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    Close premium finance shocker
    • #1
    • 20th Apr 09, 12:18 PM
    Close premium finance shocker 20th Apr 09 at 12:18 PM
    Do bear with me as this is complicated. Basically I scrapped my previous car as it was just a complete failiure and with that canceled it's car insurance. The insurance I was paying by installments with close premium finance. I called my insurance broker to let them know about my scrapped car and to cancel the insurance I had got through them. They told me all I needed to do was write them a formal letter and also contact my bank to cancel the direct debit. This was done and I heard no more.

    When I found a car I wanted I then called my broker who I use because they get me very decent insurance. To arrange cover this was done and I kick myself now for not paying the insurance off in one go as I had the funds but the broker automatically assumed I would want to pay by instalments and used close premium finance again and set up the agreement after checking my bank details.To be honest I had a lot to arrange with the car and other stuff so I just assumed it was sorted.

    Today I recieve a letter from them demanding the direct debit amount plus a penalty charge.I also recieved a notice of default making threats like canceling my insurance and taking me to court. I call them and this girl explains some seriously complicated rubbish about why this has happened I then argued with her and she then spoke to her supervisor and the penalty charge was removed . And the fee was taken from me direct using my card. She then said they need to set up a new direct debit and get my bank details again. She then advised me to check with my bank straight away that they have recieved these instructions. I did and my bank HSBC said they have recieved nothing from them.

    Called close premium finance back and spoke to some other guy who didn't understand why my bank had recieved nothing from them but said wait 24 hrs and ask again.

    How long would it take my bank to recieve this direct debit instruction from them? was this girl taking out of her !!!! and it will take 24 hrs as this guy said..I am very angry I get such a letter from them as I have never ever got so much as a late payment ever from any debt. and to be honest my insurance company can find me someone else to finance my premium next time or I will pay the lot in one go.No apologies neither.
Page 1
  • MrSJHeath
    • #2
    • 20th Oct 09, 11:38 AM
    DD problems
    • #2
    • 20th Oct 09, 11:38 AM
    Hi there

    You're clearly annoyed here and I can see why but bear with me and I might shed some light.
    Close Premium Finance (CPF) is a highly reputable company and the market leader in providing finance for insurance policies. They are backed by a respectable, well funded and stable parent - Close Brothers. They are used by the majority of insurance brokers in the market who want to offer their customers an easy and affordable way to pay for their insurance requirements.
    To make the renewal process easy, your broker is able to renew your credit facility on a rolling basis as your insurance falls due each year. Most often, one facilitates this by signing a Running Account Credit Agreement.
    It seems that you've been a victim of a timing issue rather than any fault on the part of the broker or CPF. CPF will have retained your direct debit details as part of the credit agreement on the assumption of renewal. Unfortunately, when your broker submitted your new policy for finance you had cancelled the direct debit so when CPF called for the initial instalment it was rejected by your bank. Because of the large volumes of business handled by CPF they will have a significant amount of automation built into their accounting and operational processes and this will have resulted in a letter being sent to you telling you that you were in default. There is a significant cost to businesses of all types in the UK in handling customer defaults and in the majority of cases a charge is levvied to cover these costs and it is usually the policy to do no more than cover costs and not impose charges as a penalty (although it's fair to say that it's not always easy to see it this way).
    In your case it appears that CPF have, quite reasonably on representation from you, waived the charges, allowed you to bring the account up to date and advised you what needed to be done to get things back on track (i.e. reinstate your direct debit).
    Direct debit instructions are sent electronically so it is most likely that the instruction was sent from CPF's systems more or less immediately. However, CPF would have no control over the bank's handling of that instruction once they received it. In most cases one could reasonably expect the bank to have reinstated the direct debit by the end of the next working day. But there is always the possibility, as there is with any complex process, that your bank may not have been able to complete this activity in that timeframe.
    I appreciate that it's frustrating, but you did the right thing by getting in touch and it seems, from my reading of your description of what CPF's people told you, that they did the right thing too.

