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Creation Financial Services bashing

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  • cinereus

    For those considering the FOS route, it’s worth noting the basis on which FOS must make decisions. FOS does not follow the letter if the law; here are its rules:

    The Ombudsman will determine a complaint by reference to what is, in his opinion, fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.

    In considering what is fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case, the Ombudsman will take into account:

    (1) relevant:
    (a) law and regulations;
    (b) regulators’ rules, guidance and standards;
    (c) codes of practice; and

    (2) (where appropriate) what he considers to have been good industry practice at the relevant time.

    Additionally, the Ombudsman may, “exclude evidence that would otherwise be admissible in a court or include evidence that would not be admissible in a court.”

    It’s fairly predictable than FOS will lose. However, even the most remedial attempt at lay litigation has a very strong chance via MCOL.

    apcd2

    If each complaint to the FOS is charged at £750, the math quickly goes out against them. I’m sure that each one of us is owed much less than £750. You just need a few complaints to not make it worth it (not to mention staff time, etc., which is probably a pretty penny they are spending as well).

    Indeed. I only had the free card so am only requesting a relatively small number of non-transferred points. With the FOS fee and staff time Creation will be spending well over £1000 dealing with my claim for 3000 points which only cost around £30 direct from ihg (and probably far less at the rate Creation are paying)

    Rui N.

    I’m at below 500 points collected, so even less for me.
    If they had told me on the closing letter that from X day forward I wouldn’t get any more points I wouldn’t bother. It wasn’t my first account closed because of MS, and I hope it wasn’t the last one (not because I want accounts closed, but because I want profitable MS avenues to exist, and that inevitable lead to some providers not wanting my business, and that’s fine). But I’ve never had to deal with this kind of stupidity and making of rules as they go.

    BTW, I had mentioned on the daily chat posts that I was owed almost £150 of incorrectly charged interest during their payment outage. They didn’t reply to my multiple emails about the subject (despite saying that they do so in 5 working days). Had to call. The agent was super nice, and seemed flabbergasted that I was charged interest when I made a payment several days before the due date. It was just a matter of confirming the payment date and the payment amount and he returned the interest. After a few days it showed up on my account.

    SteveJ

    If each complaint to the FOS is charged at £750, the math quickly goes out against them. I’m sure that each one of us is owed much less than £750. You just need a few complaints to not make it worth it (not to mention staff time, etc., which is probably a pretty penny they are spending as well).

    It’s not £750 per complaint. FOS can group complaints into similar types. So they may only end up with three buckets:
    1) complaints about points not transferred
    2) complaints about free night certs not transferred
    3) complaints about annual fees not refunded

    So they’re probably assuming they’ll only have to suck up £2,250 of FOS fees. Or even less if the whole lot is chucked in one bucket.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 9 months ago by .
    JerrySignfield

    Even though they may not be charged £750 per FOS complaint, every customer that is complaining it taking up time and as a business they should value the time of their employees not based on the actual pay rate. Many companies will just pay out small amounts rather than accept claims as it costs more for a complaint than actually paying out the amount to satisfy the complaint.

    Creation not refunding fees is just a silly business decision, it will cost them more in time dealing with these issues than just refunding the fees pro rata or even in full, I fail to see it being a wise decision to try to abuse their powers against the consumer for little gain.

    Even though they may not be charged £750 per FOS complaint, every customer that is complaining it taking up time and as a business they should value the time of their employees not based on the actual pay rate. Many companies will just pay out small amounts rather than accept claims as it costs more for a complaint than actually paying out the amount to satisfy the complaint.

    Creation not refunding fees is just a silly business decision, it will cost them more in time dealing with these issues than just refunding the fees pro rata or even in full, I fail to see it being a wise decision to try to abuse their powers against the consumer for little gain. From their perspective they are gaining nothing apart from a few pro rata fees and the points for 1 month before the customers realise they are being conned.

    I don’t care how much time I spend dealing with this, I see no reason to let them get away with trying to rip off the consumer

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 9 months ago by .
    JDB

    Even though they may not be charged £750 per FOS complaint, every customer that is complaining it taking up time and as a business they should value the time of their employees not based on the actual pay rate. Many companies will just pay out small amounts rather than accept claims as it costs more for a complaint than actually paying out the amount to satisfy the complaint.

    Creation not refunding fees is just a silly business decision, it will cost them more in time dealing with these issues than just refunding the fees pro rata or even in full, I fail to see it being a wise decision to try to abuse their powers against the consumer for little gain.

