11 Mar 2019

Making a complaint about a creditor

When it comes to bills, more than half of people in debt say they wouldn’t question an unexpected bill even though it might affect their health or push them further into debt. If something doesn’t look right, it’s important that you make your concerns known as soon as possible. 

How can I make a complaint?

We recommend making your complaint in writing, by letter or email. There are a couple of advantages to making a complaint this way:

  • It gives you time to think about what you want to say
  • You can keep a copy so you’ve got a record of what was said – this can be useful if you need to take the complaint further

If you post your complaint it’s a good idea to use recorded mail. This costs a bit extra but allows you to check your letter was definitely received.

You could make your complaint in person or over the phone, but it would be more difficult to prove what was said afterwards. There’s also more risk of forgetting important facts or getting drawn into an argument if you make your complaint this way.

What should I write in my complaint?

Your letter or email should include the following:

  • Write the word ‘complaint’ at the top so it’s very clear that you want it be dealt with as a complaint
  • Explain what you feel your creditor has done wrong
  • Tell them what you think they should do to put this right
  • Ask for a copy of their complaints procedure in writing so you can see how they’ll deal with your complaint
  • Ask them to stop any further action while they’re investigating your complaint
  • Ask for their reply in writing

What happens after I’ve made a complaint?

Your creditor should confirm they’ve received your complaint, usually by letter or email. They should also explain how they’ll deal with your complaint and how long it’ll take.

Creditors usually put your account on hold while they’re looking into your complaint. Not all of them will do this – it depends on the type of debts and some may keep contacting you for payments. 

You should get a final reply from your creditor or supplier in due course, and most will aim to do this within eight weeks. If your complaint will take longer than normal to investigate the creditor or supplier should tell you.