Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about making a PPI claim

10th June 2016
claim PPI

What is PPI?

We explain about PPI here.

What if I don’t have any paperwork?

Don’t worry! This is the most common question we get asked, but 95% of people don’t have anything.  You just need to say which banks/companies you want to check.  With this and your details (including old addresses), its possible to do searches with each bank or company for accounts and PPI policies.  We will broaden these searches so for example, if you ask about a Goldfish card, we’d do a full search of all Barclays, Barclaycard and Woolwich accounts of all types (as well brands like Morgan Stanley) as these all come under the same group.  So even if you’re not sure what you had, it’s worth putting down whatever banks you had your current account with at the least.

What will it cost me?

Its no win, no fee* and there are no upfront costs.  If your PPI claim is successful, you’ll be charged 15% + VAT (18% total) of any compensation awarded.  This is much lower than many claims management companies who have often charged 30%, 36% or even 39% inc. VAT for the same service and lower than the official fee rate cap of 20%+VAT (25% total) which many companies now charge. They have to pay for all those misleading web adverts, nuisance phone calls and expensive TV adverts somehow!  You’ll get the same service, but with a  smaller customer-focused company. 

*No win, no fee details

If we find you did not have PPI or your claim is not successful there is nothing to pay.  There is also no fee for claims cancelled during the 14 days cooling-off period.

If you cancel outside the cooling-off period, we may charge you a cancellation charge based on the amount of work we have done at the time of the cancellation at £120 per hour.  In any case, the total cancellation fee would be capped at £180.  However, if you let us continue with your claim until the end, you would never have to pay any cancellation charges.

Why so cheap?

Short answer? It would be better to ask why was everyone so expensive?  Simple – because they relied on customers not to spot the high rate until it was too late. We and Claims Thru Us Ltd (trading as Canary Claims) have never sought to exploit consumers like this.  A fair price to do a job.

Slightly longer answer – for most companies their biggest cost is advertising.  There are hundreds of claims companies competing for clients. Most claims companies spend fortunes on getting clients – TV adverts, cold calls, web and Google ads are not cheap.  They need to keep spending this money because they have staff and other costs to support and they need to a lot of business to keep going. We don’t advertise (we have done in the past so we know how costly it is) – people find us or are recommended to us.

There’s another uglier side to this.  They charge them because they know many people won’t check the rate before signing up and the fees are buried in small print.  Compare that to the big yellow numbers on our home page.  We could have hidden the rate, but we want to be proud of the business we run and what we do – so we don’t.  The regulators have now introduced a fee rate cap of 20%+VAT (from July 2018).  We and Claims Thru Us Ltd (trading as Canary Claims) have never charged that much.

There is no compromise in the service you’ll receive because the rate is lower. Quite the opposite. Our reputation and recommendations are everything to us since we don’t rely on actors telling you to use us.

Will you keep calling me if I ask for a pack?

Nope.  Some companies will keep pestering you trying to convince you to go ahead.  We’ve heard some terrible stories about what they’ll say just to get you to sign up.  We don’t do any of that.  There’s no obligation from just requesting a pack.  You can complete it and send it back, use another company or do it yourself – we won’t pester you, but we’re here to help if you have questions. If you decide to complete the pack and sign the forms, you still have 14 days to cancel. It’s all explained in detail in the claims pack.

I don’t know if I have PPI, can I make a PPI claim?

The first stage is just to check if you had any PPI.  Ask for a claims pack and you can find out simply, easily and with no hassle or cost.  Whether you can or should go ahead with a claim depends on how any policies were sold to you but an advisor will guide you on this at the right time.  If it turns out you don’t or didn’t have PPI or you don’t have a valid complaint, there’s no charge.

I’ve had a PPI company call me and tell me that I had PPI – how do they know?

Unless you’ve authorised them to check for you already, there is no legitimate way for companies to know this regardless of what they tell you.  Some are just companies who will say this to get you interested.  They may not be a claims company themselves as there are companies who just get customer details from such calls and then sell them to claims companies.  We’re sometimes approached by this sort of company, but we never buy leads as we do not wish to encourage calls.

From time to time we hear of cold callers telling people that they had PPI with a specific bank (and they were actually a customer of that bank).  This might be a coincidence or there could be something less legitimate at play. We can’t speculate about rumours, so will leave you to judge for yourself how they may have gotten this information.

We can only repeat that no company (other than the bank or whatever who sold you the PPI) can legitimately tell you this – do you want deal with one of these companies?

I don’t think I had PPI, can you still check?

If you look through your credit card statements and they do not show PPI charges (which may be called different things), then it’s unlikely you had PPI.  However, if you just don’t remember having it but can’t check, it’s worth getting it checked because once the deadline passes in August 2019, it will be too late.  We have dealt with clients who understood all about PPI, didn’t think they’d ever had it, but turn out to have had several accounts with PPI.

How far back can I go?

We’re often asked how far back searches can go.  People may have spoken to other companies who claim 20 years or something else.  The truth is, no one knows.  The limit is ONLY what records the banks and credit card companies hold (nothing else – whatever other companies may tell you [hint: they are telling porkies]).

This varies from bank to bank and from customer to customer.  As a guide, 2000s are generally not a problem, 1990s usually fine and the 1980s becomes more difficult.  If you have paperwork showing PPI, then it doesn’t matter how long ago it was. The easiest thing to do is to request a pack and get it checked on a no win, no fee* basis.  If a company tells you they have a time machine and can go back further than other people or you can, they’re lying.

Can you check just by me giving you my postcode, name etc?

