The insurance provider for popular high-street phone seller (and breeding ground for second-hand car salespeople) Phones 4U has been hit with a hefty fine for its dodgy insurance products, after it was revealed its complaints resolution procedure for claims basically involved shredding the angry emails and patronising people down the phone.
Phones 4U salespeople sell insurance from Policy Administration Services over-the-counter in stores; those policies, while all well and good, were badly handled. The Financial Conduct Authority concluded that thousands of complaints from phone buyers over a two-year period were wrongly turned down or simply ignored.
As a result, Policy Administration Services has been fined about £3m. Phones 4U issued a statement on PAS's behalf, saying:
"We apologise for those failings and have compensated the 1,438 affected customers. We engaged an independent third party to undertake a comprehensive review, and our processes were considerably improved in 2011 to ensure such failings do not occur again."
This comes just a week after a FCA investigation concluded that smartphone insurers offered unfair terms, bad products and poor service. Hopefully, with more monetary spankings like this, insurers might actually start coughing up. [Guardian]