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Complaints procedure

Complaints Handling Process

It is important that complaints are handled:
 • Speedily, Effectively, Courteously and
• In accordance with the process

The FCA defines a complaint as “any written or oral expression of dissatisfaction” which “alleges that the complainant has suffered, or may suffer, financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience”.
It is important that if made by a telephone call the call handler identifies that the customer is actually making a formal complaint as opposed to “having a moan”.

You must ascertain who within your dealership/firm is responsible for complaints handling.

There are two timescales for concluding complaints:
1. Within 3 business days of the complaint being received
2. Within 8 weeks of the complaint being received

1. Complaints resolved by close of the third business day following the day it is received
If you receive what you think is a “complaint” as per the definition, you should pass this to the complaint handler in the firm. If this is not possible, you should treat the customer fairly by:
• Listening properly to the customer, obtain full customer details, address, phone number, e-mail address and ascertain the nature of the complaint
• State that you will try to resolve the complaint within the next 3 business days
• State that contact will be made with the customer before the end of 3 business days to resolve
• Discuss the complaint with the complaint handler who will prepare a “summary resolution letter”

Summary resolution letter
Where the respondent considers a complaint to be resolved under this section, the respondentmust send the complainant a “summary resolution letter” which:
• Refers to the fact that the complainant has made a complaint and informs the complainant that the respondent now considers the complaint to have been resolved
• Tells the complainant that if he subsequently decides that he is dissatisfied with the resolution of the complaint he may be able to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service
• Indicates whether or not the respondent consents to waive the relevant time limits in DISP 2.8.2R or DISP 2.8.7R (Was the complaint referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service in time?) by including the appropriate wording set out in DISP 1 Annex 3R
• Provides the website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service and
• refers to the availability of further information on the website of the Financial Ombudsman Service

2. Complaints which go beyond this timescale, i.e. NOT resolved after 3 business days – but are resolved within 8 weeks
• Send an acknowledgment letter promptly.
• Consult the FCA complaints procedure to identify what information must be contained within the acknowledgment letter.
• Enclose your firm’s FCA complaints procedure document for customers. This is found in the complaints folder in Compliance Manager’s Library
• Enter the details in the Complaints Register in Compliance Manager
• Investigate and resolve the complaint within the 8 week time-line
• Send the Final Response Letter (FRL) within 8 weeks or a letter explaining the reason for delays and giving a revised timescale.

Final Response Letter (FRL)
• The customer is provided with full details of the complaint investigation and the outcome.
• The customer should be given FOS referral rights stating that they must contact FOS within 6 months of receiving the FRL in the event that the customer is dissatisfied with the outcome.
• Enclose an FOS leaflet “Your Complaint and the Ombudsman” with the FRL The person responsible for complaints handling will have a supply of these leaflets (Leaflets can be obtained from
• Consult DISP 1 ANNEXE 3 for appropriate wordings for FOS referral rights in Final Response Letters
• For EW Fleet Services Complaints the customer may also contact the BVRLA Conciliation Service as an Alternative Dispute Resolution service. Details can be found at or by contacting

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