I have asked Vanquis how they are calculating the FCA-ordered refund of the interest that people have paid because of their ROP purchases.
One thing that Vanquis have explained is that they are not including a refund of any additional over the limit charges. This won’t affect everyone getting a refund but it will be important for some people.
Why aren’t Vanquis refunding these?
Vanquis have told me:
We have agreed with the FCA that these fees will not be taken into accounts given (a) the difficulty with causally linking an over limit charge to interest incurred on ROP charges and (b) customers are warned about over-limit fees as they are given a month’s grace on the ROP fee charged that month.
Neither of those seem to me to be good arguments. Anyone who has had ROP charged for some time without clearing their balance is likely to have accumulated associated interest charges which may well be greater than the amount the credit limit is exceeded by – so if the associated interest hadn’t been added you would not have gone over the limit.
Even if it’s not possible to say that all over the limit charges for all customers were caused by the extra interest, Vanquis can look at individual’s case and decide if the ROP interest caused the over limit changes.
Have you already been given a refund?
These refunds are being paid very slowly – and they also appear to be too low!
If you have already had yours, then read Vanquis – the refunds are wrong – it’s time to complain and use the template in that article to complain because it covers the points you need to make about the refund and asks for the over limit charges to be refunded.
If you haven’t yet had a refund
If you paid over the limit charges and you also paid ROP, you can complain to Vanquis and ask for the charges to be refunded.
Send your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use a title such as COMPLAINT re ROP AND OVER LIMIT CHARGES.
Vanquis have 8 weeks to reply to your complaint. If they reject it, you can send your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. The template letter below asks for extra information that will help with this.
When you send in the complaint, also think if the ROP was mis-sold. If it was, you can ask for a refund of the ROP itself, not just the extra interest and the over limit charges.
The reason for mis-selling can’t be that the extra interest wasn’t described to you, because the remedy for that is the FCA ordered automatic refund. You can only ask for a refund of the ROP itself if there was a different reason ROP was mis-sold to you.
For example, some people have mentioned:
- they thought ROP was a feature of the Vanquis card so it couldn’t be turned off and this wasn’t clear in the sales call;
- they thought if they rejected the ROP they couldn’t have the card;
- they felt under pressure to agree to the ROP because they wanted credit limit increases;
- the sales call didn’t explain that sometimes interest may be frozen if someone doesn’t have the ROP;
- the sales call wasn’t clear about when a claim could be made on the ROP, so they made a claim and were refused.
Saying that the extra interest wasn’t described will not do – that is being refunded via the FCA order automatic refund – there has to be a different reason to ask for a refund of the ROP itself.