Consumers will be given access to redress for complaints about claims management companies from today, after the Legal Ombudsman began accepting complaints against the firms.
The service will be free to consumers and the ombudsman will have the power to deal with complaints about any claims firm regulated by the Ministry of Justice.
The Legal Ombudsman can order compensation or make firms reimburse costs where it finds there has been poor service.
Legal Ombudsman head of CMCs Simon Tunnicliffe says: “This is great news for claims management customers as we have significant powers of redress to help protect them. I would encourage anyone who has made a complaint to their CMC without success to contact our scheme straight away.”
The scheme says it plans to work with firms and the MoJ to tackle common issues in the sector.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says: “This is a positive change for consumers. We have campaigned for years for the Legal Ombudsman to handle complaints about CMCs so that consumers who are treated badly will get access to independent dispute resolution and compensation.
“CMCs have a poor reputation, especially over rip-off payment protection insurance claims, so this will tip the scales back in favour of consumers, drive up standards and help clean up the claims industry.”