Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure

Help us to put things right when things go wrong

Unity Link Financial Services are committed to delivering an efficient and professional service. We aim to provide prompt, courteous, helpful, open and informative advice in response to every approach made by a member of public. We are always keen to hear the views of our customers, particularly the public, about our performance generally.

We recognize that, like all organizations, from time to time things may go wrong. We are especially keen to hear about such instances since they provide us with an opportunity to put things right and to learn from our mistakes.

How to make a complaint

You can make a complaint in writing by letter, email or by telephone.

Complaints should normally be directed to the member of staff with whom you have been dealing or our Complaints manager. This will give them the opportunity to explain what actions have been taken and to try to sort things out with you. If you would prefer, you can ask the member of staff for the name of their line manager and send your complaint to them or directly to our Complaints manager.

What happens next?

We will use our best endeavors to treat complaints thoroughly, fairly and politely, and investigate them sensitively and respond promptly.

Our target for replying to complaints is 15 business days from the date of receipt. If it is not possible to give you a full reply within this time – for instance because detailed investigation is required – we will give you an interim response, telling you what is being done to deal with your complaint, and when you can expect the full reply and from whom.

Our Complaints manager can be contacted:

BY Post:

Unity Link Financial Services Limited 158-160 Balham High Road LONDON SW12 9BN

By Telephone:

0208 772 2160

or

By Email:

online@unitylink.com

If, even after this stage, you remain dissatisfied with the response you may wish to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for further advice and guidance.

This will not affect your legal rights.

 

Financial Ombudsman Service, Harbour Exchange Square, London E14 9SR

All complaints are recorded by Unity Link Financial Services Limited and we provide a summary of all complaints to the Financial Conduct Authority. These statistics are also used internally to improve our products and services.

Complaints Handling Procedures

Unity Link Financial Services Limited is pleased to operate in accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) complaint management procedures.

We recognize that we have an obligation to Customers who are dissatisfied with our service to resolve any PSD complaint within 15 business days or in exceptional circumstances within 35 business days from the point of notification or if the complaint is not a PSD complain then we will look to resolve any complaint within 8 weeks of its receipt.

If this is not possible for any reason, then we will state our reasons for not being able to do so and propose an alternate completion date to the Customer. If we are unable to resolve the complaint within this timescale, or to the Customers satisfaction, or the Customer does not accept a deferred date, then such complaints may be eligible for consideration by the FCA or the FOS.

To assist the Customer, we would highlight our complaints procedure.

Acknowledgement

Upon receipt of a complaint, we will provide written acknowledgement within 5 business days of receiving the complaint (business days are Mondays-Fridays excluding bank holidays). The letter will contain details of our Complaints Procedure and of your right to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if you are dissatisfied with our assessment and ruling. It will also state who within Unity Link Financial Services Limited is dealing with the complaint and how to contact them (this will normally be the Complaints manager).

 

 

 

Initial Response

If the complaint is going to take more than three business days to resolve then we will issue an initial response, containing a full account of the investigation activities planned, any findings thus far and, if appropriate, any offer of redress. This letter will again advise the Customer of their rights, who is dealing with the complaint and how to contact that person.

Complaints Resolved/Settled within Three Business days

Where a complaint has been resolved to a complainant’s satisfaction, within three business days Unity Link will promptly send the complainant a ‘Summary Resolution Communication’. This communication will;

  • Refer to the fact that the complainant has made a complaint and informs them that we now consider the complaint resolved to their satisfaction,
  • Demonstrate a clear calculation method for compensation, if any is being offered,
  • Tell the complainant that if they subsequently decide that they are dissatisfied with the resolution of the complaint they may be able to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service; within six months,
  • Indicates whether Unity Link consent to waive the relevant time limits; where we have discretion in such matters,
  • Provide the website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service,
  • Refer to the availability of further information from the Financial Ombudsman Service’s website.

Further Acknowledgement

In the situation whereby, the complainant responds to the Initial Response then again Unity Link Financial Services Limited will acknowledge receipt of response within 5 business days.

Holding Response

If, for whatever reason, Unity Link Financial Services Limited is unable to conclude the investigation and provide a Final Response (see below) to the complaint then Unity Link Financial Services Limited will issue what is called a Holding Response. The purpose of this Holding Response is to inform the complainant of the reasons why Unity Link Financial Services Limited cannot provide a Final Response and to provide a further indication of what is happening with the complaint and to provide an indication of when the complainant can expect to hear from Unity Link Financial Services Limited again. In the event that the complainant receives a Holding Response, Unity Link Financial Services Limited would invite the complainant to discuss the matter personally with the Company’s Managing Director. The purpose of this step is to ensure that the complaint (and the complainant) receives the highest priority in those situations where the complaint cannot be fully resolved through normal investigatory processes.

Final Response

Once Unity Link Financial Services Limited has completed its investigation we will write to the complainant and offer a summary outcome. Where appropriate, it may also include a final offer of redress. Such letters will be marked clearly as the final response and will include details on how to contact the FOS if the complaint has not been resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction or, if the offer of redress is considered insufficient or inappropriate.

Unity Link Financial Services Limited will send its final response within 15 business days (or 35 business days in exceptional circumstances) after the day in which the PSD complaint was received or by the end of 8 weeks after the receipt of a non PSD complaint or 4 weeks of rejection of offer of redress (where applicable). This may not always be possible as sometimes the complexity of the complaint may require more time to investigate fully. We will always abide by regulatory guidelines in relation to a complaint and as such, we will always ensure that complainants are kept informed about their complaint and our activities in response to their complaint.

Monitoring of Complaints

Unity Link Financial Services Limited is required by the FCA to keep detailed documentation on individual complaints. We are required to report relevant complaints to the FCA and to our Insurer on a regular basis. Private information will not be shared with any 3rd parties and we comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

These details will usually include as a minimum;

  • The nature, date and method of communication of the complaint
  • The complainant’s details
  • How the complaint was dealt with (outcomes)
  • Whether the complaint was upheld or refuted
  • Whether the complaint was closed (addressed to complainant’s satisfaction) or whether it remains open and outstanding
  • What financial redress or other significant outcome resulted from the complaint

Ultimate Redress

If, after contacting all parties the complainant remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint then they may seek redress through the FOS and ultimately the courts if they so wish.

In each instance, we would record upon the complaint file what advice was provided and we would reclassify the complaint to note that it has been ‘Investigated but not resolved’. Such claims have been deemed to be investigated by Unity Link Financial Services Limited and reported to the FCA on this basis.