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Complaints Policy

We are committed to providing a quality, professional service with your best interests in mind. In the unlikely event that you feel the need to complain, this should be directed to ‘The Complaint Officer’ at The Debt Advisor Ltd (Company Number 6248441), and can be done via telephone on free phone 0800 085 1825, or email complaints@thedebtadvisor.co.uk or in writing to our registered office at Westpoint, 501 Chester Road, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 9HU. Your complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days and following a full investigation, a response will be given within 28 days.

Should this not resolve your complaint to your satisfaction you can refer your complaint in writing to Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR, by telephone on 0800 023 4567 or by email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Alternatively, you are able to direct your complaint through e-mail to the  Debt Managers Standards Association, complaints@demsa.co.uk, or telephone 0113 277 7610, or in writing to Debt Managers Standards Association, 45 – 46 Sugar Mill, Sugar Mill Business Park, Oakhurst Avenue, Leeds, LS11 7HL.

In addition, you are able to direct your complaint to The Insolvency Gateway (for formal insolvency solutions).

If your complaint is specifically regarding an IVA, you may choose to contact the IPA in the first instance.

Stage One – Your Complaint

What is a complaint?

If you are dissatisfied with ANY aspect of the service we provide, for whatever reason, this is a complaint and will be dealt with under this procedure.

How can a complaint be made?

You can make a complaint by telephone on 0800 085 1825, by letter addressed to our Complaints Manager at WestPoint, 3rd Floor West, 501 Chester Road, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 9HU, by fax to 0333 9999 655 or by email to complaints@thedebtadvisor.co.uk.

Who does the complaint need to be addressed to?

Your complaint should be directed to our Complaint Officer and will always be investigated by someone independent of the original problem.

What information should I include with my complaint?

Please ensure you make it clear:

  • That you are making a complaint;
  • The reason you are complaining;
  • If appropriate, the person you are complaining about and what it is you consider they did wrong;
  • How you have been affected;
  • Any suggestions you have as to how the issue could be resolved.

Your complaint will still be fully considered even if all of the above information is not included.

Stage Two – Our first Response

What response should I expect to receive from my complaint?

Within five days of receipt of your complaint, we will send to you:

  • A written acknowledgement confirming who will be dealing with your complaint and how you can contact that person.
  • An indication of how long it will take to resolve your complaint.
  • A copy of our complaints procedure.

If we need more information we will request it from you. Even if you do not provide the information, we will still continue with this complaints procedure. In that case we will only be able to resolve the complaint acting on the information available.

When can I expect a reply?

We will aim to complete our investigation within four weeks from receipt of your complaint. If we are unable to do so we will contact you in writing after four weeks to advise you that our investigations are continuing, why we have not yet resolved the problem and when you can expect us to make further contact.

If the process is going to take more than eight weeks, we will again contact you in writing to advise:

  • we need more time and why;
  • an estimate of how long we think it will take us to resolve your complaint.

If you are not happy with the delay what steps you can take to pursue the complaint further.

Stage Three – Our Decision

Once our investigation is complete, we will write to you with our findings. This response will set out:

  • Our findings
  • If your complaint is upheld, how we intend to rectify the situation
  • If your complaint is not upheld, our reasons for coming to this decision
  • Details of what steps you can take to pursue the complaint (including your rights to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service and the IPA – if this applies to your case).

What do I need to do next?

If you accept our findings you will need to confirm in writing. A form will be supplied for this. If you do not write to us after receipt of our response, we will assume you are satisfied with the outcome of the complaint and will not write to you again. Any offer of redress or other proposals we made will be automatically withdrawn.

If you do not accept our response you may wish to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service, or trade bodies such as IPA.

If you are dissatisfied with our response in relation to an advisory or debt management matter you can send your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) who will assess this dispute. FOS’s decisions are based on what is ‘fair and reasonable’.  In deciding what is ‘fair and reasonable’, the ombudsman will take into account the relevant law, regulations, regulators’ rules and guidance and standards, relevant codes of practice and, where appropriate, what he considers to have been good industry practice at the relevant time.  The ombudsman’s decisions are binding upon our company, if you accept their decision. Once a complaint is made to FOS it is generally dealt with in up to three stages:

Conciliation: FOS staff will see if there is any reasonable prospect of resolving the dispute by reaching a settlement acceptable to both sides.  The majority of complaints are in fact resolved in this way.

Otherwise, FOS staff will investigate the complaint.  They have the power to require information from the complainant and the firm.  They then issue an adjudication setting out a recommended outcome and the reasons for it.  If both the complainant and the firm accept the adjudication the complaint is resolved.

If either party does not accept the adjudication, one of the ombudsmen will review the case and issue a final decision.  If the complainant accepts the decision it will be binding on both parties.

Please note you have six months in which this matter can be raised with the Financial Ombudsman.  If you do not refer your complaint in time, the Ombudsman will not have our permission to consider your complaint and so will only be able to do so in very limited circumstances. For example, if the Ombudsman believes that the delay was as a result of exceptional circumstances.

Where we are dealing with you in relation to a formal insolvency, rather than in an advisory capacity and you do not consider that your complaint has been dealt with:

  • Adequately within the timescales laid down by our internal policy; and/or
  • Addresses your concerns to your reasonable satisfaction.

You should address your concerns to the Insolvency Complaints Gateway (“ICG”).

The ICG are a government department that will investigate the basis of your complaint and what we have done as a company to address your concerns to your satisfaction. The ICG can be contacted as follows:

Telephone: 0845 602 9848
Mail: IP Complaints, Insolvency Service, 3rd Floor, 1 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9DA
Web http://www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency/contact-us/IP-Complaints-Gateway

The full complaints procedures for The Financial Ombudsman Service and the IPA can be found in the following links:

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/consumer/complaints.htm

http://www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency/contact-us/IP-Complaints-Gateway