Complaints Procedure for Customers
Our customers are extremely important to us and whilst we aim to provide a trouble-free and excellent level of service, we know that sometimes things go wrong. If you have cause to complain, we take any complaint very seriously and promise to deal with it promptly, effectively and in a positive manner.
We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and adhere to their complaints handling rules where we receive any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from or on behalf of a person about either the provision or failure to provide a service where a) the complainant alleges to have suffered, or may suffer, financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience or b) relates to activity by us or by a person or company which has some connection in marketing or providing financial services or products which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Whilst the Financial Conduct’s rules are in respect of their determination of ‘Eligible Customers’, it is the firm’s policy to treat all complainants the same.
Eligible Complainants are legally defined and have additional rights in law that we must acknowledge and adhere to. Eligible complainants are classified by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Handbook DISP 2.7) as a person who is:
- a) in relation to a complaint relating wholly or partly to payment services, either at the time of the conclusion of the payment service contract or at the time the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent or
- b) otherwise, at the time the complainant refers the complaint to us as the respondent.
A micro-enterprise is determined as an enterprise that employs fewer than 10 people and has a turnover or annual balance that does not exceed 2 million euros, taking into account the enterprises ‘partner enterprises’ or ‘linked enterprises’.
- a charity which has an annual income of less than £6.5 million at the time the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent
- a trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £5 million at the time the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent
- a CBTL consumer – applicable to buy to let credit agreement.
We do not offer these types of agreements
- a small business at the time the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent.
A small business is determined as an enterprise that is not a micro-enterprise and has an annual turnover of less than £6.5 million and employs fewer than 50 people or has a balance sheet total of less than £5 million
- a guarantor if the complaint arises from matters relevant to the relationship with the respondent
An Eligible Complainant must also have a complaint that arises from one or more of the following relationships with us. A full list of these may be found in the FCA’s Handbook DISP 2.7.6, some of which are not relevant to our industry or to the services that we offer. We have therefore detailed below the relevant points
- A person who is a customer
- A person who is a potential customer
- A person who is a payer in a payment transaction with the firm. A payment transaction is where we accept a payment for example if you have a Direct Debit set up with us for payment of a maintenance contract or for a finance agreement directly with us
- A person who has taken out or intended to take out a contract for an insurance product through us
- A person who gave a guarantee to an actual or prospective regulated credit agreement or regulated consumer hire agreement or any linked transaction as defined by the Consumer Credit Act 1974
- A person about whom specified information was provided to a person in relation to a finance application
- A person from whom payment has been sought to be recovered under a credit agreement or a consumer hire agreement or in relation to whom the respondent has sought to perform duties or enforce rights for a creditor under a credit agreement or consumer hire agreement in carrying on debt administration
- The complaint arises out of matters relevant to being or having been a customer or a guarantor
- The complaint arises out of our actions or failure to act where the complainant is a potential customer of the firm
- Involves an allegation that the complainant has suffered, or may suffer, financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience
NOTE: A complaint may be made on behalf of an eligible complainant by another party authorised by you or authorised by law.
Making a complaint
If you need to complain, you may do so to any member of our staff by
Phone: 01993 222860
Writing to: Bridle Vehicle Leasing, Tamarisk House, North Leigh Business Park, North Leigh, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 6SW
Any complaint verbal or written will at the earliest opportunity be referred to a member of the senior management team and we will follow our internal complaints procedure. Please note that the complaint will not be handled solely by the person against whom the complaint was made, and we reserve the right, where appropriate, to refer a complaint to another firm, for example, if the fault lies with the lender’s service or to a dealer or manufacturer if there are issues with a vehicle.
We will try to resolve your complaint by the end of the next business day. However, it may always be possible if your complaint requires further investigation and we will keep you informed of the progress and we will let you have our final response as soon as possible and not later than eight weeks.
- Acknowledge the complaint in writing promptly
- Give details in our acknowledgement letter of the Financial Ombudsman Service
- Make contact to seek clarification on any points where necessary
- Fully investigate the complaint
- Keep you informed of our progress
- Discuss with you our findings and proposed response
If your complaint is regarding Payment Services, such as a direct debit or standing order we must respond to you with a holding response within 15 business days of receiving your complaint. If we do not do this, you are able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The complaints handler will establish the nature and scope of your complaint having due regards to the Financial Conduct Authority’s direction to deal with complaints promptly and fairly and to give complainants clear replies and, where appropriate, fair redress.
