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Making a complaint about a creditor or energy supplier

Make a complaint if a creditor, debt collector, or energy supplier is not treating you fairly. It is important for them to know and it may help others in future.

Making a complaint to a creditor?

It may be useful to know what creditors can do when payments are late.

How can I make a complaint?

We recommend making your complaint in writing, by letter or email. But you can also do it:


  • Over the phone
  • In person

Your creditor or energy supplier should deal with any complaint the same way.

Complaining in writing lets you:


  • Think about what you want to say
  • Keep a copy so you have a record of what was said
  • This can be useful if you need to take the complaint further

Use recorded mail if you post your complaint. This costs more but you will know the letter was received.

Complaining in person or over the phone:


  • Is harder to record what was said
  • Risks forgetting important points
  • Could become an argument that gets out of hand

Is a bailiff or enforcement agent not treating you fairly or harassing you?

Find out how to make complaints about bailiffs.

What should I write in my complaint?

Here are the most important things to put in your letter or email:


  • Write the word ‘complaint’ at the top
  • You want this to be very clear
  • You want to make sure this is dealt with as a complaint
  • Explain what you feel your creditor or energy supplier has done wrong
  • Tell them what you think they should do to put this right
  • Ask for a copy of their complaints procedure in writing
  • This shows you how they deal with complaints
  • Ask them to stop any further action while they look into your complaint
  • Ask for their reply in writing

Need free advice and help to manage your debts?

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Top tips for making your complaint effectively

1. Take time to calm down if you are upset

2. Keep copies of your complaint and any replies you get


  • This could be important if you need to take things further

3. Keep notes every time you speak to them


  • Write down:
  • The date
  • What is said
  • Who you spoke to
  • You may need this if you take the complaint further

4. Be realistic when telling your creditor or supplier how they can put things right

  • For example, it might be reasonable to ask for a refund and compensation

5. Keep your complaint simple and clear


  • You do not need to quote laws and regulations
  • You do not need to use legal terms

6. Ask a friend or family member to help


  • Talking about the problem can help you find the right words
  • The other person might spot something you didn’t

7. Try to give the supplier or creditor time to sort out the problem


  • Complaints can take a little while to process
  • Contact them for a follow-up if you feel forgotten

What happens after I make a complaint?

The people you should:


  1. Confirm they got your complaint (usually in a letter or email)
  2. Explain how they plan to deal with your complaint
  3. Tell you how long it will take

Some creditors will put your account on hold while they look into your complaint.


  • It depends on the type of debts
  • Others may keep contacting you for payments

You should get a final reply from the people you owe within eight weeks.

They should let you know if they think your complaint will take longer.

Can you write a letter for me?

We can give you tips on making a complaint, but we cannot write a letter for you.

Some websites have example letters you can use. But these can be overly complicated.

Remember:


  • Your complaint should show how you feel you were treated
  • This is clearer in your own words

Do I need evidence?

Evidence can be useful because it:


  • Supports your complaint and
  • Makes it easier for the people you owe to investigate

For complaints about debt collector phone calls or visits to your home:

Keep a list of:


  • The dates
  • Times
  • Names of callers

For complaints letters from creditors or emails:

Include copies of the letters or emails.

Did you get a reply about your complaint?

Keep track of any emails, letters, or phone calls you get. This information could be useful later.


  • Phone calls
  • Record the date and time
  • Write down who you spoke to
  • What was agreed
  • Letters and emails
  • Keep copies of everything you send
  • Keep copies of everything you receive
  • Bills and other information
  • Keep copies of everything the people you owe send you

I want to complain but have no evidence

Do not worry if you have no evidence. Your creditor should still look into it.

They have their own records of:


  • Any letters or emails
  • Phone calls
  • Visits

Where do I go next if my complaint doesn’t work?

Ombudsmans and other groups can look into your complaint more.

These organisations can only help if:


  • You made a complaint to your creditor
  • They had a chance to look into it and reply
  • In most cases, you need to wait eight weeks

Financial Ombudsman Service

Cover complaints about all debts regulated by the Consumer Credit Act


  • This includes most common debts, like:
  • Personal loans
  • Payday loans
  • Credit and store cards
  • Overdrafts
  • Mortgages
  • Insurance policies

CISAS

They look into complaints about telephone or internet providers.

Ombudsman Services: Communications

Look into complaints about telephone or internet providers.

Ombudsman Services: Energy

Investigate complaints about gas and electric companies in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Consumer Council

Investigate energy complaints in Northern Ireland.

The Ombudsman Association

Find the right organisation if your complaint is about:


  • A public service
  • Local authority
  • Government department
  • Or other creditor

Need help with debt?

If you need any help or advice on how to deal with your creditors we provide free, impartial and expert debt advice.