Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Payment cards Other payment cards Creation Financial Services bashing

Creation Financial Services bashing

Reply
  • JDB

    The FOS has already found in someone’s favour though, surely everyone would have been subject to the same Ts and Cs at the point the cards were closed?

    In whose favour has the Ombudsman decided? There are no published decisions, although someone recently erroneously reported an Ombudsman decision that was in fact a preliminary decision by a case handler.

    JDB

    OK, now doing my partner’s one.

    Her year ended 21 Sept 2021, according to the annual statement (which I can’t post, since there’s lots of personal info)

    She was charged the £99 annual fee on 20 Sept 2021. Without her asking, Creation refunded this on her December statement.

    Her IHG Creation statements show 13,188 points earned in October, 0 points transferred, and 7,124 points earned in November, 0 points transferred. Total spent on card after 21 Sept: £10,183.98

    Most interesting, her online statement today can be viewed on the Google Drive folder referred to earlier. It doesn’t say her account is closed, it just say in red “Reduced Functionality”. It’s all very well telling you that your account is being closed on 3rd Dec, but then if you don’t fully close it?

    And while the Free Night tracker is at zero, the earned total of IHG points reads 20,312 !

    Since the Ts & Cs I posted don’t mention a need to have paid the £99 (unlike the case law precedent) – although she did, and it was refunded – they do say she has to have had the account for a year. And today is now the 28 Sept, so a year has passed and Creation seem to indicate that the account is still open, albeit with “Reduced functionality”!

    So I’ll be claimed for a free night for her too.

    Good.
    Serves them right.
    Keep screenshots.

    As many others have stated, it is quite obvious that the ‘reduced functionality’ relates to the card’s website functionality and not the card itself for which statutory notice of closure was served almost a year ago and which shows as closed on agency reports. It is quite bizarre to suggest that the card account and its benefits are still ongoing unless service of the notice is being challenged. Adding complete non-arguments to a complaint or MCOL seriously detract from the good arguments.

    JDB

    Be careful.

    I think you’ve done well to point out the difference between ‘on’ anniversary date and ‘by’ anniversary date.

    There is this thing called a survival clause in Contract law I believe.

    This basically says that if they promised you, say, 3 strawberries at the end of each full 12 months’ contract, and if the contract allows them to terminate the contract ending it at a time that turns out to be a week, or even a full day before the contract has completed a 12 months, then if there isn’t a “survival clause” saying that this aspect of the contract would still take place even if the contract had been terminated earlier, then regardless of who terminated and why, they don’t have to give you the strawberries. Unfair but true.

    I am remembering old stuff but I used to have a very very good lawyer who told me this.

    IA obviously NAL but with the FOS your angle available hinges on fairness.

    So the FOS is there to ensure customers of financial products, who as consumers are the weaker party,are treated fairly. So there should not be unfair terms, and the terms shoild mot be used or operated unfairly, and the offering should not be misrepresented so that a consumer who signed up should receive what he reasonably believed he would if he signed up.

    Well spotted that the removal of services and benefits without notice appeared only in a paragraph headed IHG. I would further argue that in a consumer finance contract, that term would be an ‘unfair contract term'(as such legally can be thrown out, or possbly get the whole contract thrown out)’ if it applied to what was promised with the card (ie points earned, free night voucher) anyway as it’s unfair.

    So if you can tweak it a bit more to stay on the side of the innoceent consumer who has stopped being provided what Creation promised and (ideally) provided before, in accordance with the promises they made about the card, rather than risk the lack of a survival clause rearing its ugly head, it could be better.

    I think the survivsl clause issue may be why @JDB has always said the practice in the card industry historically is that as soon as notice has been given even if it’s typically 60 days, benefits have stopped being provided even though there is 60 days notice to run. I think this is wrong and needs sorting as unfair to consumers, but the survival thing may be how the industry was getting away with it as @JDB said they were.

    @Lady London the two months (rather than 60 days) notice period applies only to the regulated credit agreement. It doesn’t apply to the rewards element of a credit card (which is a separate agreement) unless that agreement provides for a specific notice period which could be for 60 days or two months or usually less. I know this is all very boring stuff, but cases are often lost or won or very small or specific detail.

    Lady London

    The structure of what’s offered might depend on tbe card and which generation of documentation is being used JDB. This claim should hinge on fairness which is, theoretically, more of a focus for the FOS than the courts.