    Sorry if this is a bit wordy but I hope it helps some.
    • dacouch
    • By dacouch 20th Oct 09, 11:51 AM
    • 20,441 Posts
    • 12,661 Thanks
    • #3
    • 20th Oct 09, 11:51 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Oct 09, 11:51 AM
    Resurrecting an old at Close Bros I presume

    Close are offered by most brokers not for the customers convenience but to increase the brokers income as they earn a nice fat commission from close and its easier for the broker to adminster one instalment facility than having to handle each of the Insurers different instalement systems. However its mainly about increasing income for the broker.

    Most Insurers offer their own instalments schemes which normally have a much much lower interest rate than Close and most do not penalise you if an instalment is not paid.
    • Clive Woody
    • By Clive Woody 20th Oct 09, 11:55 AM
    • 4,449 Posts
    • 5,057 Thanks
    Clive Woody
    • #4
    • 20th Oct 09, 11:55 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Oct 09, 11:55 AM
    Close Premium Finance (CPF) is a highly reputable company and the market leader in providing finance for insurance policies.
    Originally posted by MrSJHeath
    Let me hazzard a guess who you work for.....

    Rugby Union - The Greatest Game
    • By PROLIANT 20th Oct 09, 12:03 PM
    • 6,040 Posts
    • 5,589 Thanks
    • #5
    • 20th Oct 09, 12:03 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Oct 09, 12:03 PM
    If you had half a brain cell between the two of you it would have been more convincing had you created an account a few months ago and got your post count up then people would be less likely to suss you out.

    Plonka's! :rolleyes:
    Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.
    • Clive Woody
    • By Clive Woody 20th Oct 09, 12:10 PM
    • 4,449 Posts
    • 5,057 Thanks
    Clive Woody
    • #6
    • 20th Oct 09, 12:10 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Oct 09, 12:10 PM
    If you had half a brain cell between the two of you it would have been more convincing had you created an account a few months ago and got your post count up then people would be less likely to suss you out.

    Plonka's! :rolleyes:
    Originally posted by PROLIANT
    Which two are you referring to here?

    The OP created their account two years ago.

    Rugby Union - The Greatest Game
  • sharkbait556
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 10, 4:23 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 10, 4:23 PM
    I have had nothing but trouble with close premium finance. Every month they fail to take the money from my account for my insurance. I have set up the direct debit numerous times, They blame the bank the bank blames them and in between i am being charged £40 admin charges every month for it. I would steer well clear!!!!
  • sukki1
    • #8
    • 23rd Jun 10, 4:28 PM
    Close premium finance
    • #8
    • 23rd Jun 10, 4:28 PM
    I took out private car insurance with Sureterm Direct on 16th April 10. We had looked at the vehicle on the internet and had arranged insurance in order to drive it home, however when we went to collect the vehicle it was ‘not as described’ and declined to buy it. Sureterm who had arranged the insurance, also had arranged finance with Close Premium Finance. We obviously cancelled the insurance. We purchased another vehicle on the 28th April 10 . (Some two weeks later) Surterm, again arranged the insurance , and advised us that a new direct debit would be arranged via Close Premium Finance, and new direct debit forms would be sent out.

    This is when the problems started. Close Premium Finance, attempted to take out the direct debit on the 16th May 10, (this was on the first vehicle which had a separate account number) the direct debit had been cancelled along with the insurance. We assume that the brokers cancelled the direct debit because we had not.

