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Privacy Policy

COMPLAINT HANDLING POLICY AND PROCEDURE

1) POLICY STATEMENT

 

Pinnacle Financial Contracts Ltd (PFCL) view is that every complaint is an opportunity to improve an outcome and turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied long-term client. Customers should have confidence that if something goes wrong during the sales or after sale process, the company will treat their complaint seriously and take the appropriate and fair action to resolve the complaint. Where complaints are upheld, appropriate action will be taken to ensure the customer’s position is corrected and any material cost rectified. Where a complaint is rejected, [add firm] will take all appropriate action to ensure the customer is informed on the result of the investigation and receives clarity on the rejection decision.

 

2) PURPOSE

This policy sets out the requirements for handling complaints relating to regulated and non-regulated activities by PFCL.

 

3) SCOPE

This policy applies to all complaints pertaining to PFCL.

 

4) LEGAL CONTEXT

Regulated activities: To ensure that business principles and TCF outcomes are met, the FCA has set out specific rules and guidance around complaint handling, these can be found in the FCA Handbook, Dispute Resolution: Complaints (DISP).

If we do not deal with the complaint to the satisfaction of the customer, the customer has the right to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS will levy a charge for investigating the complaint, consequently all complaints referred to the FOS will cost the firm. Any decision made by the ombudsman is binding on the firm.

 

The FCA define a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction (oral or written), whether justified or not, from. Or on behalf of a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service. Claims management service or a redress determination which:

  1. alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience; and
  2. relates to an activity of that respondent, or of any other respondent with whom that respondent has some connection in marketing or providing financial services or products or claims management services, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

 

5) POLICY

PFCL will ensure that the FCA’s DISP rules are adhered to and all complaints will be dealt with within the 8 week timescale required by The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). All complaints will be recorded and this management information used for root cause analysis and reporting purposes. PFCL has a responsibility to ensure that all staff are trained appropriately and that a customer is informed on how and who to address a complaint too.

 

Employees of PFCL are expected to understand and follow the complaints procedure with integrity and honesty.

 

PFCL will conduct internal audit activities to provide assurance of the above on a consistent basis.

 

  1. Complaint Handling Procedure

 

    1. PFCL Procedure - In order to deal with complaints [add firm] use and maintain a procedural process and records.
    2. Forwarding Complaints – Where the complaint is reviewed and there are reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another firm is responsible for the matter alleged. The complaint will be promptly forwarded to the responsible firm in accordance with DISP 1.7.1. The complainant will be issued with a final response from [add firm] explaining why the complaint has been forwarded and providing the contact details for the responsible firm.

Communication - The procedure for directing complaints to [add firm], along with information pertaining to referral to the Financial Services or Motor Ombudsman is detailed on the Initial Disclosure Document (where IDD is required) and on the key regulatory and policy documents provided to customers via retailing clients. It is further detailed on the [add firm] website. As per regulatory requirement, the primary Complaints Officer is also detailed on the Financial Services Register. All communications to customers will be clear, fair and not misleading.

 

 

  1. Response Times

PFCL endeavour to resolve a complaint at the earliest possible opportunity. PFCL fully recognise and work to a service standard well within the response times required by the Financial Conduct Authority:

 

    1. Complaints resolved by close of the 3rd business day following receipt:

Complaints resolved by the close of the 3rd business day following receipt are only considered closed if confirmation that the eligible complainant has accepted the resolution is obtained within the period and a summary resolution letter has been issued to the complainant. (Appendix 1 – Summary resolution letter template). However, these complaints must still be logged and recorded to ensure accurate management information is available to enable further root cause analysis and to inform FCA reporting.

 

 

    1. Acknowledgement of the complaint within 5 days:

If the complaint is not resolved by the 3rd business day an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the complainant within 5 working days. The letter will summarise the procedure that will be followed to deal with the complaint, and in the case of complaint around regulated activity will enclose the Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet entitled ‘Your complaint and the Ombudsman’. (Appendix 3 – Acknowledgement letter templates)

 

 

    1. 4 Weeks – update the complainant:

We will aim to resolve all complaints quickly without comprising the quality of the investigation. Where a complaint cannot be resolved within 4 weeks the complainant will be kept informed by updating them on progress at the 4 week stage. This letter will outline the current situation and the planned course of action to complete the investigation. (Appendix 4– Update letter templates)

 

    1. 8 Weeks – Final resolution deadline before potential FOS involvement:

All complaints will be resolved within 8 weeks and an appropriate final response letter issued. The letter will include:

 

      1. the Complaint Handlers understanding of the nature of the complaint;
        • the investigation conducted
        • the decision made as to whether the complaint is upheld or rejected;
        • details of any redress/remedial action being (or that has been) taken;
        • details of the FOS (and their leaflet), whether upheld or rejected.