    I am wondering what Creation has up their sleeve they think will let them get away with this behaviour or if, having been caught red-handed as incompetent (@memesweeper’s summary posted in the past day or so was spot on), their strategy had just been delay, delay, not respond to FOS hoping number of customers they have to make recompense to will get smaller the longer they delay.

    Good luck @Colin.

    NorthernLass

    OH got an email today saying his case handler is no longer dealing with his case and it has gone back into the queue to be allocated. This possibly supports my theory that this person left or went on long term sick without taking any action with their caseload. Otherwise, who knows what’s going on?!

    Jon

    Morning all,

    MCOL update: I have a hearing date, in late December. Slightly curious about that, as both parties originally indicated in our directions questionnaires that the case can be determined without a hearing, just from the paperwork, but presumably the judge has decided they’d prefer to hear from us in person. Fair enough 😉

    Next steps: in the coming few weeks, I need to submit an evidence bundle of “all the documents Claimant intends to rely upon at the final hearing”, then a a couple of weeks after that, my witness statement. The defendant is similarly ordered.

    Slightly oddly, the order also says we need to bring the original documents to the hearing – but it’s a virtual hearing by video-conference… (And all but a handful of the documents have only ever been electronic anyway). Hopefully that’s just a matter of an old piece of standard wording being left in the order, but I’ll check with the court in case there’s any significance to it.

    Anyway, I’ve been reading up on evidence / bundle requirements and expectations – thankfully they seem to be a lot less onerous for small claims track hearings. But one thing I’m not entirely clear about, so a question for anyone here who knows – when they say “all the documents I intend to rely on”, do I need to include the various documents already filed and served (e.g. additional particulars of claim, reply to defence etc – and the defence itself, even)? Or given that the court already has those, can I keep it simple, and just submit a new document, containing only the actual evidence (copies of correspondence, terms and conditions, card agreement etc)? If I don’t include the defence doc *myself* (as opposed to the defence including it or the court already having it), does that mean I can’t refer to it at the hearing? For that matter, do I need to include the actual full text of the legislation I’m referring to in my claim? (Surely not?!)

    My original claim particulars doc was essentially in two halves – the narrative (timeline of events, my arguments, remedy sought etc), and then appendices of evidence. It seems to me that I could usefully split out the appendices into a separate document, maybe rejig them a little, and submit that as my evidence bundle, and then take the narrative and turn that into the witness statement. This would make for two rather shorter and easier-to-use documents (which I imagine the court may prefer!), but I’m also conscious of the importance of not leaving out anything that might be needed at the hearing. But going for a ‘literally everything’ approach would make for a hefty 100+ page document (and the court has a 50 page limit on what it will accept generally, unless there’s an exception for trial bundles)… Thoughts?

    points_worrier

    Morning all,

    MCOL update: I have a hearing date, in late December. Slightly curious about that, as both parties originally indicated in our directions questionnaires that the case can be determined without a hearing, just from the paperwork, but presumably the judge has decided they’d prefer to hear from us in person. Fair enough 😉

    Next steps: in the coming few weeks, I need to submit an evidence bundle of “all the documents Claimant intends to rely upon at the final hearing”, then a a couple of weeks after that, my witness statement. The defendant is similarly ordered.

    Slightly oddly, the order also says we need to bring the original documents to the hearing – but it’s a virtual hearing by video-conference… (And all but a handful of the documents have only ever been electronic anyway). Hopefully that’s just a matter of an old piece of standard wording being left in the order, but I’ll check with the court in case there’s any significance to it.

    Anyway, I’ve been reading up on evidence / bundle requirements and expectations – thankfully they seem to be a lot less onerous for small claims track hearings. But one thing I’m not entirely clear about, so a question for anyone here who knows – when they say “all the documents I intend to rely on”, do I need to include the various documents already filed and served (e.g. additional particulars of claim, reply to defence etc – and the defence itself, even)? Or given that the court already has those, can I keep it simple, and just submit a new document, containing only the actual evidence (copies of correspondence, terms and conditions, card agreement etc)? If I don’t include the defence doc *myself* (as opposed to the defence including it or the court already having it), does that mean I can’t refer to it at the hearing? For that matter, do I need to include the actual full text of the legislation I’m referring to in my claim? (Surely not?!)