    Even though the 2nd vehicle was not purchased until the 28th April, (the request for the first lot of payments via direct payment should have been requested a month later on or about the 28th May) However I received a letter from Close Finance on the 19th May, stating that no payment had received, and that unless it was made by the 3rd of June they would take further action. They included a charge of £40.00 which said was for admin.
    The payment totalling £70.88 was made within the specified time, but I received a letter dated 17th June 10, giving me notice of termination and threatening that my insurance may also be cancelled. – The reason given was that the payment had not been made. Close premium were contacted by telephone but said I had to contact the broker to resolve the matter, Close Premium were not interested when I tried to explain the fact that I had cancelled the first lot of insurance because I had not purchased the vehicle, but had gone on to buy an alternative vehicle, which was insured with the same broker, and financed by Close Premium (under a separate agreement number)
    Close Premium Finance did concede that the payment they had requested for £70.88 had in fact been made , but then gave an alternative reason as to why the agreement had been terminated (because not direct debit had been set up) this was not mentioned anywhere in the letter.
    The brokers Sureterm were contacted, they were very helpful and in fact rang Close Premium Finance whilst I was on the line, but they were given the same reason for the admin charges, that the payment had not been made on time. I have wasted a lot of time and money in telephone calls to Close Premium regarding this. The brokers have advised me that a new direct debit mandate would be sent out ( I wont hold my breath)
  • DontTrustAnyone
    • #9
    • 6th Aug 10, 11:58 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Aug 10, 11:58 AM
    This company cannot be trusted at all.. They failed to take a direct debit from my bank. When I contacted them I was told they had a problem with the BACS system and some banks had not sent the money or some were just reversing the payment. I asked what was the best thing to do and I was told dont worry just make sure the money is there for the July payment and we will take the June payment to. I said fine not an issue. The DD was set for the end of July.

    On 29th July I recieved a letter from CPF stating that due to none payment and repeated attempts to get the money they had cancelled my finance, I also recieved a registered letter from the insurance company stating due to none payment the policy was now cancelled. The insurance company was Falcon (theres another story).

    I contacted CPF to be told they would never have told me as per above. I told them that as a result of this I was going to be making a complaint to the ombudsman and requested subject access data, ie a copy of the recordings.

    The following day I get a phone call from James of CPF to inform me that the recordings had been listened to and sure enough they had misinformed me, and that Falcon had been contacted to reinstate the policy.

    Needless to say I have told them to stick it to be told well you owe 200 quid in cancelation fees. Think not I say and in the wink of an eye they have now written that off.
  • sukki1
    Re my message posted 28th April 2110. Everything sorted. Give Close premium finance theyre due, they followed everything with phone calls and letters and have sorted everything from changing the due date for the direct debits, to re-imbursing the £40.00 admin fee. Sureterm Insurance also were very helpful. Again credit where credits due. (Pardon the Pun) Paul Cascarina Head of Operations dealt with everything and was very helpful in this matter
  • bizarebazaar
    Financed car insurance
    Just remember one thing everyone.... Make sure you keep your DD for this in perfect working order and DONT cancel the insurance because of the fees. It's a dumb way to save money.
    Thats how the system works wheather we like it or not I'm afraid.
  • GoonerGregg
    I have been charged £40 admin fees a few times by Close Premium finance, and asked how they can explain £40 for admin being a fair fee to pay for a returned DD, they have no answer, just that you have to pay it!
    This company are ruthless! They bully you every which way when they no yours hands are tied.

    Can I mount a challenge to previous fees that they have charged me similar to what the banks have done with some people?

    £40! It's scandalous in the extreme.

    I remember my car insurance premium being due on a certain day, and I phoned them on the day I knew the DD had bounced, I simply did not transfer funds from my savings account to my current account that day to make the payment in time, a mere oversight you might say. I phoned them with the funds on my card the same day the premium was due, and they said 'We cannot take card payments over the phone' and I was to wait for a letter that stated my DD had indeed bounced, and a £40 enclosed.
    Too hear I could not rectify the problem the same day it was due was a massive stress to me at the time. I want to try and get my unfair fees back, could I possibly have a case?

    Many Thanks!
    • Simulacraton
    • By Simulacraton 6th Oct 11, 1:17 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    I work in the insurance industry and we are forced to use Close Premium Finance due to a wholesale broker working them into their backend system for the DD payment option.

    For commercial stuff we never have a problem (I think it's a different admin system), but for personal lines (home insurance etc) they are total crap. We have a NIGHTMARE with them, it's like beating your head against a brick wall when you are trying to sort out a problem or find someone there that is able to take responsibility or think outside the box to solve issues.