 

Notes on final resolution letter: - this will be issued at any point during a maximum 8 week process where investigation has identified cause and fault and appropriate redress can be offered should the complaint be upheld or explanation provided should the complaint be rejected.

Where a complaint is not resolved within 8 weeks, a further letter will be sent to the complainant outlining how the investigation is progressing and any ongoing actions; this letter will also include the contact details of the FOS and their leaflet. (Appendix 5 – Final Resolution letter templates)

 

 

  1. Complaint Investigation

 

    1. Impartiality – In order to ensure that all complaints are investigated in an impartial manner, where a complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the customer within 3 working days, it will be forwarded to the Customer Care Team for independent investigation.

 

    1. Investigation Process – The Complaint Handler will investigate the complaint using the tools at their means to ensure accurate investigation. These tools will include (but are not limited to) evidenced documentation; call recordings; supporting evidence provided by the complainant; [add firm] policy and system controls. Where further information is required, the Complaint Handler will request this from 3rd parties or the customer in order to be fully informed.

The investigation plan should deal with the following aspects of each complaint:

  • Proofs / facts at issue: what are the facts that need to be established in order to determine the cause and accuracy of the issue?
  • Avenues of enquiry: what are the potential sources of information that will help the Complaint Handler officer establish the facts at issue? Avenues of enquiry assist the Complaint Handler to establish the facts at issue and consider what information is required to test the complaint validity.

 

 

  1. Decisions

 

All complaints received by [add firm] or a member the AR network will result in one of the following decisions, this will be decided following investigation by the Complaint Handler in association, if required, with the Compliance Director.

 

 

Upheld

Where the Complaint Handler agrees with all the issues being raised by

the complainant and may offer redress and / or compensation

Partially Upheld

Where the Complaint Handler agrees that some of the issues being raised were the fault of [add firm] or the AR Firm and may offer redress and / or compensation

Rejected

Where the Complaint Handler does not agree with the complainant, no offer of redress and / or compensation will be made

  1. Redress / Compensation

 

    1. Upheld Complaints - In the event that a complaint is upheld the Complaint Handler will determine whether an offer of redress or compensation is appropriate. Care will be taken to ensure that any redress is fair and consistent across complaints that are of a similar nature. The key objective to the decision on redress will be to put the complainant back into the position they would have been in if the issue had not occurred. An explanation for the redress / compensatory action will be documented and retained in records. In regard to regulatory complaints any interest due on the compensatory amount will be paid in accordance with FCA regulation.

 

    1. Partially Upheld Complaints - In the event that a complaint concerning regulated activity is found to be  partially upheld the Complaint Handler will determine a proportional offer of redress or compensation as appropriate. Care will be taken to ensure that any redress is fair and consistent across complaints that are of a similar nature. The key objective to the decision on redress will be to put the complainant back into the position they would have been in if the partially upheld issue had not occurred. An explanation for the redress / compensatory action will be documented and retained in records.

 

    1. Rejected Complaints - If the complaint has been investigated and a decision to reject made, on an exception and proportionate basis an ex-gratia payment may be paid if the complainant has suffered    distress or inconvenience this will be made at the discretion of the Directors.

 

6) MONITORING AND ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS

The Complaints Manager has consistent oversight of complaints and will on a consistent basis review all complaints to identify root cause and assess whether the root cause has or could have an effect on other customers. Where any systemic failing is identified a proposal to rectify will be delivered to key parties and action taken to ensure the failing is not repeated our rights.

 

  1. Root Cause Analysis – The following process will be followed to identify the root cause of complaints and take appropriate remedial actions

  1. 7) TRAINING
  2. Employees – This policy and relevant guidance will be communicated to all PFCL employees and to ensure that they understand how to implement this policy in the scope of their employment.

This policy will be communicated to PFCL suppliers, contractors, business partners and wider stakeholders as necessary.

Training and guidance will be updated and communicated as appropriate on a regular basis and all relevant staff will receive regular, relevant training on how to implement and adhere to this policy.

 

 

8) IMPLEMENTATION

The Complaints Manager should ensure that staff are aware of this policy and its requirements. If staff have any queries in relation to the policy, they should discuss this with the Complaints Manager.

 

 

  1. 9) RETENTION

PFCL will retain copies of all complaints records for a period of 6 years. This policy will be reviewed periodically and historical records retained for 6 years.

 
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