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CPP mis-selling – are you due £100s?

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reclaim credit card protection insuranceA huge redress scheme worth £1.3bn for people mis-sold products by CPP has now closed, but it may not be too late to get your money back & if you were mis-sold pre-2005 you can still claim via your bank.

This guide will help you reclaim money from card protection and ID fraud protection products mis-sold by CPP before 2005. It will also let you know what to do if you were unsuccessful getting money as part of the redress scheme which has now shut.

What is CPP?

CPP is a worldwide financial company. It has a variety of products, but there are two specific ones, sold alongside both debit and credit cards that were mis-sold:

Card protection products: These allowed customers to call one number to have all lost and stolen cards stopped. Basically, CPP made a few phone calls for you. (Use Cardsgone.com for an easy, free online alternative.) Plus, crucially, if your card was lost and stolen it would cancel it and cover you for fraud.

ID fraud protection: This promised to give you reports about your identity (no great shakes – you’ve a statutory right to a credit report for £2), and cover you for the risk and liability of having your identity stolen.

CPP no longer sells these policies in the UK (though it still does elsewhere). It now focuses on "card rescue" – a revamped version of card protection without the insurance element – and Airport Angel, which gives access to airport lounges worldwide.

Who is eligible to claim?

If you want to claim now it needs to be for products that were mis-sold BEFORE 14 January 2005.

Even if you bought your policy before 14 January 2005 and it automatically renewed in the years after that, those subsequent years will have formed part of the redress scheme that has now closed, so you cannot claim for these years.

Isn't there a redress scheme I can complain through?

There was, but it has now closed. After it was discovered these policies were systematically being mis-sold, CPP was fined £10.5 million by the Financial Conduct Authority. It then ‘‘volunteered’’ to a central collective redress scheme – basically a big pot of money to pay back mis-sold customers.

Those affected automatically got sent a letter telling them they had a policy, and were invited to fill in a form to reclaim. The date to send those forms back by to get money was 30 August 2014 - but, don't despair if you weren't able to take part in the scheme. You may be able to go to the Ombudsman.

How did CPP mis-sell?

When you got a credit or debit card, there was an ‘‘activation’’ sticker with a number to call. This was a ruse to sell you the insurance. People thought they were talking to their bank to set up a card, but it was actually CPP.

They were then told they needed £100,000 fraud protection cover; yet banks must cover fraud anyway, unless they can prove the customer was grossly negligent. In a nutshell, these major elements of the policy were virtually worthless.

It doesn’t stop there. Some people were told they couldn’t cancel, the risk of ID fraud was overstated, it hiked prices without telling people, and it auto-renewed policies with no opportunity to cancel.

Why did so many people fall for this?

Imagine that before you started reading this guide, someone offered to sell you "Martin Lewis punches you in the face insurance" against the event that because you read it, I'd find you and smack you.

Of course it's ludicrous. But then, wouldn't you think "there must be a reason they're selling this insurance"? "He must've done it before. They wouldn't be selling it unless there was a tangible, manifest risk."

Now you've thought that, it starts to create a doubt. "Maybe you should get it, after all it's not that expensive, and peace of mind against being lamped on the nose is important."

Sound ludicrous? Well now turn it to a financial example, where people know less about the facts. Building fear, employing PR people to pump up ID fraud worries, helps sell policies. Millions signed up to CPP to protect themselves from a conjured risk that sounded believable.

Quick question

Are CPP and PPI the same thing?

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Ask us questions and give your feedback

Report your card protection plan reclaiming successes and failures in our forum. Also let us know any extra questions you'd like us to answer.

How to reclaim

If you think you were mis-sold card or ID fraud protection from CPP or your bank before 2005 then you have a right to reclaim your money back.

You can complain to your bank, but if you've switched bank since you were mis-sold, you will need to complain to the bank that originally mis-sold you the products and have the paperwork to hand from that bank.

These things are best done in writing, but if that's too difficult, don't worry about calling. Just ask they note it down as a formal complaint, and also ask for written confirmation.

To help, we've put together a template letter to start you off - download it and fill in the blanks (use it to help start you off, but the more you write it in your own words, the better):

Template letter

Card protection reclaim letter


IMPORTANT
. KEEP A COPY, IT'LL BE HELPFUL FOR GOING TO THE OMBUDSMAN

We don't yet know banks' attitude to these complaints. But at the start of similar past reclaiming campaigns, such as PPI, banks rejected many cases the Ombudsman later upheld.

