Complaints

Scope and purpose

This guide is a detailed explanation of our complaints procedure; it is for use by any customer or consumer wishing to make a complaint directed towards Motor Plus Derby Limited and / or any of our associated “trading as” company styles.

This document is important; it explains fully how we will deal with your complaint including setting time frames for resolution.

Motor Plus will not deviate from these procedures and will not discuss with any complainant any form of request to do so.

From time to time and without notice our procedure may be updated; if this happens any changes will be published as soon as possible on our web site and also made available for inspection in house.

No part of this document may be copied, recorded or otherwise reproduced without the written consent of Motor Plus Derby Limited.

Definition of a complaint

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, made by a customer/consumer, directed towards Motor Plus Derby Limited or an employee of Motor Plus Derby Limited which relates to and/or regarding some aspect or standard of service, sale or repair supplied to that customer/consumer, on behalf of Motor Plus Derby Limited and in the usual conduct of that business.

How a complaint may be received

An expression of complaint may be made verbally or in writing; a written complaint may arrive via the postal service or in electronic form, via email for example.

Categories of complaint

Complaints will usually fall into two categories, “minor” complaints or “serious” complaints; an example of a minor complaint may be a customer that is unhappy with a small service repair carried out by us or a disagreement with an employee; a serious complaint could be a customer complaint regarding an alleged breach of FCA regulations regarding a regulated financial agreement or a major defect that could leave a vehicle in a potentially dangerous condition.

Complaint sub-categories – FCA regulated or non-regulated

Within our two main categories of complaint there are two sub-categories of complaint; the first sub category is a customer complaint that does not relate to any financial service supplied or offered by us, a non-regulated complaint.

The second sub-category is with regard to a complaint that specifically relates to any financial service offered by us and is therefore regulated by the FCA and will always be regarded as a serious complaint.

Potential FCA regulated complaints

Any complaint that alleges a failure to comply with FCA regulations can only be handled by a director and therefore any employee that receives an FCA related complaint or suspects that a complaint may be FCA related, will pass that complaint on immediately.

Minor complaints and reporting

We aim to resolve all “minor” complaints “face to face” and at the time of receipt or at worst case, within 24 hours of receipt.

All employees are empowered to attempt to resolve a minor complaint themselves and without immediate referral to a line manager. No admission of responsibility, fault or blame will be made and there will be no commitment to compensation.

Complainants will be treated with sympathy and fairness at all times in line with our published policy for treating customers fairly.

Any minor complaint not resolved within 24 hours of receipt will be recorded in our complaints register however we will not record a minor complaint resolved within that time.

Where a minor complaint cannot be resolved within 24 hours, all customers/consumers will be given or in the case of a postal or electronic complaint, posted a copy of our standard complaints acknowledgement letter immediately.

Serious complaints

All serious complaints will be handled by a line manager at least and will be taken seriously with complainants treated with sympathy, understanding and fairness at all times.

Line managers will, as soon as is reasonably possible, record all serious complaints in the company complaints register file regardless of whether or not that complaint is resolved within 24 hours and in accordance with our standard complaints record keeping procedure.

Where a serious complaint cannot be resolved within 24 hours, all customers/consumers will be given or in the case of a postal or electronic complaint, posted a copy of our standard complaints acknowledgement letter immediately.

A director will be informed of any serious complaint received within 24 hours of receipt or if extenuating circumstances exist, as soon as is practical.

The presiding director will decide whether to take over an investigation personally or allow the line manager involved to continue.

Conducting an investigation

Our investigating employee will conduct an impartial and thorough investigation of the consumer’s complaint including personal interviews with the complainant, any staff members implicated or involved with the complaint and all and any third party individuals or companies also involved with the complaint.

It is our stated aim to seek resolution within 24 hours and where ever possible this will be attempted, however, should an investigation and resolution continue for longer than this time the investigating employee will personally ensure that the appropriate compliance letter is sent to the complainant without delay.

If an investigation and resolution continues to a term of 4 weeks from time of initial receipt, the investigating employee will contact the complainant, verbally or in writing via the postal service or email and update them regarding the progress of their complaint.

