Complaints Procedures

Motorhome Holiday Company has potential to get complaints about three aspects of our service:

  • The quality of the financial advice given
  • The quality of the service around the motorhomes has not been great
  • The supply of services by third parties ie a motorhome manufacturers or other credit providers.

Whilst the company will monitor and address the issues raised around our service, vehicles and third parties, the aim of this section is to document how we deal with complaints about the financial advice given.

A complaint is defined as any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service which, alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience. These will be taken seriously. Our approach to these complaints is under-pinned by our desire to treat our clients fairly; complainants will be handled with courtesy at all times.

Each such expression will be logged immediately and Matt Sims will determine whether it is a matter that can be resolved within 5 business days. If this is the case, we will issue a Summary Resolution Communication (SRC).

All complaints will be investigated free of charge, competently, diligently and impartially, obtaining additional information as necessary.

Complaints process:

An oral or written expression of dissatisfaction is given, this can be done in person or by contacting us by phone or email.

Each such expression will be logged immediately, and Matt Sims will determine whether it is a matter that can be resolved within 5 business days. If this is the case, we will send a Summary Resolution Communication (SRC) (appendix 28).

Action will then be taken to resolve the query and the outcome recorded.

Where the dissatisfaction is of a more serious nature or cannot be resolved within 5 business days, a letter will be sent promptly by Matt Sims acknowledging the matter, stating who will be handling it and enclosing a copy of the complaints procedure.

Although only eligible complainants, defined as:

  • A private individual;
  • A business which has a group annual turnover of less than £1 million;
  • A charity which has an annual income of less than £1 million; or
  • A trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £1 million;

are able to refer the complaint on to the Financial Ombudsman Service if they are dissatisfied with the company’s findings, all complaints will be properly investigated and the outcome will be communicated to the complainant.

The company authorises either Matt Sims to investigate and settle the complaint. If compensation is due, either of them can approve the payment. They will assess fairly, consistently and promptly the subject matter of the complaint, whether the complaint should be upheld, and, if appropriate, any remedial action and / or redress that should occur.

Where it is found that redress is appropriate, the company will aim to provide the complainant with fair compensation for any acts or omissions for which the firm were responsible. If the complainant accepts the offer, then the company will promptly provide compensation in a manner agreed with the complainant.

The complaints process will be published as part of the membership agreement and include information about the financial ombudsman service and its website.

Motorhome Holiday Company will keep a record of the complaints received and the measures taken for their resolution for a period of 5 years.

Complaints Timetable

After promptly acknowledging the complaint in writing, we will keep the complainant informed of the progress of the measures the company is taking to resolve the complaint.

Within 8 weeks of receiving the complaint, the company will send a final response which either accepts the complaint and, where appropriate, offers redress and / or remedial action or rejects the complaint and provides reasons for doing so. Very rarely will the company be in a position where the appropriate outcome is to offer redress and / or remedial action without accepting the complaint. The final response letter will also enclose a copy of the FOS standard explanatory leaflet; along with an explanation that the complainant, if unhappy with the response received, can now refer the complaint to FOS and that they must do so within 6 months.

Occasionally due to circumstances beyond our control it may not be possible to provide a final response within 8 weeks. In this situation a letter will be sent to the complainant explaining why the company is not in a position to make a final response and when the complainant might be expected to receive one. This letter will also inform the complainant that they are entitled to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and enclose a copy of the FOS standard explanatory leaflet.

Closing a Complaint

The Company will regard the complaint as closed either when the final response is issued if no further action is proposed or when the client accepts in writing our response. Where the response is declined and referred to FOS it remains open until FOS informs us in writing that the complaint has been closed.

Internal Complaint Handling Procedures

The FCA requires Motorhome Holiday Company to operate appropriate and effective internal complaint handling procedures. The FCA rules contain very detailed provisions relating to reporting, investigating and resolving complaints.

