Customer Claims Ltd caper 'guarantees' to reclaim bank charges
This morning I received a call from Customer Claims Ltd offering to help me reclaim all my bank charge. Forget what you've read about the fight against unfair bank charges being dead and buried - Customer Claims guarantee you'll reclaim every penny. Guarantee. No, really.
According to WhoCallsMe, this Manchester outfit started cold-calling individuals only a few days ago. According to one operator I spoke to, the company is buying credit information on individuals and adding up all the bank charges and other fees accrued over the past several years. They then call the individual, tell them how much they've lost in bank charges and guarantee they can reclaim that amount plus interest - for a fee. The customer pays an administration charge of £49.99 and can expect to reclaim all their bank charges within six to eight weeks. Simple as that.
The background to this case concerns the well-documented efforts to reclaim excessive bank charges in the past four years, during which time the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) took the banks to court on behalf of the consumer; the charges were eventually deemed unfair but then this decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal. Last month the OFT declared it was giving up on further legal action because of the 'low prospects of success'. The OFT is looking to suggest changes to banking in the future and will report on its progress in March, but it is not expecting to continue legal proceedings on behalf of consumers. There are very specific cases that may be eligible - banks must consider matters of financial hardship, for example, but that's it.
So how can Customer Claims offer a fast track service that guarantees your money reclaimed in six to eight weeks? The simple answer is they can't. There's no way for them to receive preferential treatment with regards to claims and besides which, the chances of currently reclaiming any bank charges are slim to anorexic. It's bullshit, plain and simple. They're not the only ones - Company Claims seem to operate in a very similar way to BAB UK Ltd who appear to take the money and run.
If you'd like to know more about Customer Claims, you won't find anything on their website because it's been taken down - a cached version shows this has happened in the past ten days. After my initial call, I rang back to find out more about the service and ensure I hadn't misheard:
The whole thing is a nonsense, because nobody can guarantee refunds on bank charges in two months and those that do are playing on the confusion concerning bank charges and the fear of loss; the country's in a recession, times are hard - £50 seems a worthwhile investment when you're guaranteed a return of several hundred pounds. If you hear from companies like this, get in touch and let us know.