    Even though they may not be charged £750 per FOS complaint, every customer that is complaining it taking up time and as a business they should value the time of their employees not based on the actual pay rate. Many companies will just pay out small amounts rather than accept claims as it costs more for a complaint than actually paying out the amount to satisfy the complaint.

    Creation not refunding fees is just a silly business decision, it will cost them more in time dealing with these issues than just refunding the fees pro rata or even in full, I fail to see it being a wise decision to try to abuse their powers against the consumer for little gain. From their perspective they are gaining nothing apart from a few pro rata fees and the points for 1 month before the customers realise they are being conned.

    I don’t care how much time I spend dealing with this, I see no reason to let them get away with trying to rip off the consumer

    Creation has been refunding fees as widely reported on here. In respect of paying out ‘small’ sums, they can’t really do that when they have a large number of cases with a similar matrix of facts, as there is an issue of where you draw the line and needing to treat people consistently. I’m sorry to hear that you attribute so little value to your time.

    SteveJ

    Creation has been refunding fees as widely reported on here. In respect of paying out ‘small’ sums, they can’t really do that when they have a large number of cases with a similar matrix of facts, as there is an issue of where you draw the line and needing to treat people consistently. I’m sorry to hear that you attribute so little value to your time.

    Oh JDB, you really don’t help your reputation for being a Creation sympathiser with such selective responses.

    They have not been refunding everyone, they picked an arbitrary date (August?) and refunded annual fees taken after that point. What about all the customers with a Dec to July annual fee date? Not refunded that’s what.

    Pretty poor dig at people valuing time given you spend so long on here with detailed responses, often valuable. Taking big corps to task even over £75 pro rata fees, is a massively valid use of anyone’s time.

    toddy

    If each complaint to the FOS is charged at £750, the math quickly goes out against them. I’m sure that each one of us is owed much less than £750. You just need a few complaints to not make it worth it (not to mention staff time, etc., which is probably a pretty penny they are spending as well).

    It’s not £750 per complaint. FOS can group complaints into similar types. So they may only end up with three buckets:
    1) complaints about points not transferred
    2) complaints about free night certs not transferred
    3) complaints about annual fees not refunded

    So they’re probably assuming they’ll only have to suck up £2,250 of FOS fees. Or even less if the whole lot is chucked in one bucket.

    In practice it doesn’t really work like this.

    The FOS charges ends up charging around £500 for every case (it’s in their accounts). The majority of ‘discounts’ and ‘groupings’ will fall within the Group Fee arrangement they have with the big banks e.g HSBC.

    The complaints received for Creation will be tiny (250? 500?) in relation to their total annual volume (>250,000).

    jj

    Creation has been refunding fees as widely reported on here. In respect of paying out ‘small’ sums, they can’t really do that when they have a large number of cases with a similar matrix of facts, as there is an issue of where you draw the line and needing to treat people consistently. I’m sorry to hear that you attribute so little value to your time.

    Oh JDB, you really don’t help your reputation for being a Creation sympathiser with such selective responses.

    They have not been refunding everyone, they picked an arbitrary date (August?) and refunded annual fees taken after that point. What about all the customers with a Dec to July annual fee date? Not refunded that’s what.

    Pretty poor dig at people valuing time given you spend so long on here with detailed responses, often valuable. Taking big corps to task even over £75 pro rata fees, is a massively valid use of anyone’s time.

    Not everyone with a renewal after August has had a refund. I was charged £99 in November and haven’t received a refund.

    JerrySignfield

    Creation has been refunding fees as widely reported on here. In respect of paying out ‘small’ sums, they can’t really do that when they have a large number of cases with a similar matrix of facts, as there is an issue of where you draw the line and needing to treat people consistently. I’m sorry to hear that you attribute so little value to your time.

    Yes we already know that Creation has only been refunding selected annual fees from August. All of the fees being below £100, it is a small amount rather than having to deal with multiple complaints about it, separate to any other claims. It’s not complicated and could have easily been implemented.

    Wonder who has has the least value of their time, wasting time being condescending to people who are trying to get a fee refund from a credit card or the people trying to spend their time to get the refund for themselves and potentially help others….

    Pointsamateur

    I had mixed replies to my complaint letter, which proves they don’t know what they are doing. Fee was charged 13th August, and they originally replied to my complaint saying they will refund it; I have the £99 credit showing against my account, waiting to be paid back into my bank account.

    But have since received another letter with the “official” response to my complaint, saying that they won’t refund the fee. Clowns.

    looking forward to the day that IHG move to a competent credit card provider.

    QFFlyer

    looking forward to the day that IHG move to a competent credit card provider.