    There is also a lot of negative feedback from customers when they have contacted us..
  • plumapples
    i set up motorcycle insurance through bennets who use close premium finance and after i paid my deposit and set up my direct debit i thought it was all sorted as these things usually are how wrong was i !!!!!!

    it all started when they where due to take the first payment i kept an eye on the bank to check it had been took and after 5 days after the agreed date i got worried so rang bennets,they gave me the number to close premium finance who i rang only to find i had a 20 pound charge for default as it had according to them been returned by the bank

    i explained that i didnt know what had happened as i always use direct debits from this account for all my bills,they went through the account details and agreed to waive the charge and i paid the missed month's payment by credit card they also said they would re send the direct debit instruction

    halfway through the second month i rang them just to check it was all set up

    they told me from there end it was ready to go,so i told them i would check with my bank to find out what the problem was (to make sure the charge would not happen again) they gave me a mandate number to give to the bank

    at the bank they told me there had been no direct debit set up and there was no problem there end and the mandate number was useless as they had not put a request in ?????

    so back on the phone to close premium finance and told them what had happened at the bank they told me every thing was set up there end and offered me a mandate number (again), i explained the bank said the number was useless ''but this is the number for the direct debit'' she said so i explained (again) what the bank had said,they assured me again that it was all set up there end and its ready to go so i asked what if it defaults again as i dont want another charge there reply was''well as its exeptional circumstances im sure it would be waived ''

    so the payment date comes and goes again so i ring them (again) there reply was it can take a couple of days for a direct debit to go through,so i wait (again) still no money taken from my account so once again another call to close premium finance who told me it was a fault with my bank account (which takes all other direct debits)

    ok i said this is daft can i use my wifes account for the direct debit ''of couse'' she said so i gave her the numbers
    so thats your payment plus the 20 pounds charge '' whoooh hold on'' what do you mean charge, i was then told the charge was for defaulting the payment ''you gotta be f*****kin kiddin me'' i was then told she would speak to the supervisor to waive the charge but apparently there policy is to only waive one charge so the conversation went like this
    ''are you takin the p*ss i was told i wouldent get charged''
    ''by who''
    ''by you''
    ''oh yes i do remember your account when you rang last week''
    ''yes and you told me i would not get charged''
    ''no what i said is you would not get charged in exeptional circumstances''
    ''what do you call this then''
    ''well its your problem not ours because its your account at fault''
    ''no its not i have direct debits come out every month''
    ''well thats not my problem you will have to pay the amount owing or you will default on your insurance''
    ''oh i see your just covering your own back now''
    ''yes sir that is exactly what i am doing''
    ''you will not get a penny from me''
    ''well thats up to you sir but thats where we stand''

    i could not believe what a joke this company was and how rude the staff where

    as a last resort i ring bennets who explain its out of there hands unless i pay the amount in full to them for the insurance and i cannot afford that!!!

    close premium finance are the biggest bunch of scammers i have ever delt with and looking at this site just proves this i am determined not to let this go as i am fuming they will NOT get another penny from me and i will go to court over it if i have to
  • smgreen1969
    Close premium Finance have just sent my sons DD mandate letters for his bike insurance...

    I'm paying it for him through my bank account.

    3 errors were evident on the letter

    His name (Wrong Initials)
    his address (incomplete)
    My name (bank details) - incomplete

    Upon calling this cowboy outfit I'm told it's not their fault - It's equity red star not passing the correct info -

    This is a load of Crap - ERS have forwarded details of his poilcy and all information held and it is 100% correct.

    It seems that the ham fisted monkies at Close Premium Finance are unable to transcribe correctly and this does not bode well for the 1st DD payment due next month !!

    For gods sake - you are a Finance company - and if you can't get it right there really is no hope..

    Sure as eskimos live in Igloos - when/if the DD fails because of incorrect details - they'll charge me for the honour !!