    My original claim particulars doc was essentially in two halves – the narrative (timeline of events, my arguments, remedy sought etc), and then appendices of evidence. It seems to me that I could usefully split out the appendices into a separate document, maybe rejig them a little, and submit that as my evidence bundle, and then take the narrative and turn that into the witness statement. This would make for two rather shorter and easier-to-use documents (which I imagine the court may prefer!), but I’m also conscious of the importance of not leaving out anything that might be needed at the hearing. But going for a ‘literally everything’ approach would make for a hefty 100+ page document (and the court has a 50 page limit on what it will accept generally, unless there’s an exception for trial bundles)… Thoughts?

    My initial reaction (from limited cases as a party to a case) is to include absolutely everything. I’m sure others with definitive knowledge will come along and provide a definitive answer. Seems wasteful, but I presume they are now done electronically. Make sure you agree with the other party’s solicitors that you dont have to print them out and send them.

    JDB

    @Jon clearly you need to comply precisely with the directions re the bundle. Beyond that, as it is the small claims track, it is more informal but you can refer to Practice Direction 32 Para 27.5 for what is compulsory on other tracks, so documents a judge will normally expect to see. Has any reference been made as to whether it should be paper or an e-bundle which is more common nowadays, but has strict preparation rules that can be difficult for a litigant in person. If it is a paper bundle an index with tabs and page numbers for easy reference is essential. Also, you suggest that both parties have been ordered to prepare a bundle?? That’s unusual and not very practical. The requirement to have the originals to hand is standard wording, even for remote hearings.

    Your witness statement (cross referenced to the bundle) will be very important, so read up on the preparation, remembering it should only contain facts, not comment or opinion.

    The bad news is that for all the effort you put into preparing the bundle, the chances are the judge won’t have read it. They just don’t have the time and the hearing will be very brief so not much can be looked at. During that brief time, you want to be focussed on your own case rather than addressing all their bad points which is what they want you to do. You should get a very short right of reply to deal with any particularly egregious or factually incorrect points they make orally.

    JDB

    @Jon given the additional work you need to do plus the vagaries of trial particularly vs the two-bit lawyers you have previously mentioned, you might want to consider making them a without prejudice save as to costs offer. It’s also always possible they will make you such an offer at the last minute.

    Jon

    Thanks @JDB. Yep, both partied are ordered to send in a bundle. The exact wording is:

    “CLAIMANT must send to the Court and to the DEFENDANT copies of all the documents Claimant intends to rely upon at the final hearing. These must be in a bundle with each page clearly numbered. The Claimant MUST bring the originals of those documents to the final hearing.”

    And

    “DEFENDANT must send to the Court and to the CLAIMANT copies of all documents Defendant intends to rely upon at the final hearing. These must be in a bundle with each page clearly numbered. The Defendant MUST bring the originals of those documents to the final hearing.”

    Then:

    “CLAIMANT and DEFENDANT must send to the Court and to each other, copies of their own witness statements and those witness statements of all the witness they intend to rely upon at the final hearing. The witness statements MUST comply with the attached note headed “WITNESS STATEMENTS IN SMALL CLAIMS TRIAL”, which you must read carefully.”

    There’s no specific mention of paper versus email, but everything so far has been email. I suppose given it’s Money Claim *Online* one would expect electronic, but maybe not. Certainly extremely wasteful if it has to be paper, and seems a but unnecessary for a virtual hearing (I would hope…). I have agreement from the defence solicitors to serve by email.

    The fact that we’ve both been asked to submit an evidence bundle makes me think the court isn’t looking for a formal/full trial bundle but rather just our own respective evidence. Although I’d rather not get that wrong 😉

    Two hours has been allocated for the hearing. The order does say that the judge has “considered” the statements of case, but yes, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve had time to read them thoroughly. I should probably work on the assumption that they haven’t 😉

    JDB

    @Jon where it says the judge has considered the case, that may be on the basis of a summary made by a court official and that judge may well not be the one hearing the case. It is extraordinary that you have been allocated as much as two hours for this type of case and it raises the stakes somewhat for both parties, but perhaps slightly worse for you as there seem to be seasoned shysters acting for the defence. It makes trying to settle even more important for both parties.

    points_worrier

    @Jon where it says the judge has considered the case, that may be on the basis of a summary made by a court official and that judge may well not be the one hearing the case. It is extraordinary that you have been allocated as much as two hours for this type of case and it raises the stakes somewhat for both parties, but perhaps slightly worse for you as there seem to be seasoned shysters acting for the defence. It makes trying to settle even more important for both parties.

