“ Company specialising in PPI claims. „
Terrible!! I put a claim in back in August 2012. I received a letter back saying that my Credit Card company had made an offer of £530. Great I thought! Until I received a cheque from my Credit Card company for £150. After speaking with Gladstone Brookes, they told me that my credit card company (Halifax) had simply changed their mine, and they could not do anything about it. You would have thought for the really high fees Gladstone Brookes are charging, they would try at least to help, but they are simply not interested.
Like many people, I have in the past taken out a loan for various things, 'things' being mainly cars! At the time of taking out the various loans I was sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) which, as most of you have probably heard was actually mis-sold to many people and they are now able to make claims and get it refunded.
Why Gladstone Brookes?
When I first heard about this, I was unsure if I had been mis-sold my PPI or not, so in May 2011 when I saw an advert on TV for a company called Gladstone Brookes claiming that they could claim back your mis-sold PPI and any interest you may have paid on it and if they couldn't claim it back then there was no fee to pay, I decided it was worth a try and what did I have to loose?
I quickly saved the phone number in my phone and decided to have a think before calling them and also look though my paperwork to check that I had all of the details they were probably going to need.
Making a Claim
The following day I had spent the morning at work thinking about calling them and had taken my loan details to work with me. At lunch time I called the number from the TV advert and was quickly connected to a lady called Louise. The first thing Louise checked was if my phone number that I was calling from was the one they could contact me on, I replied yes and she told me that she was going to disconnect the call and then call me back as this would stop me incurring any call costs. Literally less than 10 seconds after the call was disconnected Louise called me back and before she took any details from me she explained how the claims process worked and also how Gladstone Brookes fee's work.
I was told that Gladstone Brookes will claim back any PPI that has been mis-sold, plus any interest that has been paid on the PPI and on top of all this a further 8%. The fee Gladstone Brookes charge is 25% plus a 5% charge which totals as 30% of the overall amount received back. My thoughts on this were fine. The interest rate I had been paying on my loans was around the 30% mark so the way I viewed it was that the interest refund would cover their fees and I would still get a decent amount back and in all honesty anything is better than nothing, so I agreed to all of this and the phone call continued.
I was asked various details including the usual personal information as well as the details of the loan I wanted to claim my PPI back from. Once this was complete she then asked me for my credit or debit card details as she was going to send some paperwork out to me and I would need to sign and return it within 14 days, if I didn't sign the paperwork and return it then I would be charged a fee of £50. This is the point where usually I would have said 'no thanks' however, Louise's professionalism had given me confidence that this was a reputable company and I gave her my card details.
While we were on the phone Louise also asked me if this was the only loan I had taken out or if there were more in the last 8 years. I said I had more and I could get the details and call her back. I did this the following day and within 2 days of first contacting Gladstone Brookes I had 3 claims for mis-sold PPI against HFC bank in process.
At the end of the phone call I was given a landline phone number instead of the '08' number so if I needed to call them then I could do it off my mobile without getting charged extra for the call.
Within 4 days the promised paperwork had arrived. All of the information had been filled in for me so all I needed to do was to read through it to check it was correct, sign it and return it in the pre-paid envelope provided. I did this straight away as obviously I didn't want to risk any charges.
A Waiting Game
The next part of the claim was like a waiting game for me. I had a phone call from Gladstone Brookes to keep me informed that they had received my paper work and the bank now had 6 weeks to acknowledge receipt of my claim.
Being a typical bank and wanting to keep hold of the money as long as possible HFC acknowledged the claims during the 6th week. From this point they then had 16 weeks to agree whether the PPI had been mis-sold and arrange a refund or they could disagree and the case would be taken to the Financial Ombudsman for them to make a decision.
During the 16 weeks waiting period I received a couple of phone calls from Gladstone Brookes to keep me informed that my claims were still in process and they would be in touch as soon as anything changed. It was during this time that I realised I would be moving away from the UK before the 16 weeks was up, so I phoned Gladstone and this time I spoke to a lady called Alex, I explained to her that I was going to be leaving the country at the end of October and asked if it was possible to have my mum's name added to my file as a person who it was ok to discuss the claims with. Alex said this was no problem at all and took my mum's name and phone number and asked if she was at the same address as myself in case they needed to contact her by post. This was the last direct contact I had with Gladstone Brookes.
Since I moved Gladstone Brookes sent a letter to my address exactly 16 weeks after the bank acknowledged my claim stating that HFC have agreed PPI had been mis-sold and I would be receiving a refund from them of just under £3,000! This was actually a lot more than I thought I would get so even with their fees totalling just under £800 I was still quid's in! I received this news at the beginning of December 2011 and I was told that HFC would pay the money directly into my bank account within the following 3 weeks, I would then need to pay Gladstone Brookes fee's within 5 days. To me, this was fine. I had no issues with Gladstone Brookes and was quite happy to pay them.
However, within 3 weeks the money had not been paid into my account. I informed my mum who then phoned Gladstone Brookes to tell them that I still had nothing in my account. They made a note of this on their system and said to give it a little extra time as it may be due to the Christmas and New Year period. Christmas and New Year passed and still no money entered my account. My mum made various phone calls to Gladstone Brookes who (according to my mum) were incredibly helpful and always polite, they reassured her not to worry and that I wouldn't receive any charges as it was not our fault that HFC were stalling the payment.
Finally, at the end of January 2012 Gladstone Brookes found out that HFC were holding the money back as I needed to phone them and confirm my details with them for them to release the money. It would have been nice for them to let us know this but they didn't and they waited for Gladstone Brookes to contact them and ask questions before they informed us of this. So, if it wasn't for Gladstone Brookes persistence then who knows when we would have actually found this out! As it was me who needed to phone HFC I found myself making one expensive phone call from overseas, I told myself it was ok as I was going to be getting the money back. During this phone call I was told by HFC that the money would be in my account within 5 working days. I told this to my mum who has now contacted Gladstone Brookes and let them know.
The money has successfully entered my account, so as you can imagine I was, and I still am, one very happy lady!
Paying the Fees.
Obviously, my claim with Gladstone Brookes doesn't end here as I needed to pay their fees. Paying Gladstone Brookes can be done in a number of ways including over the phone with a debit card, online through their website www.gladstonebrookes.co.uk or by posting a cheque to them. My chosen method was to post a cheque to them as I am abroad so I don't want to make an expensive phone call and I'm not too keen on entering my card details online unless I really have to, so paying by cheque was my preferred method of payment in this case. I was told by my mum that they provided a pre-paid envelope for her to send the cheque in which she used and they received their fee payment with no problems at all.
Gladstone Brookes do have a website, www.gladstonebrookes.co.uk although I have not actually used it as I have never needed to due to their excellent telephone communication.
So, Would I Recommend Gladstone Brookes?
I have to say the answer is a huge YES! Since my first contact with them in May 2011 I have received nothing but faultless service from the staff at Gladstone Brookes. I was informed at the beginning of how the claim procedure works and I was kept up to date every step of the way. Each time I made contact with them my call was dealt with very efficiently and I was left with no further questions.
When things got a little complicated towards the end with the bank with-holding my refund Gladstone Brookes were understanding and dealt with the situation very effectively and I really cannot fault them in anyway. I think their fee's sound high, but I have checked other companies who also claim back PPI and their fee's are around the same kind of percentage so I am quite happy to accept this and pay them for a fantastic and (from their side) trouble free experience.
Overall Gladstone Brookes have been fantastic and I have already recommended them to a number of friends and family and I would definitely recommended them to you as well!
Thanks for reading :)