Are your complaint phone lines compliant?

PhoneAre your complaint phone lines compliant?

Following an FCA consultation and review, there are changes coming this year and next to the way we all handle customer complaints. The most pressing change is the rule around the charges customers pay when phoning to make a complaint.  As the charge to make the call should be no more than a ‘basic rate’, this may have implications for your business if you are using higher rate phone lines currently, and needs to be addressed by 26 October 2015. Take a look below at the other key differences between what is required now and what we all need to be prepared for by the middle of 2016:

  Current Rules NEW rules
Telephone charges No specific rules in place relating to call rates


From 26 October 2015 rules are being introduced to limit to a maximum ‘basic rate’ the cost of post contractual telephone calls consumers make to firms
This means providing geographic (usually starting 01, 02 or 03) or 0800/ 0808 numbers. Firms ordinarily using a mobile number to receive calls can continue to use 07.084 and 0870/1/2/3 are unacceptable.
Summary Resolution Communication – Complaints resolved before the end of the next business day do not require a written response, unless requested by the customer.
– Complaints resolved after the next business day require a final response.
From June 30 2016 complaints resolved ‘informally’ (by the end of the third business day) must receive a written summary resolution communication which gives the customer details of the FOS should they choose to contact them.
Customer referrals to FOS


– Complainants will not be told about the FOS if the complaint is resolved by the end of the next business day
– Otherwise, complainants can refer their complaint to the FOS after eight weeks or on receipt of a final response.
– All complainants will be entitled to refer their complaint to the FOS
– This can be after receiving a summary resolution communication, after eight weeks or when they receive the final response.
Reporting complaints to FCA – Complaints resolved by the end of the next business day  do not need to be reported
– All others are reported
All complaints must be reported to the FCA from June 30th 2016 – even those resolved informally. Therefore, firms with a reporting period that starts on 1 January 2016 must start recording them all from then.
Complaints Return Limited information about complaints unresolved at the end the next working day are reported. – From 30th June 2016 more granular information including product will be reported.
– The first return in the new format needs to include all complaint data for the first half of 2016.

The definition of a complaint is unchanged after the review. Here’s a reminder of the full definition as described by the FCA.

 Definition of a complaint


Currently the definition of a complaint is:
Any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from, or on behalf of, a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service or a redress determination, which:
(a) alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience; and
(b) relates to an activity of that respondent, or of any other respondent with whom that respondent has some connection in marketing or providing financial services or products, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

These are some of the key changes to expect but to take a look at the full FCA review document and outcomes,

you can click this link

Categories: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines


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