    I would respectfully disagree re: settling, unless you are accepting a good cash wadge (although not necessarily what you are asking for). Normally I would agree to try and settle, especially in ‘neighbour’s fence’ disagreement cases. In this case, it is a point of principle, the amount you are claiming is quite high (I presume you have claimed for the necessary costs of the full cash replacements of the lost points/vouchers), and the risk is low to very low – you will lose time, court fees, and the usual train fare of the other party is not relevant for a remote hearing. On top of this it does not set a precedent for future cases.

    It does serve as a cautionary tale for those reaching for the MCOL gun rather than CEDR when they have a dispute with BA. Things can get formal and need a lot of work quite quickly if the case is not simple. The CEDR process is unlikely to change and less likely to get out of control, even if the decisions may be less ‘robust’…

    JDB

    @points_worrier any vaguely decent lawyer will tell you never to litigate on a point of principle.

    Nobody suggested settling for anything other than a decent sum + costs but yes, that sum will be less than that claimed. Trials can throw up unexpected outcomes for all sorts of different reasons – no case is a slam dunk. and we know the other side may act unscrupulously. Thus de-risking and removing a lot of work and aggro by making an offer should not be discarded. This is particularly relevant if the cash alternative to the voucher being claimed is high.

    For a two hour hearing, there will be considerable costs which the other side will seek to claim if the OP loses. Yes, unlikely they would be given, but far from impossible.

    Lady London

    I am wondering if the judge was trying to prod particularly the other side, who as professionals contesting a claim on the small claims track, will know that costs are very unlikely indeed to be awarded, into making an offer to settle and thus saving the costs of an appearance.

    I’d redo a complete pack if it’s really what you’ve been asked for as stuff gets lost.

    JDB

    I am wondering if the judge was trying to prod particularly the other side, who as professionals contesting a claim on the small claims track, will know that costs are very unlikely indeed to be awarded, into making an offer to settle and thus saving the costs of an appearance.

    I’d redo a complete pack if it’s really what you’ve been asked for as stuff gets lost.

    One could read the allocation of two hours vs 30 minutes or absolute max one hour for such a simple case in different ways. If it were to have the effect of prompting a settlement offer, any such offer, particularly if made on a ‘without prejudice save as to costs’ needs to be considered carefully. Otherwise, it’s even possible to win but be awarded less than the offer such that the issue of costs against the winner comes into the equation as it is considered unreasonable to have a rejected such an offer. In normal litigation, that is quite standard, but on the small claims track it is much less likely but far from unusual. It is always relevant but here there is such a range of possibilities owing to the wide range of valuations put on the voucher, based on theoretical, not actual loss.

    Geoggy

    Has anyone else gone down the FOS route. Had a case handler assigned, then never heard anything? I first submitted in February.

    Rui N.

    Submitted in March, still waiting on case handler to be assigned.

    NorthernLass

    When I enquired what had happened to my case, the guy who called me back said he would escalate it as a complaint (I didn’t ask for this, I was hoping to get an honest explanation along the lines of they cocked up somewhere). I then got an email from a lady saying she was going to review the case and get back to me by the 21st, so I’ll see if anything materialises in the next couple of days.


    @Geoggy
    , if you read back a couple of pages, a few of us posted our experiences of contacting FOS about where our cases were up to.

    stevenhp1987

    When I enquired what had happened to my case, the guy who called me back said he would escalate it as a complaint (I didn’t ask for this, I was hoping to get an honest explanation along the lines of they cocked up somewhere). I then got an email from a lady saying she was going to review the case and get back to me by the 21st, so I’ll see if anything materialises in the next couple of days.



    @Geoggy
    , if you read back a couple of pages, a few of us posted our experiences of contacting FOS about where our cases were up to.

    They opened a complaint for me too. Got a response this morning.

    “We’re also currently very busy, with lots of customers needing our help at the moment. Therefore, it’s taking longer for cases to be allocated to one of our case handlers for investigation. Complaints like yours are currently taking up to 12 months to reach a case handler. We know this isn’t ideal, and we are doing what we can to reduce how long you’ll have to wait before your case is given to a case handler. Please continue to be patient with us whilst we do this.”

    12 months!

    NorthernLass

    I’ll probably get that as well then! It’s starting to feel like “You are currently number – 500 – in the queue. Your call is important to us.”

    The Urbanite

    When I enquired what had happened to my case, the guy who called me back said he would escalate it as a complaint (I didn’t ask for this, I was hoping to get an honest explanation along the lines of they cocked up somewhere). I then got an email from a lady saying she was going to review the case and get back to me by the 21st, so I’ll see if anything materialises in the next couple of days.