    They used to be, when they were with Barclaycard. Can’t see that happening now though, no company in the UK wants affinity cards now, they cost too much to run vs the interchange they’re allowed to charge retailers.

    Magarathea

    Not sure if this has been mentioned so far. Creation are no longer showing the white IHG card on their website.

    stevenhp1987

    It seems all cards images are just a generic creation card now.

    The application page has been removed entirely too.

    Maybe IHG don’t want to be associated with a company with such poor antics?

    DTR

    Has anyone else has issues with creation acknowledging their complaint? I initially raised a complaint via the online form in-account back in early November and heard nothing. I followed up with an email to customerenquires@creation.co.uk 10 days ago and still nothing. I keep wondering if emails are getting lost.

    SteveJ

    customercare@creation.co.uk is the address you want. Start your email Subject with “COMPLAINT”.

    I had an acknowledgement email back in 5 calendar days, 3 working days.

    Lady London

    Taking a look at this thread and the problems people are having getting fair treatment (or even a civilised response) from Creation, JDB I am wondering if you’re right.

    When Creation asked some people for more time, JDB you thought ok to give them 2 more weeks.

    You thought this would give us the opportunity to see the response they would be presenting to the FOS – gaining us knowledge of their approach. This extra time was felt worthwhile to agree to give to Creation as seeing their approach we could make sure our complaint to the FOS was adjusted accordingly.

    Creation haven’t provided responses even with the extra time. This looks like game-playing by Creation.

    What would you advise people to do that Creation hasn’t refunded pro rata annual fees for, hasn’t credited earned points to, hasn’t provided earned free nights and hasn’t provided the value of partially earned free nights (given their unilateral closure) to?

    Given my views on the FOS, slow, chance of perverse outcome depending not on the law, but on the adjudicator assigned, etc – I am thinking more and more that there is enough breach of contract here to go straight to MCOL for a monetary value for breach of contract.

    Creation not communicating etc. would add strength to this view, for me.

    It’s almost as if they’ve decided to exit the card and think they can get away with just ignoring what they agreed to pay under contract. I’m pretty sure they can’t.

    Btw I’ve just been reading some stats on current FOS performance. They seem to say it’s very, very rare for a company to receive more than 2 or 3 complaints a year. I think we know Creation has exceeded this by hundreds and possibly thousands if cardholders who have run their accounts within the terms and been mistreated by Creation complain.

    QFFlyer

    It’s almost as if they’ve decided to exit the card and think they can get away with just ignoring what they agreed to pay under contract. I’m pretty sure they can’t.

    Sometime today or yesterday the White card has gone from their website – they’re now offering zero credit cards to new customers, so it would seem to be that they’re trying to exit. I agree that they absolutely should be honouring the terms of the agreements we have with them, they’re by far the worst credit card company I’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with.

    JDB

    @Lady London – I’m not sure where you got your FOS stats from as last year they dealt with 278,000 new cases; big firms get hundreds/thousands of complaints every year. In respect of this particular issue, there is a huge amount of noise in this echo chamber, but I don’t think you should read too much into that in terms of the overall number of cases re card closures.

    In respect of going to MCOL (before FOS), I dealt with that quite fully earlier in this new thread; the Civil Procedure Rules say that litigation is the last resort and, where available, other remedies should be used first and cite ‘Ombudsmen’. Here you have a statutory remedy available to you and you can go to MCOL afterwards if you don’t like the outcome. Anyone planning on going directly to MCOL needs to understand fully the risks of breaching the CPR and possible costs consequences and they may just have their case struck out with costs; the perils of not understanding the law/rules of MCOL and satellite litigation were highlighted in a different thread on here yesterday. It is also worth bearing in mind that the FOS is designed for the lay person; you state what you are complaining about and the FOS determines what, if anything, the firm has done wrong vs regulations and, to an extent, the law; if you can state your case, that’s even better.

    With MCOL, you are expected to know the law/your cause of action (this is referenced in the MCOL guidance). It’s no good just saying ‘breach of contract’ or ‘unfair’ you need to be very specific and in the case of the latter recognise that ‘fairness’ as a legal concept is a bit different that something that feels a bit unfair – Part 2 of Consumer Rights Act 2015 is helpful as is the FCA website. To date, I have not seen anyone articulate these issues at all specifically; lots of annoyance, helicopter views and a few days ago the bizarre so called “advice” just to “use the bog-standard contract law/consumer rights statutes”; should go down really well with the judge. ‘Fairness’ is also subjective and a two-edged sword; if someone has misused their card or breached the terms, that can’t help their case; they are going to look like charlies. One notable breach that led to a lot of the closures appears to have been business use of the card.

