Financial complaints handling is ‘dismal’ say FOS

| April 7, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has claimed that an increasing amount of consumers are receiving ‘dismal’ treatment when they complain to financial services institutions.

Chief Ombudsman, Walter Merricks, said: “Some in the financial services industry - currently facing significant business challenges - appear to be taking the jaundiced view that having a large number of complaining customers is just an unfortunate fact of life.

“So they seem to be geared up simply to dispose of complaints at the minimum cost, and with minimal attention to the individual facts and circumstances.”

As a result, Mr Merricks claims that when people bring their case to the Ombudsman, they feel “angry” and “ignored”.

Furthermore, Mr Merricks said that an unhelpful approach is discouraging almost of half of people from taking their complaints any further.

Mr Merricks explains that “In the current climate, high standards of customer service may not seem the top priority to businesses battening down the hatches. But when markets pick up and these same businesses look to attract new customers, they may well discover that consumers have long memories of how well, or otherwise, they were treated in the past.”

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