If you were talked into having a store card before 2001, there's a good chance you may have been mis-sold PPI. However, a lot of the claims for this particular cover where thrown out too quickly, which means you might be in-line for some compensation.
Some banks ditched a lot of these claims without looking into them properly (mentioning no names, leading Spanish bank on the UK high street).
Now, a lot of these cards were coupled with PPI, and as we all know, in recent years that whole area has been a nightmare for a host of institutions. It is their own fault, and now there's been millions paid out to try and correct their wrongs.
If you got yourself a store card before December 2001, you could be due some compensation. Businesses like Topshop, Debenhams, Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Topman, Miss Selfridge, BHS, Asda, B&Q, House of Fraser, Laura Ashley, Toys R Us, River Island, Halfords, and Mothercare, were all some of the main companies who got customers to sign-up for these cards.
If you want to have a go at claiming the compensation which is rightfully yours, here's how. And yes, it is free and you don't need to go through any of these claims companies that are still pestering everyone.
Instead of contacting the business you got the card with, instead, you need to go to the underlying company that provided the credit when you took the card out. Should they reject your claim, you can of course go to the Financial Ombudsman Service. They've generally been ruling in favour of the customer (upholding well over half of claims made since 2011).
Many shops had their store-cards operated through a company called GE Money, which was eventually bought by Santander UK. Now, the Ombudsman can't look at PPI complaints rejected by Santander UK on cards that were issued before December 1st 2001. If you have a new claim, you need to go to New Day, who bought all of Santander's store card operations in 2013. So, new complaints to New Day, any from 2001 to 2013, Santander UK.
So what about those sold before the aforementioned period? Well, you can put a complaint and claim in with the underwriter from that time, who happens to be a company called Genworth Financial Insurance. And they just so happen to fall under the Ombudsman's jurisdiction for any complaints that run all the way back to the '80s. So, even if Genworth throw your complaint out, you can still challenge it by contacting the Financial Ombudsman.
How do you claim?
If you've kept all your documents from this period, then fantastic - you'll know exactly who to complain to. If not, don't worry yourself unduly - you need to get in touch with the store card provider, to see what policy you were sold, and when you took it out. Once you get that information, you can start making your complaint.
You'll be asked if you knew that you were being sold PPI, and of course, you'll say that you were completely unaware of this, and you're half way there.
For more advice on how to claim, templates for complaint letters and the like, check out our guide by clicking here.
If you need to complain to Genworth, then this is their website, and their address is:
Genworth Lifestyle Protection
Genworth Financial, Building 6
566 Chiswick High Road
London W4 5HR
If you remember taking a store card out with someone, contact the retailer you got it with, and ask them who provided the cover. From there, you'll be easily able to find out who you need to contact.
Never use a claims company, as they'll just take a cut of any compensation you're owed. The whole system is in place so that you can do this yourself. Basically, once you've found out who to make your claim to, they'll either compensate you or reject it - and in that case, challenge their decision with the Ombudsman. Good luck making your claim!