    One critical issue that I mentioned back in October, is that before anyone goes to FOS/MCOL they need to get hold of the terms and conditions for both the card and points which Creation will be relying upon. Creation wins a lot of cases because customers are looking at the wrong documents and don’t do the necessary research. When you get the terms, it should be obvious that you need to read all the documents very carefully – don’t stop when you see a point that you think suits your case!

    DJ

    Anyone got the URL to the Creation’s terms and conditions for the IHG cards? Thanks

    memesweeper

    @It’s no good just saying ‘breach of contract’ or ‘unfair’ you need to be very specific and in the case of the latter recognise that ‘fairness’ as a legal concept is a bit different that something that feels a bit unfair – Part 2 of Consumer Rights Act 2015 is helpful as is the FCA website. To date, I have not seen anyone articulate these issues at all specifically;

    One test of unfairness under CRA is terms and conditions that create a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties. Taking an annual fee and not providing a years worth of benefits looks unfair in those terms to me. IANAL.

    Lady London

    Anyone got the URL to the Creation’s terms and conditions for the IHG cards? Thanks

    look at what you received when you took out the card, or received as updates from Creation since.

    Ideal would be if you kept or screenshotted any terms at those earlier times that were either provided or drawn to your attention. Trying to find them now may bring up a revised set of terms that isn’t the same as what you originally agreed to or had due notice of (usually 60 days before any changes came into effect). You may be happy, or not, with any current conditions.

    Lady London

    @It’s no good just saying ‘breach of contract’ or ‘unfair’ you need to be very specific and in the case of the latter recognise that ‘fairness’ as a legal concept is a bit different that something that feels a bit unfair – Part 2 of Consumer Rights Act 2015 is helpful as is the FCA website. To date, I have not seen anyone articulate these issues at all specifically;

    One test of unfairness under CRA is terms and conditions that create a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties. Taking an annual fee and not providing a years worth of benefits looks unfair in those terms to me. IANAL.

    Memesweeper for me if contract terms are written that enable a provider to unilaterally remove someone’s ability to use the card without paying out the value of all benefits accrued up to that date, or if terms are written that enable the provider to keep any card fee whether or not the provider continues to provide the services (card use) and benefits contracted in the card agreement….then I would expect the terms to be very specific about the circumstances when this could happen. It’s a consumer contract so the provider is required to be very clear. Otherwise I’d go for the term being an Unfair Contract Term, i.e. can be judged as invalid and thrown out.

    In no way should people that abused a card or did not use it in accordance with terms notified to them have much of a claim here. However not notifying customers of a change or new terms, in the proper way and with 60 days notice when they changed their mind about Curve seems to be a big way Creation fell down here.

    I would be very disappointed if Creation could hide behind whichever of Clauses 12 or 14 says they can close the card for any reason and don’t have to say why. That’s fine but unless they’re prepared to accuse somebody of something, then I hope the FOS and any MCOL judges say Creation can close, but still has to pay out all accrued benefits and refund fees all or pro rata up to close date because they haven’t been able to prove a breach of terms by the cardholder.

    IADNAL

    JDB

    If only it were as simple as that! I’m not sure what the particular ‘imbalance’ is beyond the standard business/consumer relationship imbalance. Unfortunately, there is also significant precedent in respect of no refund of annual fees, irrespective of who closed the account, when the fee is billed annually. Maybe I’m not reading your post right, but whoever is right I think that to expect both a fee refund and the voucher is inconsistent.

    Previous FOS decisions are not precedents per se, but will carry weight and they have previously decided that the annual fee is effectively giving you the voucher in arrears – i.e. the FOS says there are three triggers (and you need all three) to get your voucher – spending £10k, reaching your anniversary and paying the fee. I’m not saying whether they are right or wrong, simply repeating the facts.

    JDB

    I would be very disappointed if Creation could hide behind whichever of Clauses 12 or 14 says they can close the card for any reason and don’t have to say why. That’s fine but unless they’re prepared to accuse somebody of something, then I hope the FOS and any MCOL judges say Creation can close, but still has to pay out all accrued benefits and refund fees all or pro rata up to close date because they haven’t been able to prove a breach of terms by the cardholder.

    IADNAL[/quote]

    @LadyLondon the law (CCA 1974) provides that Creation has no obligation to explain/prove/or say anything at all about reasons for closure – it is an absolute right and isn’t anything to do with terms. The FOS/judge will know that of course. The danger is, of course, that if they choose to say why they closed the account, it will definitely not be in the cardholder’s favour.

    Boring answer, but better than watching Strictly final as the rest of the family is doing!

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