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Creation Financial Services bashing

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  • jj

    Tom, you should definitely use FOS before MCOL. If you don’t follow the correct process, you risk having your claim rejected.

    The correct claims process for all products regulated by the FCA is:

    1. Claim to the company itself. The rules allow you to make a complaint by any reasonable means, but it’s best to use the complaints process that they must publish. They have 8 weeks to provide you with a final decision.

    2. Once you have a final decision or the 8 weeks have elapsed, you can take the complaint to FOS if you are unhappy with the outcome. FOS charges a substantial processing fee to the firm, but it’s free for you. FOS has two levels of decision, adjudicator and ombudsman, so the initial FOS decision is not necessarily final. A FOS ombusman decision is binding on the firm but the consumer may choose to reject it.

    3. If you aren’t happy with FOS, you can claim via the normal court process. Although you can start with the courts, your claim is likely to be rejected until you have first exhausted 1. and 2.

    It’s important to understand that FOS doesn’t work like a court: previous decisions aren’t binding, and they will look beyond the contractual position in an attempt to find fairness in accordance with the FCA’s 11 principles for businesses and 6 TCF (Treating Customers Fairly) Outcomes. This typically favours consumers: the well-publicised billions that the banks had to repay on PPI claims were mostly against products that followed existing FCA guidance and which supported by legally watertight contracts that had been reviewed by the best legal minds in the land – but the FOS decided the products were unfair so the contracts had to be unwound.

    So, if you have to go to FOS, read the FCA’s 11 principles and 6 outcomes, and couch your complaint in those terms. Based on the way that Creation has behaved, you will almost certainly succeed.

    cinereus

    Hi JDB, I assume based on recent posts that you work in Financial Services, you seem to have a good understanding of how these things work. I am really interested in your advice about how we should structure our claims (FOS or otherwise) with Creation. I’ve had my annual fee refunded but I am still owed a large number of points that are being withheld, plus I had hit the 10k spend for the free night since my last anniversary. Do you think it’s worthwhile pursuing? and what angle would you take?

    Same as any claim. Simply cite the relevant principles and legislation and it’s all common sense logic from there.

    I wouldn’t hold much hope for the FOS having enough balls to do anything. Be prepared to have to submit a proper skeleton for MCOL.

    JDB

    I’m not convinced you will get very far, but it’s worth a try. There is still the outside chance of a full or partial climb down by Creation and IHG’s position may get clarified soon, all of which will make it clearer as to whether it is worthwhile to go to the FOS. Obviously, you need to complain to Creation first and wait 8 weeks + to get a final decision. You can go to the FOS after 8 weeks even without the decision, but then all you are doing is rehashing your complaint, not appealing the decision, so you are at a big disadvantage. Either way (for the complaint/FOS) keep it clear, concise and specific (ie not just saying you have been unfairly treated; spell out precisely why/how) and reference the terms or other documents as applicable. Various people have suggested collating all the bits of poor service they and others have encountered which is appalling advice as that is just noise that is irrelevant to the disposition of your case. If they have said something specific to you in a call, subsequently not honoured, obviously that is relevant but whether someone got a credit limit increase during the closure period is immaterial and just a distraction. You should provide a brief chronology of events – the letter, any subsequent calls, letters etc. and put this as a front page to a single PDF with all the correspondence, notes/transcripts of calls, statements showing points and 0 transferred + any other relevant docs. For the FOS, I would look at their form, cut and paste the three headings of their online form and write them in a document to cut and paste once you have a final version. Then attach the aforementioned PDF.

    Precision is important – I have read hundreds of FOS decisions and all Creation decisions relating to cards in the last few years + a few of their loan ones. They are very good at winning on small technical points. A particular moment of danger seems to be that they are remarkably effective at getting preliminary decisions overturned by a final Ombudsman decision, so even if you win at the preliminary decision stage, you make wish to consider adding anything new or that they have missed as otherwise Creation will. In this process, bear in mind that unlike in a court process, you don’t get to see their submissions which works to their advantage.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 1 month ago by .
    JDB

    @cinereus – what are you suggesting to @Tom and others is the relevant legislation to “simply” cite in respect of points/free night vouchers?

    JDB

    @jj – if you are going to give a reading list to people, they also need to read the terms and conditions (card terms + points ones) which they have signed up to. I’m not sure which part of those terms you are suggesting might be unfair once you have actually read them which I don’t think you have.

    jimboandthejetset

    I am just below the points threshold to “earn” Spire next year. If Creation send me the points it owes me for the last two months, I would be over the threshold.