At 8 weeks, if a complaint remains unresolved, the complainant will be informed of this fact; they will then have the option of referring their complaint, if regulated, to the Financial Ombudsman Service (enclosing FOS leaflet) for review or seeking recourse via the courts system; if unregulated they may seek resolution via the courts or any other means of their choice.

Our company complaints record file will be updated for each and every contact made with a complainant.

Conduct or exclusion from an investigation

If an employee is personally involved or implicated in a complaint and in the interests of complete impartiality, that person will exclude themselves from any active role of investigating a complaint.

If an employee feels that they are unable to conduct an impartial investigation of a complaint, they will exclude themselves from an investigation.

Should an investigating employee feel that legal advice is required, they will first refer the case to a director for review and guidance prior to seeking legal assistance.

If a complainant has referred their issue to council or a solicitor, no correspondence will be entered into without the permission and guidance of a director. In these circumstances a case may be passed on to a director for further investigation or company solicitors for resolution.

Resolution        

In deciding the final outcome of a complaint, all relevant facts will be taken into account and an unbiased and impartial approach will be adopted when weighing the available evidence.

Due regard for the law and consumer rights will be taken into account as well as a sympathetic view of what could reasonably be either expected or considered as fair.

All relevant facts will be recorded and once a final decision is arrived at, a written account of the complaint and our final decision, including a final response letter will be posted to the complainant.

Upheld complaints

Where appropriate, at our discretion only and if a complaint is upheld, we may offer some form of compensation. Do not expect this as a right, the appropriate level of compensation, if any, will be decided by a director prior to offer but where offered, will always be a fair and reasonable gesture.

Any offer of compensation will be made in writing and without prejudice. Acceptance (of our offer) must also be made in writing.

If a complaint involves an issue regulated by the FCA, we will inform the consumer in our final response letter that they may refer their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service for review. We will also advise that this referral is free of charge (to them), is time limited to six months from the date of our final response and we will enclose a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet.

We will also advise a complainant that they may also seek legal advice or redress, at their own expense, if they feel that this would be more suitable (to their needs).

We will further advise the complainant that as our decision is a final response, we will not enter into any further correspondence with regard to their complaint other than for clarification purposes.

Where a complaint is not regulated by the FCA and in the unlikely event of a complaint arising, if we have not been able to resolve it then you can refer the matter to the Retail Ombudsman.

Rejected complaints

If a complaint is rejected, we will send a final response letter informing the complainant of our decision and how and why we have made our decision.

If the complaint involves an issue regulated by the FCA, we will inform the consumer in our final response letter that they may refer their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service for review. We will further advise that this referral is free of charge (to them), is time limited to six months from the date of our final response and we will enclose a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet.

We will also advise a complainant that they may also seek legal advice or redress, at their own expense, if they feel that this would be more suitable (to their needs).

We will further advise the complainant that as our decision is a final response, we will not enter into any further correspondence with regard to their complaint other than for clarification purposes.

Further or future contact or correspondence

Once a final decision letter has been sent; we will not enter into further correspondence with regard to that complaint other than for clarification purposes.

If a complaint has been referred to the Financial Conduct Authority or the Financial Ombudsman Service for review, we will make all correspondence and records available, on demand, to them without any undue or unreasonable delay.

Support

In all instances, an investigating employee may seek advice, support or review of a case with a director.

In these circumstances a record of that review and outcome will be made in the company complaints record file.

All records relating to an individual case/complaint will be appropriately documented, updated, made available for review by authorised bodies at any reasonable time and retained to file for a period of no less than 10 years.

Important time-lines and limits

24 hours – immediate or within this time is the ideal time frame for resolution of a complaint.

24 plus hours – complaints must be recorded and complaints acknowledgement letter sent.

4 weeks – contact must be made with complainant updating them of the status of their complaint.

8 weeks – final resolution must be achieved and complainant informed of result;

8 weeks plus – if resolution has not been possible to achieve within this time frame the complainant will be informed that they now have the right to seek redress by other means including, where appropriate referral to The Financial ombudsman Service, referral to the Financial Conduct Authority  or  recourse via the legal system.

Where resolution has not been achieved within 8 weeks, an investigation will not cease, it will continue until a final decision has been made and the complainant will then be informed in accordance with the company’s standard protocols.

Tim Lemon

Director and Company Secretary