'Should MSE be recommending the 'best PPI claims handlers?' ' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • Orford
    Orford Posts: 2,198
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    Absolutely not, you should not be giving any of these parasites the 'oxygen' of publicity
  • ShaneUK
    ShaneUK Posts: 1,094
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I would love to say "no". However - if people are going to be stupid enough to use these agencies, then perhaps a steer into the right direction would be useful.

    In my opinion, start the article with it is easy to do yourself by following the following steps..... before going into the main article.
  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 2 June 2011 at 8:18AM
    Reputational risk: starting your own claims company while blocking discussion of or mention by yourself of others. That looks less like independent and impartial help than promoting your own product and I'm not sure that even non-profit disclaimers would be sufficient to mitigate the risk. Added: the disclaimer failure risk comes from the "they would say that" about their own product reaction.

    Polls based on use of providers, in a similar way to those used by shopping services reviewing vendors may work but it's effectively certain that those who do badly would make claims about libel and interference with their business. Not solely libel by MSE but also by the individuals posting the negative votes and comments, possibly accompanied by action to seek their identities to take action against them. Less reputational risk but more legal risk.

    I'm not concerned about risk from being thought to be pro claims handlers in all cases. That probably is solvable with a disclaimer.

    Added: I think I know Martin's positions well enough that those won't negatively affect my views, but those are the risks as I see them.

    It's not only PPI claims handlers. I get texts and sometimes calls saying I'm entitled to compensation for my accident or my accident at work. No such accident.
  • jools101
    jools101 Posts: 8
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    In my experience it is not unusual for over 50% of compensation paid out to end up going to the 3rd party Complaint Handler. Did you know you even have to pay VAT on the fees! These companies cold call and use a 'shrapnel' technique where they complain about everything, hoping something will stick. This makes the complaint look ridiculous and inappropriate. My advice would be not to use them, use the template letters instead - if personalised they are very effective and if you are not happy with the outcome use your FOS rights which must be within 6 months of the final response letter. If MSE were to list the charges these companies make then the potential cost would be more transparent and at least you could shop around. If you're entitled to compensation then you deserve to keep all of it!
  • marshallka
    marshallka Posts: 14,585 Forumite
    You already have one Martin. Its here on the discussion guide and we all work for free....how nice it would be to receive a little reward!!!!
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 115,619
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    I have been meetings and seen the letters that claims companies send in. They are mostly versions of the template letters you get on the web. Most seem to include every possible reason going whether it was applicable or not. The claims companies offer no advantage in the actual complaints handling. They do not get you more money. You do not speed up your complaint (indeed it can slow it down as the response goes through another party before it gets to you). The cold calling techniques of claims companies leaves a lot to be desired. The lies their sales reps tell on the phone to get people to commit to using them makes them no better than the banks who sold the product being complained about. MSE should not associate itself with such parasites. Yes, there may be a few good ones but until there is proper regulation of claims companies and the decent firms outnumber the bad, MSE should avoid any association with them.

    You just need to look it the claims sections of the number of people that have been ripped off by claims companies. There are posts from new people nearly every day telling us of the lies they were told.

    The compliance company I use reckon that around 1/3rd of complaints they are getting now do not even have the product being complained about and virtually all of those are generated by claims companies. Unofficially, they also blacklist a number of claims companies who are known to put in dodgy complaints. They will work harder to reject those complaints than a personalised complaint letter which they are far more sympathetic towards. Even the FOS have said that they prefer to hear about complaints from people using their own words.
    In my experience it is not unusual for over 50% of compensation paid out to end up going to the 3rd party Complaint Handler. Did you know you even have to pay VAT on the fees!

    On the forums, its clear that people havent been aware of the VAT. Or the fact that if the redress is paid via the product rather than paid out, then the claims company still want to be paid. Or an newer trend that some are charging now on not just the refund but also against the future money that would have been saved had it still not been paid.

    Now I am sure MSE would not associate itself with the really bad ones but the problem is that there is no way for MSE to know who these are. Especially as some of the biggest are the guilty ones. I can imagine one name who MSE may look at (who often are asked for comments in the media) but they use one size fits all template letters and their staff cant tell the difference between life assurance and PPI.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • magpiecottage
    magpiecottage Posts: 9,241
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I do not think that promoting a particular firm or firms is consistent with MSE's aims.

    However the idea of an arbitration scheme does make sense and has considerable merit.

    Such a scheme would need to be self-financing because not only could Martin not afford to run it himself but those involved in making decisions would need to be recompensed for the time they spend on it and, if it is to be competent, it would need individuals capable of earning elsewhere.

    It would also need to be able to make awards that were binding on the CMC. That raises the question of whether it should also be binding on the consumer (some arbitration schemes are others, like FOS, are not).

    It is certainly something I would be interested in exploring.
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