Our customers are extremely important to us and whilst we aim to provide a trouble free and excellent level of service, we know that sometimes things go wrong. If you have cause to complain, we take any complaint very seriously and promise to deal with it promptly, effectively and in a positive manner.
We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and adhere to their complaints handling rules where we receive any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from or on behalf of a person about either the provision or failure to provide a service where a) the complainant alleges to have suffered, or may suffer, financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience or b) relates to an activity by us or by a person or company which has some connection in marketing or providing financial services or products which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Whilst the Financial Conduct’s rules are in respect of their determination of ‘Eligible Customers’, it is the firm’s policy to treat all complainants the same.
Eligible Complainants are legally defined and have additional rights in law that we must acknowledge and adhere to. Eligible complainants are classified by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Handbook DISP 2.7) as a person who is:
A micro-enterprise is determined as an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 people and has a turnover or annual balance that does not exceed 2 million euros, taking into account the enterprises ‘partner enterprises’ or ‘linked enterprises’.
We do not offer these types of agreements
A small business is determined as an enterprise which is not a micro-enterprise and has an annual turnover of less than £6.5 million and employs fewer than 50 people or has a balance sheet total of less than £5 million
An Eligible Complainant must also have a complaint which arises from one or more of the following relationships with us. A full list of these may be found in the FCA’s Handbook DISP 2.7.6, some of which are not relevant to our industry or to the services that we offer. We have therefore detailed below the relevant points:
NOTE: A complaint may be made on behalf of an eligible complainant by another party authorised by you or authorised by law.
If you have the need to complain, you may do so to any member of our staff by
Phone: 01527 723443
Writing to: Applewood Vehicle Finance Ltd, 2 Scott Close, Uppingham, Rutland, LE15 9TD
Alternatively, you may make a complaint to our Franchisor, Bridle Group
Phone: 01993 222860
Writing to: Bridle Group, Tamarisk House, North Leigh Business Park, North Leigh, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 6SW
Any complaint verbal or written will at the earliest opportunity be referred to a member of the senior management team and we will follow our internal complaints procedure. Please note that the complaint will not be handled solely by the person against whom the complaint was made, and we reserve the right, where appropriate, to refer a complaint to another firm, for example, if the fault lies with the lender’s service or to a dealer or manufacturer if there are issues with a vehicle.
We will try to resolve your complaint by the end of the next business day. However, it may always be possible if your complaint requires further investigation and we will keep you informed of the progress and we will let you have our final response as soon as possible and not later than eight weeks.
If your complaint is regarding Payment Services, such as a direct debit or standing order we must respond to you with a holding response within 15 business days of receiving your complaint. If we do not do this, you are able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The complaints handler will establish the nature and scope of your complaint having due regards to the Financial Conduct Authority’s direction to deal with complaints promptly and fairly and to give complainants clear replies and, where appropriate, fair redress.
When investigating the complaint, we will take several steps, and these may include:
We will consider these in conjunction with your complaint. We will endeavor to respond to and resolve your complaint straight away, which we consider being at least one business day after the day that we received your complaint. However, we may need to carry out further internal investigations which will not enable us to resolve your complaint straight away. In this instance, we will send you a notice of an investigation letter within 5 working days from when we received your complaint. The notice of investigation letter will include:
We will keep you informed of the progress of your complaint and notify you in writing of the proposed resolution.
In the unlikely event that our investigations require longer than 4 weeks to complete, we will write to you to explain why we are not yet in a position to respond to your complaint and indicate when we will make further contact. This must be within 8 weeks of the receipt of the complaint.
If after 8 weeks we are still not in a position to make a final response, we will write to you and give reasons for the delay and an indication of when we expect to provide you with a full and final response. At this point, we must include details of the Financial Ombudsman Service (‘FOS’) who you can refer your complaint to if you wish to.
Once our investigations are complete, we will write to you with our response. This will be either a final response or an offer letter depending on the circumstances of your complaint.
A final response will set out clearly the firm’s decision and the reasons for it and is:
An offer letter is:
Complaints that can be settled to your satisfaction within 3 business days can be recorded and communicated differently.
Where we consider a complaint to be resolved to your satisfaction under this section, we will promptly send you a ‘Summary Resolution Communication’, being a written communication from us which:
In addition to sending you a Summary Resolution Communication, we may also use other methods to communicate the information where
We will consider a complaint closed when we have made our final response to you. This does not prevent you from exercising any rights you may have to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
We hope that you will be satisfied with our response but if you remain dissatisfied, you may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service, but you must do so within 6 months of the date of our final response letter. We will co-operate fully with the Ombudsman in resolving any complaints made against us and agree to be bound by any awards made by the Ombudsman. The firm undertakes to pay promptly any fees levied by the Ombudsman. You may contact them by
Phone: 0800 023 4567 (free for most people ringing from a fixed line) or 0300 123 9123 (cheaper for those calling using a mobile) or 020 7964 0500 (if calling from abroad)
Writing to: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9SR
Alternatively, you may refer the matter to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA). The BVRLA is approved by Government as a Consumer ADR body under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 and offers a free Conciliation Service. The Conciliation Service will investigate potential breaches of the Code of Conduct, which sets out the standards the BVRLA expects from its members. The Conciliation Service can only look at matters that relate to disputes arising from the activities of BVRLA members.
The BVRLA will aim to resolve the matter using the information presented by both parties to the dispute. Any information requested from either party should be sent to the BVRLA within five working days. Based on the information available, the BVRLA will provide both parties with its findings and recommendations and as members we must comply with their rulings. Further details may be found at: www.bvrla.co.uk/advice/guidance/using-bvrlas-conciliation-service
You may contact the BVRLA by
Writing to: British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, River Lodge, Badminton Court, Amersham, HP7 0DD
We are required by the FCA to report on the number and types of complaints that we have received and when these complaints have been closed. We are required to use the FCA’s standard Complaints Form and electronic reporting procedure via the Firms Online service.
We examine and evaluate our procedures following receipt of a complaint to see how we can improve our service to our customers. Any recommendations resulting from this are escalated to one of our Directors who will analyse the same prior to implementation.
We retain details of complaints for a period of at least 3 years.