Back in September 2017, we told you how The Fair Trade Practice passed all 20 checks on the Money Saving Expert list of ‘What to look out for when choosing a claims handler’.
With the Financial Conduct Authority’s PPI deadline now just months away, you may be thinking now is the time to check your finances to see if you were mis-sold PPI and you want to find a reputable company you can trust to handle your claims for you.
Whilst regulation such as the industry fee cap and a stricter approach to cold calling has helped to weed out firms with bad reputations and poor practises, The Fair Trade Practice has always operated in line with our CMR regulatory requirements, is a founding member of the Alliance of Claims Companies and passes every check on the MSE checklist.
Don’t believe us, check out the full list below:
1. “Do you charge 25%+VAT?”
✔ Our current fee is 24%, inclusive of VAT, of the gross financial award paid to you by the lender. Note, if you are already a customer of The Fair Trade Practice you may have entered into contract with us before the introduction of the Fee Cap on 10th July 2018 and as such your fee will be 30% inclusive of VAT.
2. “Is there a minimum fee?”
✔ No, there are no minimum fees with The Fair Trade Practice.
3. “Are you asking for money up front?”
✔ No, we won’t charge you anything up front for the investigation.
4. “Are you ‘no win no fee’?”
✔ If we are successful, we will charge our fee on any financial award we achieve for you. When we complete your complaint (see below), if we are unsuccessful you won’t pay us a penny.
5. “Are there any cancellation fees?”
✔ You may cancel your instruction within a cooling off period of 14 calendar days of the date you return your signed letter of authority to us without incurring any fee. Should you wish to cancel your instruction after the cooling off period we may charge a reasonable fee to reflect the work we have done on your behalf, as per our terms & conditions.
6. “Can I pay a fee by credit card?”
✔ Yes, you can pay your invoice by credit card.
7. “Check on the Ministry of Justice database to see if the firm is registered and therefore regulated.”
✔ The Fair Trade Practice are regulated by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) in respect of regulated claims management activities. Our authorisation number is CRM23387 and our registration is recorded online at www.claimsregulation.gov.uk. The change of regulator from the CMR to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) later this year means a new temporary authorisation is required for all CMCs who wish to continue offering claims services under FCA authority. We have already successfully applied for this temporary permission and will display our new credentials when the requirements come into effect on 1st April 2019.
We are also a founding member of the Alliance of Claims Companies (ACC), a group of claims management companies who are committed to maintaining standards across our industry.
8. “Do they make any of these claims?
• You’re guaranteed a payout.
• You’ll get more money from us.
• It is quicker if you use us.”
We don’t claim a higher rate of success or faster service than if you dealt directly with your lender, nor do we guarantee your claim will be successful.
9. “Does it provide a copy of the terms and conditions (not just a promise they are in the post) and tell you you can also go to the free ombudsman service for help before asking you to provide account details or sign?”
✔ Yes, our terms and conditions are sent out with your initial claims pack and we require your signature to confirm you agree to them before we proceed. They are also available online at www.thefairtradepractice.co.uk/terms-and-conditions. Our terms and conditions and booking call both cover the fact that you are able to pursue a claim yourself directly with the lender and if needed the FOS.
10. “What’s the timeframe for dealing with your claim?”
✔ Every claim is different, so unfortunately we cannot tell exactly how long a claim will take from starting your investigation to receiving a final decision. As a rough guide, for all cases excluding those who go to FOS, the average time from returning forms after PPI has been found to receiving an offer is just over 7 weeks*. Our friendly staff will keep you up to date throughout the process though and you also have 24/7 access to our online personal claims management tool Update+. If you do receive an offer, on average lenders release the payment to the customer up to 28 days after the date of offer acceptance, although in some exceptional circumstances this may take longer.
11. “How will it keep you updated?”
✔ We keep you updated throughout the process via phone, text and monthly status update e-mails depending upon your communication preferences. Customers can also register for our online personal claims management tool Update+ which provides you with 24/7 access to your claims.
12. “What hours is it open?”
✔ Our opening hours are:
Monday – Thursday: 9AM – 8.30PM
Friday: 9AM – 4PM
Saturday: 9AM – 1PM
Monday – Thursday: 9AM – 6.30PM
Friday: 9AM – 4PM
Saturday: 9AM – 1PM
We are closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
13. “What is its phone number?”
✔ Call us on 01489 660300 if you need any assistance with your claim or need to find out any more information.
14. “Do you get a reference number?”
✔ Yes all our customers are issued a customer reference number known as a ‘Lead ID’. Each one of your claims will also receive its own ‘Claim ID’ so it’s clear which one we are referring to if we need to get in touch with you about a claim.
15. “Find out how long the firm has been running as a company and how long it has been taking PPI cases.”
✔ The Fair Trade Practice have been specialists in PPI claims since 2009. Since then we have carried out over 3.3m checks** for our customers to see if they had PPI added to their credit. We are amongst the largest claims management companies in the UK and have been based solely on the south coast of Hampshire since we began trading.
16. “What details will you need to provide about your case?”
✔ The exact details required will vary depending on your lender, but your claims handler will explain this to you when you speak on the phone.
17. “If your lender was not FSA-regulated at the time you took your loan (some lenders pre-2005 weren’t) will the firm still take your complaint?”
✔ We would still take on a case of this nature, however the lender would require proof of PPI from the customer in order to progress. This could be a letter from the lender confirming the premiums to be paid, or a statement showing the amounts taken. Once we receive the proof of PPI we would submit the complaint as normal, and should the lender then decline the claim we would liaise with the FOS to find out if the case comes under their jurisdiction.
18. “Check the terms and conditions to see if fees are charged on any PPI you’ve yet to pay for (when it is deducted from future loan payments).”
✔ Our terms and conditions clearly state “We do not charge our fee on future PPI for loans which are still running and on which you have not yet paid all the PPI premiums.”
19. “Does it explain what will happen if your account is in arrears?”
✔ You can still check for PPI if you’ve had late payments or arrears in the past, but any compensation you receive will first be used to clear the outstanding debt. Any remaining amount after this will be paid to you directly or credited to your account. In these circumstances our fee still applies.
20. “Are they trying to sell you other services? For example, offering to wipe out your debts – not legally possible – or help you manage debts.”
✔ We are a claims handling specialist and offer customers the chance to check for mis-sold PPI and also look into whether or not they were mis-sold a Packaged Bank Account (PBA). We do not offer debt management services, and will only use the personal information you provide us with to inform you of other similar products and services provided by The Protection Specialist and our associated group of companies that we think you may be interested in.
Well that’s Money Saving Experts’ list of questions, but if you have questions of your own then we may have them covered in our FAQ section. Alternatively give us a call, we’d be happy to help.
We are proud to be a professional, diligent and ethical firm who engage our customers in a friendly, human way. In fact more than 94%* of our customers are recommended to us by their friends, family and colleagues who have already experienced our service.
Like what you hear? Why not give us a call today and find out more.
*As at December 2018
**As at February 2019