There are a number of prescribed steps which the Company must take, often within very short time-frames, where you are involved in the complaint process you must ensure that you comply and/or enable the Compliance Officer, Matt Sims to comply with those timeframes. Accordingly, any Motorhome Holiday Company personnel who receives a verbal or written complaint from a client must immediately notify either of the Directors.

It may not always be clear that a complaint is being made; sometimes it may appear simply to be a general expression of unhappiness with the standard of service. It is important therefore that anything which could reasonably be construed as a complaint be brought to the attention of the Compliance Officers.

In the case of verbal complaints being made, the following details must be provided to one of the Compliance Officers:

  1. the complainant's full name and address;
  2. nature of the complaint, supplying as much detail as possible;
  3. date and time of the complaint;
  4. suggested response.

In the case of a written complaint, a copy must be forwarded immediately to both of the Directors.

Wherever possible, Motorhome Holiday Company personnel are expected to resolve client complaints, but no response whatsoever may be made to a Complainant without prior approval of one of the Directors.

Details of the Internal Complaint Handling Procedures

The Company must publish details of its internal complaint handling procedures and, among other requirements, supply a copy on request to any client and supply a copy automatically to a complainant. A copy of the internal complaint handling procedure is available from either of the Directors.

Duties of the Directors acting as Compliance Officers

The Compliance Officer's duties are:

  1. to promptly discuss the matter with the individual concerned, to establish whether the complaint can be resolved directly and expeditiously with the client;
  2. if the complaint cannot be resolved quickly, to conduct a full investigation of the complaint and review the Motorhome Holiday Company personnel's suggested proposal for resolving the matter;
  3. to liaise with the client and advise him/her/it of a suggested solution; and
  4. if the matter is still not promptly settled or not settled to the satisfaction of the complainant, to advise him/her/it's of his/her/it's right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

In the event the Financial Ombudsman Service is requested by a suitable client, havinq the right to request the Financial Ombudsman to investigate the complaint, all Motorhome Holiday Company personnel must fully co-operate with its enquiries.

The Compliance Officers are required to maintain a register of all complaints, both verbal and written, indicating the steps taken by the Company to resolve them. This register is available for inspection by FCA. The Compliance Officers may conduct periodic reviews of client complaints received to ensure that the above procedure is being complied with.

Record Keeping and FCA reporting

Matt Sims is responsible for maintaining and updating the complaints register so that all expressions of dissatisfaction can be identified along with the measures taken for their resolution. These records will be maintained for at least five years.

Twice a year the Company must report to the FCA:

  • The total number of complaints the firm has received over the previous six-month period. These figures must give a break-down of complaints by category, and by generic product type;
  • The total number of complaints 'closed-off' by the firm within four weeks of receipt, within between four and eight weeks of receipt, and more than eight weeks from receipt.
  • The total number of complaints outstanding at the beginning and end of the reporting period;
  • The total upheld in the reporting period;
  • The total referred to the FOS in the reporting period;
  • The total redress paid in the reporting period.

Treating clients fairly: Root cause analysis

Matt Sims will, on a quarterly, basis review the complaints register to review the number and type of complaints, the outcomes including compensation offered and paid in the period, the individual or team against whom the complaints are logged and any training or disciplinary action taken or proposed. Beyond the numbers, the aim of the review is to ensure that potential trends are identified and the implications for other clients considered.

Appendix 25: Complaints Procedures & Guidelines

Definition

Any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written, and whether justified or not, from or on behalf of a private client about that firm’s provision of, or failure to provide, a service which, alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience.

General

Principles

The complaint should be handled with courtesy at all times, even if you think their complaint is unjustified. A complaint can be turned into a compliment if handled professionally and brought to a successful conclusion. Complaints are a key source of management information. The quality of information entered into the complaints register is vital to ensure that the business can continually improve.

A Complaint cannot be handled by the person for whom the complaint is made against.  The complaint handler must be a senior member of staff.