When investigating the complaint, we will take a number of steps and these may include
- Review of the facts
- Retrieval of relevant documentation and correspondence
- Speaking to relevant individuals
- Listening to relevant phone recordings
We will consider these in conjunction with your complaint. We will endeavour to respond to and resolve your complaint straight away, which we consider being at least one business day after the day that we received your complaint. However, we may need to carry out further internal investigations which will not enable us to resolve your complaint straight away. In this instance, we will send you a notice of investigation letter within 5 working days from when we received your complaint. The notice of investigation letter will include:
- The name and job title of the individual handling your complaint
- A timescale for when we will correspond further, which will be no more than 4 weeks from the receipt of your complaint
- A copy of our complaint handling procedure
We will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint and notify you in writing of the proposed resolution.
In the unlikely event that our investigations require longer than 4 weeks to complete, we will write to you to explain why we are not yet in a position to respond to your complaint and indicate when we will make further contact. This must be within 8 weeks of the receipt of the complaint.
If after 8 weeks we are still not in a position to make a final response, we will write to you and give reasons for the delay and an indication of when we expect to provide you with a full and final response. At this point, we must include details of the Financial Ombudsman Service (‘FOS’) who you can refer your complaint if you wish to.
Once our investigations are complete, we will write to you with our response. This will be either a final response or an offer letter depending on the circumstances of your complaint.
A final response will set out clearly the firm’s decision and the reasons for it and is:
- Where we believe that we have fully addressed your complaint;
- Notified you that you may refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you remain dissatisfied with our final response and that you must do so within 6 months from the date of the final response; and
- Provide the website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service and refer to the availability of further information on the website of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Offer Letter (Redress Determination)
An offer letter is:
- Where we consider that you are entitled to some redress and believe that we have fully addressed your complaint. It will include information as to how we have calculated this and a page for you to state your acceptance and return to us. We will then forward the agreed redress in a final response letter.
Complaints Settled within 3 business days
Complaints that can be settled to your satisfaction within 3 business days can be recorded and communicated differently.
Where we consider a complaint to be resolved to your satisfaction under this section, we will promptly send you a ‘Summary Resolution Communication’, being a written communication from us which:
- refers to the fact that you have made a complaint and informs you that we now consider the complaint to have been resolved to your satisfaction
- We will tell you that if you subsequently decide that you are dissatisfied with the resolution of the complaint you may be able to refer the complaint back to us for further consideration or alternatively refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service
- Indicates whether or not we consent to waive the relevant time limits, (where we have discretion in such matters)
- Provide the website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service
- Refer to the availability of further information on the website of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
In addition to sending you a Summary Resolution Communication, we may also use other methods to communicate the information where we
- We consider that doing so may better meet your needs
- We have already been using another method to communicate about the complaint.
Closing a complaint
We will consider a complaint closed when we have made our final response to you. This does not prevent you from exercising any rights you may have to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
If you remain dissatisfied
We hope that you will be satisfied with our response but if you remain dissatisfied, you may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service, but you must do so within 6 months of the date of our final response letter, redress determination letter or summary resolution communication. We will co-operate fully with the Ombudsman in resolving any complaints made against us and agree to be bound by any awards made by the Ombudsman. The firm undertakes to pay promptly any fees levied by the Ombudsman. You may contact them by
Phone: 0800 023 4567 (free for most people ringing from a fixed line) or 0300 123 9123 (cheaper for those calling using a mobile) or 020 7964 0500 (if calling from abroad)
Writing to: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London E14 9SR
Alternatively, you may refer the matter to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA). The BVRLA is approved by Government as a Consumer ADR body under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 and offers a free Conciliation Service. The Conciliation Service will investigate potential breaches of the Code of Conduct, which sets out the standards the BVRLA expects from its members. The Conciliation Service can only look at matters that relate to disputes arising from the activities of BVRLA members.
The BVRLA will aim to resolve the matter using the information presented by both parties to the dispute. Any information requested from either party should be sent to the BVRLA within five working days. Based on the information available, the BVRLA will provide both parties with its findings and recommendations and as members, we must comply with their rulings. Further details may be found at: www.bvrla.co.uk/advice/guidance/using-bvrlas-conciliation-service
You may contact the BVRLA by
Writing to: British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, River Lodge, Badminton Court, Amersham HP7 0DD
For Your Information
We are required by the FCA to report on the number and types of complaints that we have received and when these complaints have been closed. We are required to use the FCA’s standard Complaints Form and electronic reporting procedure via the Firms Online service.
We examine and evaluate our procedures following receipt of a complaint to see how we can improve our service to our customers. Any recommendations resulting from this are escalated to one of our Directors who will analyse before implementation.
We retain details of complaints for a period of at least 3 years.