    I know this is academic for status, as the status will be rolled forward. However I suspect IHG will reward those who would have qualified with a slug of points… and I will miss out on those because of Creation.

    So, should this come to pass, am I allowed to claim the loss of that extra reward as a consequential loss from Creation’s actions?

    Roger that

    I thought I might have escaped the purge as I can still open my IHG app account page. This is up to date, except that a monthly payment has been rejected – as advised by email from the payee.

    Boo hoo! So now I join the list of claimants.

    Coincidentally my Marriott Creation card account bill arrived today. No changes except the card image has changed from black to white.

    LostAntipod

    I complained to Creation in October set an end Oct deadline. They replied Dec 1 rejecting all my claims, namely
    – award of free IHG night or cash alternative, since I met the spending threshold, and by false promises, denied the opportunity to direct that spend to other reward programs;
    – annual fee refund, since they terminated my account a month prior to the end of the account year;
    – I noted that they did not comply with S98A of the Consumer Credit Act (1974), subsection 4 (b) and (c), and FCA Principle 6

    I am checking these forums for a bit more feedback before I hit up the Ombudsman. I have already needed to use the Ombudsman once this year, after being screwed over by AGEAS Insurance on the market value of my car following an accident. I did have to wait a few months, but I received over £2000 that AGEAS were unwilling to pay until the FOS intervened – at the bottom end of what I expected but happy nonetheless since it was free. I provided a lot of detail and all correspondence to the FOS, which made their job pretty easy as I had the insurer bang to rights. So I am optimistic they will find that Creation have done the wrong thing here.

    JDB

    I complained to Creation in October set an end Oct deadline. They replied Dec 1 rejecting all my claims, namely
    – award of free IHG night or cash alternative, since I met the spending threshold, and by false promises, denied the opportunity to direct that spend to other reward programs;
    – annual fee refund, since they terminated my account a month prior to the end of the account year;
    – I noted that they did not comply with S98A of the Consumer Credit Act (1974), subsection 4 (b) and (c), and FCA Principle 6

    I am checking these forums for a bit more feedback before I hit up the Ombudsman. I have already needed to use the Ombudsman once this year, after being screwed over by AGEAS Insurance on the market value of my car following an accident. I did have to wait a few months, but I received over £2000 that AGEAS were unwilling to pay until the FOS intervened – at the bottom end of what I expected but happy nonetheless since it was free. I provided a lot of detail and all correspondence to the FOS, which made their job pretty easy as I had the insurer bang to rights. So I am optimistic they will find that Creation have done the wrong thing here.

    I complained to Creation in October set an end Oct deadline. They replied Dec 1 rejecting all my claims, namely
    – award of free IHG night or cash alternative, since I met the spending threshold, and by false promises, denied the opportunity to direct that spend to other reward programs;
    – annual fee refund, since they terminated my account a month prior to the end of the account year;
    – I noted that they did not comply with S98A of the Consumer Credit Act (1974), subsection 4 (b) and (c), and FCA Principle 6

    I am checking these forums for a bit more feedback before I hit up the Ombudsman. I have already needed to use the Ombudsman once this year, after being screwed over by AGEAS Insurance on the market value of my car following an accident. I did have to wait a few months, but I received over £2000 that AGEAS were unwilling to pay until the FOS intervened – at the bottom end of what I expected but happy nonetheless since it was free. I provided a lot of detail and all correspondence to the FOS, which made their job pretty easy as I had the insurer bang to rights. So I am optimistic they will find that Creation have done the wrong thing here.

    Consumer Credit Act 1974 section 98A 4 (a)(b) and (c) do not apply – that is for removing credit, not closing your card. It is 3. that applies here and requires no reasons to be given. Once they moved to immediate closure they will be relying on paras 5 or 7 where again no reasons need be given. It is worth getting these things right (check with someone other than me!) as if you have strands of your claim that make no sense, it detracts from any good points you may have. It is surprising you haven’t had a fee refund as many seem to have had that.

    Whatever the reason/cause (and who caused it) for not reaching the anniversary date, that makes it a bigger mountain to climb to get the voucher. Previous cases may not technically be precedents, but the decision has been the same in multiple cases and multiple firms, even if the firm has closed an account.

