"Banks want charge for going to the Ombudsman? P*** off" blog discussion

Former_MSE_Lawrence Posts: 975 Forumite
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
Read Martin's "Banks want charge for going to the Ombudsman? P*** off" blog discussion" Blog.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • Paul_Herring
    Oh deary me. Didn't someone learn from last time this happened? :D
    Conjugating the verb 'to be":
    -o I am humble -o You are attention seeking -o She is Nadine Dorries
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Oh deary me. Didn't someone learn from last time this happened? :D

    Yes time the actual word doesn't appear anywhere (and its a 'lesser' swearword anyway). I do hope this thread doesn't decent into discussion of that word ratehr than the actual content.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • RichBen
    RichBen Posts: 21 Forumite
    Re the FOS - my initial reaction is to say if a complaint is referred to them, if it is not upheld in favour of the complainant then a fixed fee should be payable by the complainant (as the innocent company has to pay at present). However, I agree with Martins comments about not putting barriers in the way of complaints and, as an insurance intermediary, the reality of the situation is that there are very few "frivolous" claims made against good professional businesses doing their best to provide good customer service. Therefore, the current situation should prevail which will be a small price to pay to ensure that "the man in the street" has access to a powerful body if he feel he has been wronged.
    I am a professional insurance adviser. My opinions are based on my knowledge and experience. Many of the opinions expressed here will be based on limited information and may not be suitable solutions for all. My strong advice will usually be to seek a professional opinion from a quality insurance broker. See BIBA for a local professional member.
  • ~Brock~
    ~Brock~ Posts: 1,710 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    FOS should remain free for consumers directly, but should be chargeable for Claims companies who, as businesses themselves, should be well aware whether their 'claim' has got legs or not.

    At present there is no disincentive for them to bombard the FOS with all manner of frivolous claims no matter how low the chances of success, with no comeback whatsoever.

    This may help them take a slightly more balanced view in the first instance of the chances of success with an individual consumer which may result in better advice in the first place. This is no different to a solicitor giving his client an idea of the odds of success in court, because he knows there could well be a cost attached to losing.

    I am sure many of the currently overworked adjudicators at the FOS would agree with this idea.
  • madmuppet5
    madmuppet5 Posts: 5,575 Forumite
    "I don't know what you have for breakfast":rotfl::rotfl:

    Buy 1 get 2 free on Frosties at Tescos would have thrown him:D

    AKA; Mad, MM, MM5, Madicles :cool: ©
    Shin: Device for finding furniture in the dark :p©
    Elite 11+ fundraising total for Make-a-Wish £682 :j:A
  • Googlewhacker
    I'm waiting for the banks to gang together and cancel all accounts that Martin has lol!
    The Googlewhacker referance is to Dave Gorman and not to my opinion of the search engine!

    If I give you advice it is only a view and always always take professional advice before acting!!!

    4 people on the ignore list....Bliss!
  • SnowMan
    SnowMan Posts: 3,365 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Photogenic
    edited 15 November 2010 at 9:33PM
    You tell 'em Martin :T:T

    Martin is completely right to suggest a fee for complaining to the ombudsman is “deeply offensive”. The problem is companies turning down valid complaints not people frivolently claiming.

    An example of the nonsense of charging to complain is the recent Nat West affair. Nat West offered an account that paid a bonus that did not begin until up to 6 weeks after the account was opened. They marketed it as a bonus for the first 12 months and also for 12 months from opening the account, even though the error was pointed out to them they left the incorrect imfo there on the website. Both were blatantly false and only hidden away in some FAQs could you find the truth. And yet when numerous people complained to Nat West when they found out the truth Nat West had the temerity to say that they had never said it was for the first 12 months and turned down their complaints.

    Worse still some of us complained to the FSA misleading complaints helpline about Nat West on 7th October and yet they did nothing. When I rang the FSA back on 7 November and mentioned lots of people were reporting on MSE that they had been caught out by the misleading info about the delay in the bonus (and that Nat West were wrongly denying it) they said they wouldn’t take action based on information from an internet forum. I then put in a complaint to the FSA about the fact that they were taking no action and they are looking at it but only to see if they have procedurally handled my call correctly, not whether Nat West have mis-lead consumers and people have lost out.

    Now the amounts are smallish here but it is a good example of how the regulator has failed. The FSA are obsessed with procedures but when a problem is pointed out to them they do not act. They need to get into the modern age and appoint some so called pointy headed boffins to keep an eye on MSE and the MSE forums to alert them to problems. Their starting point is to keep a close eye on whether consumers are being mislead out there in the real world rather than whether rule 6.5b part 2 has been technically broken.

    The only area where I disagree is in relation to the abolishing of commission. Commission based advice is a truly terrible thing which has horribly skewed investment advice and no amount of fixing or tight regulation will make it work. You only have to look at structured products and the complete nonsense that they are to see what monstrosities commission creates. Yet there remains the problem of direct salesforces, but your starting point is to clean up the IFA side of things and then educate people who can’t DIY to switch to IFAs.

    It is pleasing to hear someone at last say generic advice doesn’t make sense. If a friend comes up to me and asks for some advice I will tell them what the highest interest paying account or lowest cost index tracker is. However if a client came into the CAB bureau where I volunteer and asked the same question then I would instead tell them how to go about finding the highest interest paying account. Where there is no self-interest you should be able to tell people what products are best without fear of infringing FSA rules.

    It is fantastic that Martin recognises that there is a group of people who need help to take matters forward. The forthcoming MSE guide to mental health and debt is a great thing, there are so many people who are unable to tackle their debts as they have other issues in their lives. However much education you provide there is a group who will never be able to manage their financial and consumer affairs without individual help. That is why the existence of free options for help such as third sector advice agencies, well run public sector organisations such as consumer direct, and legal aid is so important. It is so sad to hear today that legal aid for civil cases is being nigh on abolished as that removes the opportunity for the poorest in society to be able to enforce their rights in many areas. In a spiral of destruction it will probably also bankrupt a number of law centres and individual CABs who rely on legal aid funding to help cover their fixed costs.
    I came, I saw, I melted
  • Mobeer
    Mobeer Posts: 1,851 Forumite
    Academoney Grad First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Does your answer to the chairman on how this site is funded mean that the Skimlinks revisions to links in forum posts has been abandoned?
    (as last mentioned here)
  • akrot1
    akrot1 Posts: 111 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    What do people think is going to be the next mis-selling scandal? WE've had pension review, endowment mortgages, bank charges and PPI - what's next?!?!?
  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Posts: 12,199 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    who regulates you?
    I'm glad you went on to say
    my users
    as you are one of the most regulated people in the country!
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