The independent Financial Ombudsman Service says that firms are increasingly deploying hardline tactics to reject legitimate complaints, leading to more agonising delays for customers.

Typically, this involves companies appealing initial decisions made by the Ombudsman and not coughing up compensation until being forced to do so. Insurers have also been rejecting more complaints in the first instance — with the Ombudsman seeing new cases rise by more than a third.
An annual report by the FOS reveals it is on course to receive 28,100 complaints about insurance in the year to April, compared with 20,967 in the previous financial year.
This is being fuelled by disputes about expensive home and domestic emergency cover — designed to fix burst pipes or a broken boiler — and poor complaints-handling by motor insurance firms.
 Cases are taking longer to resolve because of a ‘shift towards more entrenched and harder-fought disputes’, as companies try to tighten their belts.
An Ombudsman spokesman says: ‘Insurers seem to be digging in their heels on more straightforward issues, often where relatively modest amounts are involved — and pursuing simple issues all the way to an Ombudsman’s decision.’
This tough approach is also being applied to payment protection insurance (PPI), which was mis-sold alongside loans and credit cards to millions of customers who didn’t want it, need it or even know they were paying for it.
Overall, the Ombudsman is gearing up for another record year of complaints. It is on course to receive 259,200 new cases in the year until April — a rise of 26per cent on the previous year. It is budgeting for another 10per cent increase to 285,000 in 2012/13.

Original article in This is Money

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Tim Capper reports on Financial Mis-Selling for Maple Leaf Financial. Our aim is to ensure you get honest advice and proper guidance to ensure a suitable recommendation can be made to pursue a financial claim

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Tim Capper

Bringing you financial news and information in plain english for Maple Leaf Financial. My aim is to help readers understand these often complex financial instruments.