The fee collected contrary to the regulations? A bank employee mistake? Failure by the bank to meet the deadlines set out in the contract or the promotion rules?
In each of these cases, one way to assert our rights as a consumer is to make a complaint. The procedures are simple and better regulated.
Financial institutions handle complaints submitted by phone
Most banks and other financial institutions handle complaints submitted by phone, sent by letter or via e-mail, as well as written by an employee at the branch.
Some banks, e.g. GFIC, Good Lender or Honest Bank are also prepared to receive complaints via electronic banking. In short, clients who want to advertise a bank’s product or service do not pose special barriers when it comes to contact channels.
As for the feedback from the bank, it must be in a letter, unless we have agreed that it should be sent via e-mail. Some banks also call customers with a response.
30 days to reply (sometimes longer)
At the end of 2015, the law came into force, which imposes an obligation on banks and other financial institutions to consider a complaint within 30 days of its submission. Only in special cases, the process may take longer, but not longer than a total of 60 days from the date of complaint. However, the bank must inform the customer and justify what is the reason for the extension of the procedure.
In practice, complaints, especially those regarding simple issues and small amounts, are dealt with much faster and usually recognized.
– Once, Good Finance charged me USD 5 for the second transfer from a savings account in the month. However, when making the transfer, the system informed me that the operation would be free. Only after that, I saw the fee on the statement. The bank quickly accepted my complaint – says Mr. Jarek from Sosnowiec.
Joanna has similar experiences in Warsaw:
– I reported to the helpline a complaint about the fee for issuing a card to a currency account at mBank, which I did not even activate and did not plan to use. She was recognized during a conversation with a consultant – says Joanna.
While simple complaints are handled by banks on a regular basis and usually to the benefit of the client, much more difficult matters regarding larger amounts and liabilities are not.
The complaint procedure does not work even in the case of clients who have signed long-term contracts for investment products, for example, policies, or they took out loans in Swiss francs.
In both groups, there are customers who are convinced that banks have acted illegally, sold defective products or misled them. Unfortunately, if they want to fight for their rights, they must seek justice in the courts.
Institutions supporting the consumer
If the bank considers our complaint negatively, we have 30 days to appeal against this decision. If this did not work, it does not mean that all possibilities for exercising their rights are closed to the client.
The last place to resolve a conflict with a financial institution, if it could not be resolved at earlier stages, are common courts. As the example of holders of the so-called Good Finance or companies that used currency options on the eve of the Good Finance, more complex disputes are finally moving there.
In summary, banks are very well prepared to receive and process complaints from customers. They are also quick to accept applications in simple cases for a small fee. It is much worse with more complicated disputes.