    Perhaps I should get in their 1st and get £60.00 out of them for the 3 schoolboy errors on a Financial agreement !!

    What ever happended to premium credit ? - dealt with them for years for insurance (still do for home insurance) and had 100% service from them !
    • Peelerfart
    • By Peelerfart 7th Mar 12, 3:01 PM
    • 1,913 Posts
    • 1,671 Thanks
    This thread is three years old.
    Space available for rent
  • pennyjean
    MR SJ HEATH - perhaps CPF employees should pay more attention to their work & stop trying to pose as customers posting on forums!

    This is typical 'company speak' from CPF. They don't actually LISTEN to their customers & are more interested in making money by applying penalties.

    They set up a DD with the wrong sort code, did not send any paperwork for me to check the details (by their own admission), then charged me a £40 default fee & £10 for not returning the credit agreement they hadn't sent to me in the first place!

    Countless phone calls & emails later, I have got the £10 refunded, they've promised to refund half the £40, but a week later still haven't.

    This means more time hanging on the phone whilst one of their staff doesn't understand what has happened - again!

    They also mixed up my motorcycle insurance account with my buildings insurance. Initially almost shouting at me that I didn't have two accounts with them.

    They admitting that they hadn't linked them together. Then they wrote to Bennetts Ins telling them that I owed them £500, when I actually owe them £48. They had actually mixed up the balance of my Simple Lanlords policy with the Bennetts policy. Unbelievable!

    They are a joke of a company & I will never pay by instalments again as long as I live & recommend that unless you have a lot of time on your hands & are not too fussed about giving away your cash, that you all do the same.
    Last edited by pennyjean; 03-05-2012 at 8:18 AM.
    • TadleyBaggie
    • By TadleyBaggie 3rd May 12, 10:30 AM
    • 2,742 Posts
    • 2,078 Thanks
    The person you are ranting to hasn't logged on for 2 1/2 years, don't expect a response...
  • specialh
    I appreciate this is an old post but I stumbled across it as I was looking for a name at Close Premium Finance.

    I am yet another 'victim'. I changed bank accounts back in February and Lloyds dealt with the DD changeovers. When it came to March's payment for my car insurance, everything was fine. April was a different matter. A week after the payment should have been taken I received a letter to tell me that I was in arrears as the DD was rejected due to account moving to another bank and that if I don't pay by X date then my insurance would be cancelled. And there was a £30 admin charge.

    I called them, naturally. Explained that the DD shouldn't have defaulted unless they requested money from the old account. They claimed it was the right one and wouldn't back down on the admin fee and wouldn't take a payment for the arreared amount without it.

    I called my Lloyds who confirmed there was no DD attempt made so I wrote a letter to CPF and enclosed a cheque for the missing amount (not inc the admin fee), explained what my bank had said and told them that I would consider the matter closed. I heard nothing back.

    Yesterday I get another letter, this time from my insurance company saying I am still in arrears and that the insurance will be cancelled ont he 14th May (day before I received the letter!!). I called them straight away and he told me that he could see that my cheque was received and put against the account but CPF had CANCELLED THE DD FOR FUTURE PAYMENTS!!!

    I was fuming. That means I had also defaulted on May's payment because I was NOT informed the DD had been cancelled and therefore they had risked my insurance being cancelled. The only way to rectify it was to pay off the full amount. I would rather pay the interest on a credit card than pay an admin charge for their mistake.

    I want to write to them and make an official complaint but I don't really know where to go with it. I find it deplorable that they can cancel the DD like that without telling me and put me at risk of driving without insurance
    • olliebears
    • By olliebears 14th Dec 12, 2:41 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    Close Premium Finance have just taken money from my account. I have never dealt with this company nor have I ever paid for insurance other than by a one off payment when I renew. How they got my bank details remains a mystery until the morning when I will call them. They seem like a scam company and I will be reporting them to the insurance ombusman. I only found out who they were because my bank gave me their number. The internet is full of stories about this company........Beware!!
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