Following the article in our March 2003 edition about changes to the time limits for making a complaint, in this edition we look at two contrasting cases where we had to decide whether the complaint had been made "in time" - and was therefore one we could deal with. We also outline our approach when deciding whether instances of damage, claimed for under insurance policies, were caused by an "insured risk" - such as flooding - or by poor maintenance or neglect on the part of the policyholder.
Two of our banking case studies illustrate a situation that sometimes arises in complaints relating to credit cards. This is where a firm has justified its actions by citing credit card rules that the customer has not signed up to - or even seen. Our other banking case studies include several complaints involving mortgages, and one where a customer lost out because of exchange rate fluctuations, after the firm incorrectly transferred into sterling the money he had deposited in euros.
Finally, our regular round-up of investment-related cases includes a complaint from a couple who felt the firm should not have transferred their unit trust holding into an OEIC investment, even though a majority of unitholders had voted for the change. We also outline a complaint from a lady who felt she had been mis-led when she cashed in her investment and received a cheque that was nearly £1,000 less than the surrender value the firm had quoted over the telephone.
ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.
The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.