When it comes to PPI you should always DIY

Mark Stammers's picture

Every advert you see these days seems to be from a company urging you to use their services to reclaim money from missold PPI policies (payment protection insurance).

The reason these claims firms are advertising so hard is that they are making a fortune. Their services really are money for old rope. Why hand over a large proportion of the cash you are due if you can do it yourself. If you think you have a valid claim all you need to do is follow my example.

I had an MBNA credit card for many years, and when I took out the card there was a small payment each month for PPI. I really didn't think much about it as it was only a few quid (yes, silly I know). I simply paid my monthly payment to the card provider at that was that until this year.

Working at Moneywise has many advantages, and keeping up with the latest rip-offs is just one. When I remembered about my PPI payments I knew to ignore the hundreds of claim adverts and go straight to my credit card company myself.

I dug out one of my old statements to find my account number and rattled off a letter to MBNA complaints department - I found their address on their website. It was a very simple but polite letter stating that I had paid PPI on my card for some years and i believed I was due a refund under the FSA ruling.

I had no idea if I would be due very much money, or if there would be piles and piles of forms to fill in to prove my claim, but I thought it was worth a shot.

Amazingly, within two weeks of writing I had received a reply from MBNA saying they were looking into my case. No requests for additional information or forms to be filled out in triplicate. A week later they sent me a second letter telling me I had been successful in my claim. They not only paid me back the money I had spent on the original PPI premiums, they also paid me interest on that amount and the interest it had added to my account balance.

I was astounded by the sizeable cheque they had sent and just how easy it had been to claim. If I had signed up with one of the claim firms they would have sent out the same sort of letter I had and for the cost of a stamp would be helping themselves to a huge lump of my cash. So don't pay to get your money back, just see what a bit of DIY can get you.

Your Comments

I don't quite agree. I think it depends on the individual, and on the case in question. 
As with standard DIY it all depends on the individual and it depends on what needs doing. 
For instance, a person with a little bit of DIY ability may be able to put up a stud wall themselves - a person who has never lifted up a hammer or a spirit level in their lives, who wouldn't even dare try to essemble a piece of flat packed furniture themselves, might struggle with this particular job. 
An individual like me, trying to handle a PPI case like mine, would be like a 3 year old child trying to DIY building a block of apartments!
Looking at your personal experience with PPI.
The case:
Your case sounds simple, you had your bank statements, you had your account number, you knew that you were paying PPI and I am assuming that you had a reason to give them as to why you beleived the policy had been mis-sold to you. 
The individual:
As you said for yourself, working at moneywise has it's advantages. You work for a personal finance publication, I would expect that you have the knowledge required to handle your own PPI claim even if it wasn't as straight forward as this.
Now what about someone like me, and my PPI case?
(I talk in a lot more detail about this on my blog www.gotpaid.co.uk
The case:
I didn't have the account numbers, I didn't have the paperwork, I couldn't find my old bank statements, I couldn't remember who I had PPI with and who I didn't. All I had was a vague recollection that I had paid PPI on a loan and a credit card, and one of my mortgages. I'd moved balances on credit cards, I'd taken out new loans to pay other loans, I'd moved mortgages a few times.
The individual:
I am terrible with paperwork. I'm not the best at remembering to do things, and following up. I'm disorganised. 
So look at that PPI case and that individual, and you have a recipe for disaster.
So I looked into PPI claims companies. I didn't want to pay 30% or 40%, and I wanted a firm who knew what they were doing. I found one who came recommended from the debt help folk payplan, and who charge 12%.
This firm were absolutely brilliant! They handled my case brilliantly, and worked their pants off - it certainly was not money for old rope. 
They asked me who I had taken loans and cards with, and they did the rest, evey week or so I was receiving more stuff from them to sign, and they continually kept me up to date with what was happening. They found out who I had actually paid PPI to, and then they telephoned me to give me the details and asked me to consider each one and to decide if I had been mis sold (i.e. was I made aware that it was optional, and that I could get it elsewhere, or was I made aware of it at all). They drafted letters for me after that telephone call, and sent them to me for approval. 
They then went on to send the letters and keep following up with the banks. In two cases they were successful and the bank paid me straight away. In another case they refused and the claims firm talked me through it and then referred the case onto the ombudsman for me.  There are two other cases still going through, and the company are still helping with these. 
Horses for courses.