Affinion (often branded Sentinel) customers sold worthless card protection are being sent letters from today asking them to vote on whether a redress scheme can go ahead.
If the majority of the two million people mis-sold this useless card security insurance vote yes, then the redress scheme will go ahead. So keep an eye on the post this week and send back your yes vote by 5pm on Tuesday 23 June.
The letters will feature the AI Scheme Limited logo and will be consistent in look and feel with the letters sent out between 27 January and 23 February explaining that you might have been entitled to redress.
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.
Earlier this month, the High Court of Justice gave approval for a 30 June creditors meeting at which votes received will be counted. You can attend if you want to vote in person.
If enough people vote in favour of a redress scheme, the High Court of Justice is expected to approve it on 9 July, with a seven-month claim period beginning in August. 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 directly or via one of 11 banks and card issuers, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Santander.
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.
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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.
- 23 June 2015: Deadline to send in your vote form via post – it needs to be received by 5pm on this date for it to be counted. If you miss this deadline, you can vote in person – see the next bullet.
- 30 June 2015: The creditors meeting will take place at midday at Central Hall Westminster, London, 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.
- 18 August 2015 – 18 March 2016: A seven-month claim period takes place. 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, the deadline could be extended for you.
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.