Advice Finances aims to resolve each complaint by the next working day, but in some cases the full five working days may be required as per the Dispute Resolutions Handbook (DISP). This is not always possible where complaints need further investigation and in instances where the Client is not happy with the results provided.
The employee, who the complaint has been raised with, can handle the complaint if they are sure they can provide the correct and accurate results to the Client. If at any point they start to struggle, or the employee is certain they cannot resolve the complaint, the Client must be made aware they are being passed through to a manager who will investigate the complaint further. The manager will then take the necessary steps to ensure the complaint is handled as required.
If the company cannot rectify the complaint within this time frame, they must make the Client aware additional time is required and they are provided with a timeline, in which the results will be presented. The response will then be provided within a 4-week period.
Should the company need more time, the Client is once more issued with a holding letter containing details of the estimated time in which the results will be presented. The General Complaints Log will be updated to show the progress of the complaint. Once the results are presented, if the Client confirms they do not wish to take it any further and are happy with the results, the General Complaints Log will be updated to show the status of the complaint as final, as the complaint is upheld.
Should the Client be unhappy with the results provided by the company in response to the complaint, further investigation will take place and a final response will be issued to the Client, if the response is accepted the complaint will be recorded as upheld on the General Complaints Log.
If the Client still rejects the results the Client will be made aware of the steps they now must take to inform the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and they must contact them within 6 months, if they wish to further the complaint. Once the response from the FOS is received the company is required to abide to their decision, if the Client is to receive a pay-out the company must honour the pay-out and it can be recorded on the General Complaints Log as complaint not upheld.
If there is no action to be taken by the company as the FOS has deemed the complaint null and void it can be recorded on the General Complaints Log as upheld.
Although any employee can handle a complaint initially, if further investigation is required the employee who the complaint has been made against (if it has been made against an individual) cannot be involved in the process. To reduce the risk of interference and to ensure the Client is treated fairly.