    LostAntipod

    Actually i based that CCA 1974 language on researching prior HFP comments. But thanks for commenting, I appreciate it.

    JDB

    Actually i based that CCA 1974 language on researching prior HFP comments. But thanks for commenting, I appreciate it.

    Regrettably, while the majority of people here are very helpful, there are are a number of ‘armchair’ experts on various topics who don’t have a scooby. You want to do your own research before going to FOS. This is link to the CCA 1974 section.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/39/section/98A

    marks7389

    I am just below the points threshold to “earn” Spire next year. If Creation send me the points it owes me for the last two months, I would be over the threshold.

    I know this is academic for status, as the status will be rolled forward. However I suspect IHG will reward those who would have qualified with a slug of points… and I will miss out on those because of Creation.

    So, should this come to pass, am I allowed to claim the loss of that extra reward as a consequential loss from Creation’s actions?

    I’m in exactly the same position. I suspect we’re going to find it difficult to argue any additional recompense from Creation on this as, if anything happens at all, it will be within IHG’s gift. I suspect like you I had the 25,000 qualification bonus points last year on qualification and again earlier this year when IHG extended the status. I think I’ve seen others who have reached the threshold again say that they’ve not as yet been offered anything more.

    My gut feeling is to focus the argument with Creation on the points and anniversary night that are owing, and if we win that argument and IHG does do something for those who requalified take it up with them at that point with the requisite evidence of what’s happened.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 1 month ago by .
    marks7389

    I complained to Creation in October set an end Oct deadline. They replied Dec 1 rejecting all my claims, namely
    – award of free IHG night or cash alternative, since I met the spending threshold, and by false promises, denied the opportunity to direct that spend to other reward programs;
    – annual fee refund, since they terminated my account a month prior to the end of the account year;

    Did they provide any explanation or reasoning for the rejection of your claims. Did you also claim for the points built up since they stopped transferring them, or did that only come to light afterwards?

    cinereus

    @cinereus – what are you suggesting to @Tom and others is the relevant legislation to “simply” cite in respect of points/free night vouchers?

    My skeleton would just start with the bog-standard contract law/consumer rights statutes.

    (It’s obviously not binding, but there have been relevant cases tried in court too).

    Unlike others, I personally think you’d have a good chance getting somewhere with just an LBA and a very good chance if it actually goes to court (on the assumption you can be bothered to spend a few hours properly preparing your case that is).

    cinereus

    @cinereus – what are you suggesting to @Tom and others is the relevant legislation to “simply” cite in respect of points/free night vouchers?

    My skeleton would just start with the bog-standard contract law/consumer rights statutes.

    (It’s obviously not binding but there have been relevant cases tried in court too).

    memesweeper

    I’m going directly to MCOL, just as soon as I can find the time, on all but one point of dispute with Creation. The pre-action protocols are set out here:

    https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/pd_pre-action_conduct#6.1

    It’s perfectly clear the court would like both parties to use ADRs where possible — and for good reason. However, this requires both parties to play the game, and Creation haven’t even replied to my letters. I’ve nothing to take to the Ombudsman, however, I do have a breach of contract and a Consumer Rights Act claim right now. I think I can justify my reasons for not going to the ombudsman.

    If anyone is interested in joining forces on research/digging up T&Cs/writing up a case for MCOL let me know. IANAL. My situation is I spent heavily on my Creation IHG card, 99% through Curve, including virtually all my non-Amex daily spend, plus significant spend at NS&I, HMRC and Amex. Likely average £200k a year for the past three years. I’d earned my Free Night voucher before my first statement for this year was issued. There was no recycling of funds, I did maybe one or two withdrawals from NS&I per year but none of it ended up back in a bank account that was used to repay Creation, even indirectly. Granted I am not as ‘innocent’ a party as some here, who never touched NS&I, but nor have I breached the Curve T&Cs on recycling, nor any Creation/IHG term. Curve recently did a check on my behaviour and haven’t shut me down. I’ve done well out of Creation, and understand they have been fleeced by some MSers, but none the less:

    – if I pay for a year’s service I expect to get a year’s service — or a refund
    – if I’ve earned the points legitimately, I expect to get the points
    – similarly, I’ve earned the free night voucher, I expect to see if in my IHG account immediately if they are going to close my account prematurely

    Given they have stopped their cards working with Curve altogether I simply don’t understand why they are closing the accounts at all.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 1 month ago by .
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