our jurisdiction to consider, as we are able to consider any claims management activity undertaken by a regulated claims management company. However, you will need to complain to the company before we are able to investigate the matter.

    If you would like to contact us in the first instance on 0300 555 0333, we can discuss your specific complaint with you. We can also forward your complaint to the CMC on your behalf.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman
    Thank you very much, I will call the number you quoted.
  • rucs
    Flight compensation claims management isn't an activity that is covered by the Claims Management Regulator and as such falls outside the jurisdiction of the Legal Ombudsman.
    Originally posted by Alpine Star
    Thanks, but you're wrong. Please see reply above.
    • Alpine Star
    • By Alpine Star 21st Sep 15, 5:31 PM
    • 1,239 Posts
    • 603 Thanks
    Alpine Star
    Hi rucs,

    Flight delay compensation is certainly something that falls within our jurisdiction to consider, as we are able to consider any claims management activity undertaken by a regulated claims management company. However, you will need to complain to the company before we are able to investigate the matter.
    Originally posted by Legal Ombudsman

    Are you absolutely sure about this?

    I recently asked this very question to a senior claims management officer at the CMR unit at Burton on Trent when I reported a company conducting what I had assumed to be an authorized activity (delayed flight claims). This was the response:

    ''It reads like it’s the work of a CMC but delayed flight compensation is not an area that is regulated by ourselves so there is no requirement for authorization''.

    Given that flight delay CMCs aren't regulated complaints about them won't fall within your jurisdiction.
    Last edited by Alpine Star; 21-09-2015 at 6:08 PM.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 21st Sep 15, 7:34 PM
    • 86,770 Posts
    • 51,931 Thanks
    dunstonh
    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).
    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.
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