5/05/17 Confession, they say, is good for the soul.
I’m often out and about around the country meeting people and talking to them about the problems they’re experiencing. It’s a great way to find out about the issues that matter to you - but I sometimes feel that I should be bringing a confession box with me.
Pretty much every week, someone will approach me and say “I’ve got a problem with [insert company here], but it’s all my fault”. All too often this is the reason they don’t make a complaint.
So I’m flinging open the doors of the Resolver confession box and giving you all a forgiveness pass!
Loads of people don’t make complaints about important things because they blame themselves. Being realistic about things you could have done better is important when making a complaint. But that doesn’t absolve the business of bad behaviour either.
Here are a few confessions and my response:
“I didn’t read the terms and conditions”
In a perfect world: You should always try to read the T&Cs so you know your rights.
In practice: T&C’s have become like War and Peace in some circumstances! Businesses aren’t allowed to bury key facts in them. If the term is fundamentally important, it should be flagged up (insurers have key facts documents to do this). If it isn’t, you could have been misled.
“I borrowed some money but I can’t afford to pay it back”
In a perfect world: You’ve entered into a contract and you have to pay the money.
In practice: Life sometimes throws a spanner in the works. From mortgages to credit cards, if you get into difficulties, speak up. The lender should try to give you little breathing space with charges or talk you through your options. If they don’t, get in touch with Resolver.
“I didn’t give a meter reading and now I’ve got a massive bill”
In a perfect word: Grit your teeth and pay it, it’ll come down soon.
In practice: Why did your energy provider leave it so long? If it’s been ages, they’re responsible too - and they might be willing to reduce the bill or tariff given their mistake. Get them to talk you through what they can do to help with energy saving options.
“I don’t open my bills”
In a perfect world: If you don’t open your bills, you won’t know if things have gone wrong.
In practice: Whether you’re in denial about money you owe or you make a regular payment so you’re assuming that everything’s okay, it’s easy to let the bills build up. The same goes for going paperless and never checking your online account. As long as you don’t bin them unopened – or lose your password – you can refer back to them if something goes wrong. But every 3 months minimum, grit your teeth and open them when it’s not too late to turn a problem around.
“I haven’t checked my pension in years”
In a perfect world: You pension is so important to your retirement you can’t ignore it.
In practice: Let’s be honest, would you understand your pension if you did check it? Pensions are complicated. So every once in awhile, get your pension provider to explain what’s happening in plain English terms. What to do if you’re not paying enough in and how much you’re paying in charges. Speak to a financial adviser every few years to decide if there’s a better, cheaper option too.
“I don’t update my insurer”
In a perfect world: You need to tell your insurer about ‘significant events’ from illnesses to expensive purchases.
In practice: Insurance contracts work both ways. The insurer should give you enough information so you understand what your obligations are. This ranges from asking you key questions when you take out the policy to making their documents and written requirements clear.
I hope you feel suitably forgiven enough to not suffer in silence. Remember, if you encounter unforgiving customer service - get in touch and we’ll help you get the problem sorted.