    @Geoggy
    , if you read back a couple of pages, a few of us posted our experiences of contacting FOS about where our cases were up to.

    They opened a complaint for me too. Got a response this morning.

    “We’re also currently very busy, with lots of customers needing our help at the moment. Therefore, it’s taking longer for cases to be allocated to one of our case handlers for investigation. Complaints like yours are currently taking up to 12 months to reach a case handler. We know this isn’t ideal, and we are doing what we can to reduce how long you’ll have to wait before your case is given to a case handler. Please continue to be patient with us whilst we do this.”

    12 months!

    That’s just to get a case handler. Add a couple of years for them to get the case, not including the possibility of the handler dropping your case due to “workload” and you having to wait for another one.

    The Urbanite

    A non-update on my complaint.

    So the case handler found in my favour in April and suggested compensation which Creation contested in May. The ball is in the FOS’ court now – on asking for an update, they stated;

    “Unfortunately no update as of yet. To manage your expectations I should let you know that it’ll likely be a few months more before there’s an update. That’s because cases against Creation are currently being discussed internally here before they’re moved forward.”

    NorthernLass

    Well hopefully they’re discussing a way to resolve the cases and not just having a good gossip! Surely someone must have realised that all the complainants are basically saying the same thing so in theory the FOS’s response should be the same …

    NorthernLass

    So I’ve had another completely unhelpful email from the FOS:

    ***Your complaint about our service
    Thank you for raising your concerns with us about your case. I’m a manager at the service, and I’ve been asked to respond to you following your email to us sent on 22 September 2022. You expressed your dissatisfaction with how long it is taking for your case to be reviewed, and for the lack of updates we’ve provided to you so far.

    I’d like to apologise to you for how long you’ve been waiting for your case to be allocated to a case handler. In our email sent to you on 15 March 2022, we said it could take around four months before a case handler gets in touch and starts looking into your complaint. But it could be more time than this, depending on what your complaint is about. Unfortunately, your complaint is one that is likely to take longer to allocate to a case handler. We know these timeframes are far from ideal, but we continue to increase our capacity and take a number of other steps to help reduce waiting times.

    I’d like to assure you we’re working as efficiently as we can. Please bear with us while we do this and thank you for your continued patience. Your complaint is currently in a queue, along with a number of other complaints similar to yours. I appreciate that you’re aware of some other complaints about the same business that have already been assigned to a case handler, but we must consider each complaint on its own merits and some do take longer than others. We are working hard to reduce the delays experienced by our customers, but it is likely to take a while longer yet.

    Once your case has been allocated to a case handler to review, they’ll be in touch with you to introduce themselves. I’m sorry for the lack of updates we’ve provided to you so far, but we will keep you updated with our on-going progress.***

    Then some stuff about going to an independent assessor, but they only deal with complaints once a case has been closed!

    I don’t really understand how they can justify allocating cases on “merit” (however they determine that) and not in the order they receive them?

    NorthernLass

    @TheUrbanite, I got a slightly different but equally unhelpful reponse:

    ***Your complaint about our service
    Thank you for raising your concerns with us about your case. I’m a manager at the service, and I’ve been asked to respond to you following your email to us sent on 22 September 2022. You expressed your dissatisfaction with how long it is taking for your case to be reviewed, and for the lack of updates we’ve provided to you so far.

    I’d like to apologise to you for how long you’ve been waiting for your case to be allocated to a case handler. In our email sent to you on 15 March 2022, we said it could take around four months before a case handler gets in touch and starts looking into your complaint. But it could be more time than this, depending on what your complaint is about. Unfortunately, your complaint is one that is likely to take longer to allocate to a case handler. We know these timeframes are far from ideal, but we continue to increase our capacity and take a number of other steps to help reduce waiting times.

    I’d like to assure you we’re working as efficiently as we can. Please bear with us while we do this and thank you for your continued patience. Your complaint is currently in a queue, along with a number of other complaints similar to yours. I appreciate that you’re aware of some other complaints about the same business that have already been assigned to a case handler, but we must consider each complaint on its own merits and some do take longer than others. We are working hard to reduce the delays experienced by our customers, but it is likely to take a while longer yet.

    Once your case has been allocated to a case handler to review, they’ll be in touch with you to introduce themselves. I’m sorry for the lack of updates we’ve provided to you so far, but we will keep you updated with our on-going progress.***

    How do they decide which cases have enough merit to be allocated a case handler when they’re essentially all the same?!

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.