If you’re going it alone on the PPI claim front then you’re likely to be messed around, not our words but those of the Press…
Banks fob off ‘shocking’ tally of PPI complaints
Fresh evidence shows banks are still turning away tens of thousands of legitimate gripes.
The Telegraph, September 2013
Lloyds fined for PPI payment delay by FSA
BBC, February 2013
An investigation by The Times into Lloyds Banking Group has found that contractors employed at its largest PPI complaint handling unit were taught how to play the system to the detriment of clients.
The Times June 2103
Banks unfairly reject hundreds of thousands of PPI claims this year with worst offender Lloyds losing nine out of ten cases
This Is Money, Sept 2013
But fear not, you can beat the banks and get the full amount back that you’re owed. You just need to know the process and stick to the plan.
We’ve seen a lot of claim paperwork, made a whole load of claims, sent tons of emails and dealt with almost every UK lender, finance company and bank there is. We’ve handled thousands of claims over the last four years and learnt a lot along the way, if this is your first claim then let our £30m of refund experience help you get back the money you spent on worthless PPI cover.
First up, stop dreaming and get real
There are many people out there that would have you think it’s easy to get a full PPI refund – you get the forms, send them off and kerching!.. Your bank transfers all money owed to your account. Errrm, no. The road to a payout is paved with obstacles, hoops, hurdles and then: repeat.
Don’t get me wrong – a quick payout can happen and does, we’ve won refunds inside two weeks but in most cases (as has been well-documented in the Press) lenders reject legitimate claims and force you to go appeal and go through the Ombudsman. In some cases 80% of people with a mis sold policy were told they had no case by their lender.
In order to get a PPI refund you need to do two things:
1. Find out if you have been paying for PPI cover; and if you have…
2. Start a claim
Over to our glorious full-HD infographic, read through this baby and you’ll learn how to do both of these…
The most important thing is: don’t be put off by rejection or delay…
When your lender replies to your initial complaint expect to be reading a letter that says something like this:
‘I am writing to you today in relation to your complaint about your payment protection insurance (PPI) policy.
After considering the evidence and any documentation or information available to me, I have not found sufficient evidence to agree with your allegations that your PPI policy was mis-sold as such I am unable to uphold your complaint.
I’m sorry that you felt the need to complain about your PPI policy and appreciate that my decision may be of disappointment to you. However I can assure you that I have fully investigated your complaint and all the surrounding circumstances.’
DON’T BE PUT OFF BY THIS, THINK OF IT AS A NORMAL PART OF THE REFUND PROCESS
Remember, it’s nothing personal – there are always stories in the media about banks delaying and rejecting claims, heck: one major bank was actually caught training staff to REJECT claims! That said, if you believe the bank and feel they have made a fair decision then feel free to give up at this point. On the other hand, if you want to be sure you weren’t mis sold – keep the claim going.
As well as ‘giving up’, here are 5 ways to ruin your PPI claim:
1. Miss a deadline – you have 6 months to reply to your lender or the FOS regarding your complaint, miss this deadline and your claim is over.
2. Lie on your paperwork – you may think your case stands a better chance if you say certain things on your complaint letter, don’t lie as your lender and the FOS will know the true details of the PPI sale. Be honest, if you’ve been mis sold – you’re complaint will be upheld.
3. Not declare savings – some people think declaring savings might not look favourable, but if you had cash to support you while out of work, you didn’t need PPI. That may mean it was unnecessary and mis sold.
4. Scrimping on information – give as much information as possible about your circumstances at the time the policy was sold, including your income, other bills you had, how you would have been able to manage your finances in the event you lost your job etc. It’s easy for the lenders to assume you needed PPI if you don’t explain your circumstances properly.
5. Settling for a low amount – Your lender may offer you a refund less than the full amount, this may seem tempting as it’s paid within 28 days. Don’t let them keep any of your cash, hang on and get the full amount. In fact, let’s discuss this a little more…
Say your lender doesn’t reject your claim and offers you a refund, job done – right?
Not quite, in our experience lenders do make offers but they can be less than full refunds. Whether this is because they are trying to pull a fast one or they’ve made an error or they can’t use a calculator we can only guess. Whatever the reason you need to ensure that you’re not settling for a lower refund than you’re entitled to.
Watch out for the following:
- The low offer, where a lender will sometimes work a refund off an estimate instead of taking the time and effort to check how much is actually owed. They hope that the claimant will just say ‘great, I got some money back’ and a lot of people do. We don’t. Instead we’ll put the work in and get documentation to prove exactly how much you’re owed (even though the bank already has this information), meaning you get the full refund you deserve.
- Partial payouts are another classic strategy to save money on refunds, for example we’ve had credit card lenders refund mis sold PPI payments on an account from 2005 to 2012 when they should be refunding from when the card was taken out in 2001. No doubt people are seeing a refund and thinking the lender is playing fair, when really the lender is keeping hold of some of the claimant’s money.
- ‘Upheld in part’ is almost unbelievable, considering lenders already have a terrible reputation – in this situation the lender tells you that the PPI was mis sold but you should have had some protection, so they offer you the difference between your full refund and the cost of their cheapest cover at the time of issuing the loan. Who are they to decide that? We know when they’re doing this and will only ever accept a full refund for you.
- Issuing a wrong refund because it’s cheaper – Say you request a PPI refund on one credit card and you have another card with the same lender that you haven’t complained about yet. We’ve had lenders offer a refund on the other card because it’s a cheaper payout and ignore the one you actually complained about. We can only guess it was a mistake or maybe they hoped Mr Linyard wouldn’t notice. We did and we got both full refunds back.
Ultimately – be aware that their offer may not be a full refund, do your maths beforehand and know what you’re owed.
There are legitimate reasons for a lender to not give you all of your money back, for example – If you have a current loan with them they may put your refund (or some of it) towards repaying the borrowing.
Taking a lump of cash within 28 days can be tempting but if you believe you’re powed more and can afford to wait – DON’T DO IT. Write back to the lender and request the full amount, yes this will delay your payout but you’ve not had the money for years anyway, what difference will it make. BY accepting low offers you’re telling the bank to keep your money even though they took it from you illegally.
That’s all we have for now, if we think of anything else we’ll add to the post. Just be sure to find out if you have PPI, then claim and see it through to the end. Whether it’s through a our PPI claims team, another claims company or on your own – get back the money you’re owed from mis sold PPI.
By John Gregory
John writes for a PPIClaimsAdviceline.com as well as a number of financial blogs, he also create content for infographics, FAQ’s and personal finance sites. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter, get in touch – he doesn’t bite. Unless you’ve been mis-selling financial products.