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featuring questions raised recently with our free, expert helpline for businesses and advice workers
We're a small motor trader who used to sell PPI. Up until two years ago, we’d never had a complaint. But since all the media coverage about PPI we've seen a big increase, especially from claims companies representing our customers. The ombudsman has never upheld a complaint against us, but we've still had to pay case fees. Even though we're finally seeing complaints ease off again, does the ombudsman understand how hard it's been for us?
This is something we hear a lot from smaller businesses. We really do understand how difficult the PPI mis-selling scandal has been – and not just for consumers. But there are several ways we help smaller businesses like you to navigate the problems.
Firstly, our technical advice desk is here for you to ask questions and get some informal advice during the working week (call us on 020 7964 1400). We also travel around the country meeting businesses face to face – giving practical tips on how to resolve complaints without the need for us to get involved.
Earlier this month we published our proposed plan and budget for next year. In that document, we've said that we are looking to stop charging the £350 supplementary fee for PPI complaints. This should make it easier for those businesses that have seen an increase in complaints, despite having little or nothing to do with the mis-selling of PPI.
Every year, we run a series of roadshows giving businesses the chance to meet us face to face and find out more about how we work. In particular, we reach out to financial businesses that don’t usually have many complaints and want to learn more about the ombudsman.
In 2013, people who came to speak to us said that they found it helpful – and that afterwards they felt better equipped to sort out problems with their customers themselves.
But we also asked what we could do to improve the events.
People told us that they wanted more practical examples of how we investigate complaints and make decisions. They also said that they liked being able to ask us questions and talk about what was worrying them.
So this year, we’ll be travelling around the country with a more interactive, personalised style of training session. We’ll be working in smaller groups with a stronger emphasis on case studies so that we can help businesses to understand how we think.
We’ll soon be posting details of where we’ll be going over the coming months on the "news and events" pages of this website – so keep an eye on that for further news on where you can meet the ombudsman in 2014.
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.