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Daily Insurance Industry News
Tuesday 21st of November 2017
April 7, 2009

FOS reports “weary cynicism” in complaints handing

by Gill Montia

Story link: FOS reports “weary cynicism” in complaints handing

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is unhappy about the way consumers are being treated when they complain about the products and services provided by the UK’s financial institutions.

According to the watchdog, a growing number of consumers are receiving “dismal” treatment when they raise a complaint, which the FOS suggested could reflect a “weary cynicism” across the financial services industry.

Chief Ombudsman, Walter Merricks, comments: “Some in the financial services industry – currently facing significant business challenges – appear to be taking the jaundiced view that having a large number of complaining customers is just an unfortunate fact of life.”

According to Mr Merricks, the industry appears to be gearing up “to dispose of complaints at the minimum cost, and with minimal attention to the individual facts and circumstances”.

As a result, cases are coming to the attention of the Ombudsman without having been properly assessed by the companies involved.

The problem extends to information gathering, with the FOS increasingly having to spend time chasing files and gathering facts that providers should have compiled at the beginning of the complaints process.

However, the approach may not be rooted in despair in the financial services sector, as the Ombudsman also suggests that nearly one-half of consumers with an unresolved complaint give up the fight because they are met by an unhelpful approach.

 

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