We make a lot of complaints to Amigo Loans and now understand how their processes and procedures work regarding customer complaints.
When a customer first signs up on our site, we send the customer an email to send to the lender. This email asks the lender to send the customer a Statement of Account (SOA). This SOA should show all the loans and all the payments made and interest charged.
With Amigo Loan, normally they send out very clear and precise SOA’s that are easily read and understood. However, sometimes the SOA request is overlooked and Amigo either send nothing or they send out a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR) which is a copy of all communications made with the customer. This will include copies of all email and all telephone calls. The DSAR’s are a real pain as they are password protected and will often be spread over multiple emails and are not only difficult to open, but hard to extract the required information.
Once we have details of all of the loans and payments, we are ready to start to build a case for an Amigo Loan Refund Claim. We need to be sure that we have a solid case and can be sure that the loan(s) should not have been made. Amigo will refuse to investigate the complaint if it believes that Redbridge Finance has not fully investigated the basis of the complaint and can “prove” that the lending was unfair or irresponsible. The investigation we make may include asking the customer for copies of bank statement’s and a copy of their credit report. This allows us to see what their financial position was at the time of the loans being taken out.
If we do not believe that the lending was irresponsible or unfair, we will not make the complaint and we advise the customer accordingly. When we are ready to make the Amigo Loan Refund Claimwe compile the information and submit the complaint to Amigo.
If Amigo does not agree with our justification for making the complaint, they will object and there will be some discussion. If we cannot convince Amigo to investigate the complaint, we will take the matter to the FOS and ask for its view and opinion.
Amigo will reject any complaint that is over 6 years old under the FCA Time Barring Rule. We do not agree with the way that Amigo Loans interprets the Time Barring Rule and will recommend to customers that are Time Barred that the case is referred to the FOS. The area that our view differs from Amigo is around this point:
Time barring can occur when it has been ‘over 6 years since the event that you are complaining about occurred’. As all your loans were taken over 6 years ago the lender is trying to time bar these and as such believes that the FOS cannot look into these.
While this may be the case, what the lender is failing to consider (or may be applying wrongly) is the second part of the time bar rule that states ‘or 3 years from when the complainant was aware, or should have reasonably been aware, that they have cause to complain’. It may not have been until much more recently that you realised you had cause to complain and therefore, we may be able to still ask the FOS to investigate this.
We find that many customers were not aware that they could complain until very recently and we believe that these cases should be investigated by Amigo Loans. With a number of other lenders we have found that the FOS agrees with our interpretation of the Time Barring Rule and forces a lender to investigate the matter.