You may have seen Web adverts which suggest you can just put your name or postcode (or something else) in and get a PPI check.  These are lies – they are just a way for those companies to get your details and then the process is the same.  There is no central record anywhere of everyone’s accounts (apart from credit files which do not go back far enough) let alone whether or not they had PPI.  It is always necessary to contact each individual bank to do a check and the banks will not do this without a form signed by you the customer.  It would be a bit worrying if they really did hand out all your financial details to claims companies without this wouldn’t it?

We are regularly contacted by the companies that place these adverts offering to sell us the names of people they’ve caught through these misleading adverts.  We always say “no thanks” and have reported companies to the rgeulators.

You will ALWAYS have to sign paperwork and provide basic details (even if it sounds like you won’t) as the search process is controlled by the banks and no one else.

Is there a PPI deadline?

Yes  – August 2019, but remember that’s when the “complaint” has to be submitted.  Before that happens, you need to send your forms in, wait for searches and prepare the complaints.  It’s already busy and likely to get much busier in the run up to the deadline.  Don’t delay.

It’s noticeable that the Financial Ombudsman Service seems busier than ever. The banks have fixed timescales for most complaints, but we’ve seen even those breached in the last few months as they struggle to cope.

How long does a claim take?

No one can promise a specific timeframe – every case is different. It depends on how many  and which credit cards, loans, mortgages etc you may have had and how long it takes for lenders and insurance companies to dig out the details.

If can take up to forty days to get full details of accounts and any PPI, but it’s now typically much faster.  On the other hand, delays do sometimes occur – for example it may be necessary to contact more than one company or correct errors in a bank’s first response.

Lenders have to deal with complaints in around eight weeks. On top of this it will take a little time to check your policies and put together the details of your claim(s). Later on, it’s sometimes necessary to go back and forth a bit with the banks to negotiate the best deal for you. If your case goes to the Financial Ombudsman Service, it will take longer to complete the process and there is no fixed timescale. But you’ll have someone else worrying about all the chasing on your behalf.

We both want your claim to go as fast as possible.  Aside from wanting to do a great job, no one gets any money until the claim is paid!

Be wary of companies who say they will complete your PPI claim faster or within X weeks.  It’s not in their hands and actually against the regulations to make such claims. Better to deal with a straight company?

Who are you?

Note: As of April 1, 2019, all claims management companies are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (taking over from the Claims Management Regulator).

FairerPPI is a trading name of Fairer Claims Limited. Fairer Claims Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of regulated claims management activities; its registration is recorded on the website FCA reference number 833798.

Your claims pack will now come from Claims Thru Us Limited (trading as Canary Claims).  They have been handling claims for more than ten years (and before PPI even started).  We know the owners very well and began working officially with them in May 2017 after a long period of informal cooperation.

That’s the official bit we have to include. Both companies are small, family owned, friendly and professional business dedicated to fairly and honestly helping consumers with financial claims. We started Fairer Claims Limited after having bad experiences with the financial services industry ourselves. Along the way we gained experience in making claims to companies, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and through the small claims courts (Money Claims Centre).

Why do you call yourself “Fairer” PPI?

PPI claims companies have gained a bad name over the last few years as some companies have used intrusive cold calls and spam texts, false marketing and very high hidden fees and charges. We created FairerPPI so there is a fairer way for consumers to get help with a claim if they choose. This means that we:

  • have never used cold-calls, spam texts or emails and never worked with companies that do.
  • offer one of the lowest fees for our services on a no win, no fee* basis with no hidden charges.  Our fee has always been well below the cap that was introduced last year.
  • give clear and honest information including how you can claim PPI yourself if you want and have the time and ability.
  • won’t pester you into making a claim if you don’t have one or you don’t want to – sadly we have heard complaints about other companies doing this.

What will you do with my information if I fill in your form or claims pack?

It is important to us that you feel confident that we will respect your privacy and treat your information correctly. In simple terms, our aim is to collect only information we need and then only use that for what you have asked for. That means no giving, renting or selling your information to anyone for other purposes. We, know – quite rare these days.

You can find the details on this in our privacy policy here. Although it’s covered in that privacy policy, it’s worth highlighting that requests for claims packs go to Claims Thru Us Limited (trading as Canary Claims). This is just for sending out your pack – neither we nor they do anything else with your information.

If we receive other sensitive information from banks etc. we keep this secure on our own systems located in our own facilities in the UK and we securely destroy all sensitive paper information according to EN15713:2009. This is the independently audited  standard recommendations for the management and control of collection, transportation and destruction of confidential material to ensure such material is disposed of securely and safely.

If you have any questions or concerns about privacy, please let us know and we’ll do our best to help. We have registered our processing of personal data with the Information Commissioner Office’s Register of data controllers with number ZA173539.

Do I need to use a claims management company to reclaim PPI costs?

No – you can do this yourself by complaining to the relevant lender(s) including details of your loans and PPI policies etc and setting out the basis of your claim. They may settle your claim. If they don’t, you can usually complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which is also free. The FOS may investigate your PPI claim and may either rule in your favour or the financial services company’s favour (they are independent).

We have some tips on how to choose whether to have a go yourself or get some help from a company here.

How will I be kept updated?

Usually by email, text and letter on progress all the way through as key checkpoints are reached in your PPI claim.  You’ll always be able to ‘phone or email as well ask about your PPI claim, but perhaps the best bit about using a good claims company is that it all happens without you having to worry about it.

What if I’m not happy your service ?

We want to give a high level of customer service at a cost which is fairer than other claims management companies.  If you feel that we haven’t done this, then we would be grateful to hear from you. We have eight weeks to consider your complaint. You must have tried resolving your complaint with us first, but if you are not satisfied you can then have the complaint independently looked at by the Financial Ombudsman Service (as of 1 April 2019).  Full details of our complaints process are here.