Publicising the Complaints Procedure

In relation to our internal complaints procedure, we will: -

-       Include a reference to our complaint handling procedures before the conclusion of the contract, which explains how clients can complain in writing and by telephone. This can be achieved by inclusion in the Terms of Business Document or by a separate leaflet summarising the complaints procedure.  Details of the Financial Ombudsman Service will also be drawn to the client’s attention.

-       Supply a copy of our complaints procedure on request, and supply a copy automatically upon receipt of a complaint.

-       Ensure that all literature and correspondence is in clear and plain language.

 

-       Provide complaint procedure information, in whatever format, in writing.

Response times

Where the complaint can be resolved within 3 business days, then we will issue a Summary Resolution Communication (SRC).

 

1.    Ensure that an acknowledgement, giving the name and/or title of the complaint handler is issued promptly.

 

2.    Ensure that the complainant is kept informed of developments

3. (a)       issue a final response or (b) issue a holding letter explaining that we are investigating and unable to resolve for the time being.  We will also include a date that we will be contacting the client again-which must not be later than 8 weeks of receipt of the complaint.

 

4.    Within 8 weeks of the receipt of a complaint, we will either issue a final response or issue a response which:

(a)       explains why we are still not in a position to make a final response, giving reasons for the delay and indicating when we will be able to provide a final response, and

(b)       Inform the client that they may refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if they are dissatisfied with the delay, and enclose the explanatory leaflet.

 

5.     Responses you send within 8 weeks: When we send a written response, we will include: -

-       An offer of redress if the client has been financially affected

-       Information for the complainant on how to pursue their complaint if they remain dissatisfied,

-       A reference to the availability of the Financial Ombudsman Service and

-       A notice that we will regard the complaint as closed if we do not receive a reply within 8 weeks

-       If the complaint is rejected, full details of the decision, including reasons why.

     And if the client: -

-       Does not reply to the final response, we are not required to send the following correspondence.

-       Does not reply within 8 weeks, we will treat the complaint as closed.

-       Does reply within or after the 8 weeks, we will continue to comply with (3) above (with time limits set according to (6) below).

6.    Clients taking more than 1 week to reply:  if the client takes more than 1 week to reply to a letter of the kind described in (4) above, the additional time excess of 1 week will not count for the purposes of the time limits set in (2) and (3) above.

 

Our letter giving a final response will: - Inform the client they may refer their complaint to The Financial Ombudsman Service if not satisfied and that they have 6 months from the date of your letter to do so and enclose a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service explanatory leaflet (unless this has previously been sent).

Redress

Redress offered to a complainant will be fair and in proportion to their financial loss.

Record Keeping

Record keeping - A complaint will be recorded in the complaints register. We are required to retain a record of the complaints log (along with any correspondence and notes, including details of redress) for at least 3 years.

Retail Mediation Activity Returns (GABRIEL)

Firms are required to submit details of complaints as part of the six monthly RMAR reporting cycle.

Treating Clients Fairly: Root cause analysis

Firms are required to review past complaints cases in order to identify business shortcomings and development areas.  Such data should be included in TCF Management Information “stats packs”

 

Appendix 26: Motorhome Holiday Company Complaints Procedure (Handout)

Definition

Any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written, and whether justified or not, from or on behalf of a private client about that firm’s provision of, or failure to provide, a service which, alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience.

General

Principles

All complainants will be treated with courtesy and a thorough investigation of the matters raised will take place so that any errors can be corrected and the firm can improve its service.

The person handling your complaint will be a senior member of staff. We will inform you who this will be in our acknowledgement letter which will be issued promptly.

Our aim is to issue a final response as soon as possible and to keep you informed of developments in the interim. If we are unable to conclude our investigation within 8 weeks, we will write to you explaining why we are not in a position to make a final response.

Our final written response will explain the conclusion of our investigation and provide either an offer of redress or the details of our decision where we reject your complaint. Any redress will be fair and in proportion to the financial loss incurred.

If you are not satisfied with our final response or if one has not been issued within eight weeks of your complaint reaching us, you have the right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). An explanatory leaflet will be provided. You should note that you have six months from the date of our final letter to refer to the FOS.