In October 2013, Miss C instructed Claims Management Company One (CMC One) to pursue a claim for mis-sold financial products.
The lender in the claim wrote to CMC One on 6 December 2013 to reject the claim. The deadline for bringing the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) was six months later, on 6 June 2014.
On 19 March 2014, Claims Management Company Two (CMC Two) took over all of CMC One’s claims.
CMC Two made a complaint to FOS on 6 June 2014, and as it was posted, arrived outside the deadline. On 3 July 2014, FOS wrote to Miss C to tell her that they were unable to take her complaint forward as the complaint had been referred to them outside of the time limits.
Miss C complained to CMC Two about its failure to submit her claim to FOS in time. She also complained about Company Two’s failure to inform her that they had taken over her claims.
In response to Miss C’s complaint, CMC Two acknowledged the delay but also stated it was reasonable that some delays were experienced due to them taking over the claims started by CMC One. They also provided evidence to show they had informed Miss C of the takeover from the outset.
The Legal Ombudsman’s investigation found that:
- CMC Two had informed Miss C that they were dealing with her claim and she signed to acknowledge this.
- The fact that the company’s complaint to FOS was dated 6 June 2014, the actual deadline, strongly indicates CMC Two were aware of it.
- With regards to the impact of this failing, whilst we are were unable to speculate whether the complaint to FOS would have been successful, it is clear that the delay resulted in a loss of opportunity for Miss C.
- The Legal Ombudsman determined that CMC Two are a successor firm to CMC One, and therefore assume responsibility for the service provided to customers of CMC One, and any complaints arising from this. In this case, CMC Two’s failure to submit the complaint to FOS within the deadline is a fundamental service failing.
The Legal Ombudsman determined that CMC Two should pay Miss C £400 for the loss of opportunity to have her claim considered by FOS.
Learning point for CMC’s:
This case highlights to CMCs, the importance of:
- Noting key dates in the claims process, particularly a FOS deadline for submitting claims for consideration. To act on information received and to keep the customer updated on the progress of their claim
Learning point for consumers:
This case highlights to consumers, the importance of:
- Reading carefully all of the correspondence received from the CMC. This will ensure you are kept fully up to date on the handling of your claim