They do this deliberately, as they know most people won't take it further. Often, the rejection sounds legally definite. Yet don't let that put you off. If you feel you were treated unfairly, if they reject you then it just enables you to contact the independent Financial Ombudsman.

Banks have eight weeks to respond. If you're complaining to CPP directly, it's been given 16 weeks to respond. If you don't hear anything, or you're not happy with how it's dealt with your complaint, don't give up - go to the next step.

Escalate to the free Financial Ombudsman

If your complaint is rejected by your bank, don't assume that's the end of the matter. You have a right to take any complaint it's turned down to the independent Financial Ombudsman Service.

This is the official body for settling disputes between individuals and financial companies. It's a free service that acts as an impartial adjudicator. Present it with the facts, and it'll decide whether the circumstances your protection plan was sold under were unfair.

If it finds in your favour, it'll then decide what redress is required. In most successful mis-selling cases, this means a refund.

BUT it's important to note it won't look at your complaint until you've contacted your bank and given it eight weeks to respond (or 16 weeks if your complaint was with CPP). Once you have a response, or haven't been given one within eight weeks, only then will it be able to investigate your complaint.

To get the ball rolling, you'll need to fill in its complaints form below, which must be signed by hand and posted. Make sure you enclose any paperwork that backs up your case.

As with the first letter to the bank, which you could always copy and paste into here, don't feel you have to be formal. Explain the point clearly, concisely and honestly, all in your own words, just as if you were explaining the situation to a friend.

It's quite simple to fill in, though take care. If you need help filling this out, you can call it on 0300 123 9123 or 0800 023 4567, and it'll guide you through the claim, or use our step-by-step guide above.

It's written in Microsoft Word so you can easily cut and paste sections or print it and have it next to you as you're filling in the Ombudsman's form.

How long will this take?

Sometimes this will take a long time. Possibly around a year, but maybe even longer as the Ombudsman deals with huge numbers of complaints - especially with the current avalanche of PPI mis-selling issues. But don't worry - you can leave the matter to the Ombudsman to resolve and it will contact you with any offers from your lender.

What happens if I get turned down by the ombudsman?

The Ombudsman's decision is usually made by an assigned adjudicator. If you disagree with the result, you can ask for a formal decision to be made by one of the official ombudsmen at the service. This usually takes several months as it involves a detailed investigation into your case, but don't be afraid to push your complaint further if you think the initial decision isn't right.

After that, while the finance company must accept the Ombudsman's decision, you still have the right to take the company to court if you don't agree with the result.

It's also worth noting that if you feel the Ombudsman hasn't handled your case correctly, eg, there were unnecessary delays, you can ask for a senior manager to review it. If that doesn't resolve things, you've a right to go to the Independent Assessor (though this is only about quality of service, not the actual decision made).

For other complaints the Ombudsman can help with, see the Your Financial Rights guide.

If you couldn't take part in the redress scheme...

If you formed part of the redress scheme to get money back for those mis-sold after 2005, but weren't able to use the scheme as you didn't get a letter, you may still have a chance. We contacted the Financial Ombudsman Service and they told us the following:

"If you haven’t been able to take part in the redress scheme because you didn’t have a fair chance to sort it out – for instance, you didn’t receive the letter or you moved home and the letter went to the old address, the Ombudsman may be able to help.

“If you think you should have been included or have any other concerns about the scheme, get in touch and we can answer your questions.”

If you think this applies to you, then follow the steps above for how to complain to the Financial Ombudsman and you may still have a chance of getting your money back.

Ombudsman complaint form, plus guide to help fill it out

Ombudsman complaint form

Complaint form help

Quick questions:

How far back can I claim?

I asked to take out the policy, but didn't use it. Was I mis-sold?

The account holder's deceased or needs help, can I do this?

Can my bank punish me for complaining?

What are my chances of success?

I have a product with Sentinel Gold can I claim in the same way?

Please tell us your experiences!

Unlike PPI, this is a very new area of reclaiming with more developments coming out regularly. Please let us know how you get on so that we can keep our guide up-to-date and help as many people as possible.

Ask us questions and give your feedback

Report your card protection plan reclaiming successes and failures in our forum. Also let us know any extra questions you'd like us to answer.

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