Affinion customers flogged worthless card protection are one step closer to getting their money back as the High Court of Justice has this week given approval for a creditors meeting on setting up a redress scheme to go ahead in June.
At the meeting, Affinion (often branded Sentinel) card protection customers will be able to vote in person on whether or not they want a redress scheme to go ahead, while postal votes received will also be counted.
If the majority of people vote 'yes', the High Court is set to approve the scheme going ahead on 9 July. You don't need to do anything yet though. Customers will be sent a letter inviting them to vote for or against the scheme from 22 April onwards.
If the scheme is approved, you can still claim compensation even if you don't vote. But remember, if not enough people vote 'yes', the scheme may not go ahead and you won't get compensation.
See our Sentinel (AI Scheme) card protection guide for full step-by-step help to reclaim your money.
What's the problem with Affinion/Sentinel?
You may be entitled to £100s back if you got Affinion card protection either directly, via a bank such as Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Santander, or from a card provider.
The problem is that the 'card security' part of some of these products, which covered fraudulent use if a card was lost or stolen, was completely unnecessary as card issuers are typically responsible for fraudulent transactions.
Letters telling customers about a redress scheme have already been sent out, and the High Court of Justice yesterday confirmed that a creditors meeting can take place – this has been scheduled for 30 June.
Here's a timeline of what's happening:
- 22 April onwards: You'll be sent a second letter inviting you to vote for or against the redress scheme going ahead.
- 30 June 2015: The creditors meeting will take place where votes will be received and counted. If you want to vote in person, you can attend.
- 9 July 2015: High Court approval. If the majority of people vote 'yes', it will go to the High Court to approve.
- 17 August 2015: Redress scheme opens.
- 18 August 2015 – 18 March 2016: A seven-month claim period opens. You'll receive a claim form no later than mid-September 2015.
- Mid-January – start of February 2016: Reminder letters for people to claim ahead of the deadline will be sent out.
- 19 September 2016: Extended claim period for 'exceptional cases' ends. As an example, if you've been out of the country for a long period of time, the deadline could be extended for you.
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How much could I reclaim?
The scheme covers policies sold between 14 January 2005 and August 2013.
If the scheme goes ahead – it first needs to be voted for by customers and then approved by the High Court – those mis-sold will get back every penny paid for this cover, which usually cost £25/year.
You'll also get interest, which is calculated at 8% per year, but you do not get interest on the interest (ie, it's not compound interest).
If you've made a claim, the value of any claim will be deducted from the redress. If your policy is still active and you decide to claim for redress, your policy will be cancelled.