Top four tips for FSCL financial vacations


After a difficult year, consumers are ready for a well-deserved break. The dispute resolution service, Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL), offers practical advice from investigated cases that will help you avoid finding yourself financially caught off guard during the holiday season.

Do not leave valuables unattended

We love the freedom of a summer vacation, but thieves can quickly ruin a day in the sun. In one case, FSCL investigated, when Diya
and her friends went swimming at a popular beach, she left her phone, under her clothes, on a camping chair.

When Diya returned to her chair, her phone was no longer there. Diya made an insurance claim, but the insurer denied the claim saying she left the phone unattended in a public place so the loss was not covered by the policy.

FSCL agreed that, under the policy, the insurer had the right to deny the claim.

FSCL’s advice: Even if you have insurance, you should take care to protect your property. If you’ve left your belongings unattended on a beach or in a park, even though you’ve tried to hide them, your insurer is very unlikely to pay a claim.

Check your account statements regularly

The Christmas and summer holidays can be a busy time for you and your credit card. Make sure to regularly check your account statements because if you spot a transaction you didn’t complete, you must notify your card issuer, usually within 120 days before you can cancel or chargeback the transaction.

The terms of use of credit cards also often require the cardholder to regularly check his account statements.

In another case, FSCL investigated, Shyla
didn’t notice until early 2021 that someone had been using their credit card since 2019 to make online purchases that she knew nothing about.

When Shyla told her credit card provider that her card had been used fraudulently, they canceled the card and refunded the most recent transactions, valued at $ 380, but said those over 120 days could not be undone.

In Shyla’s case, there was some delay in the process of contesting the card issuer’s transactions, so the card issuer agreed to reimburse the transactions to 133 days, increasing the cost of crediting the transactions to 133 days. compensation at $ 3,360, plus accrued interest and costs, $ 1,340. Shyla accepted this resolution.

FSCL’s tip: Check your statements regularly and if you spot a transaction you haven’t made, immediately notify your card issuer.

If you are having financial difficulties, talk to your lender as soon as possible

This has been a tough year for many New Zealanders, and the law requires all lenders to put in place a rigorous process to help borrowers overcome their financial difficulties.

If your personal situation changes, maybe you have fewer hours to work, your relationship is broken, or you are not feeling well, let your lender know right away. Don’t wait for the change to impact your finances.

If you need help submitting a claim in case of difficulty, contact MoneyTalks on 0800 345 123. This is a free service that can connect you with a financial mentor.

Laaka
had two credit cards from the same lender and had accumulated debt of $ 16,000 over the years. When Covid-19 hit, she was unable to pay the minimum payments due.

The lender tried for three months to reach Laaka by phone and had sent monthly statements. After four months without payment, the lender canceled both cards. Laaka complained to us that the lender had not written to him to inform him that the cards would be canceled.

We agreed that it was reasonable for the lender to cancel the cards and refuse to reinstate them. We helped the lender and Laaka agree to an interest-free, fee-free repayment plan at an amount she could afford.

FSCL Tip: No one wants a bad debt, and in our experience lenders much prefer having a repayment plan rather than taking collection action.

Check your auto insurance before letting someone drive

During the summer we can go out and do different routines with different people.

It’s easy to imagine giving car keys to someone who usually doesn’t drive your car without thinking about the implications this might have for your insurance coverage.

Earlier this year, we investigated a complaint in which Wiremu
allowed a friend to drive his car. Wiremu was following in another car and witnessed the accident which killed his friend and wrote off his car.

Wiremu’s insurer denied the insurance claim because Wiremu’s friend was not a named driver on the Wiremu policy. Because the car also guaranteed a loan to a finance company, Wiremu found himself paying off debt with no car to show for his payments.

Although the complaint brought to us by Wiremu’s uncle was that the loan was unaffordable from the start, the lender could see that Wiremu had been deeply affected by the accident and, for compassionate reasons, agreed to d ‘cancel Wiremu’s debt.

FSCL’s advice: Check the terms of your auto insurance policy before you leave for the summer. If you think someone else might be driving your car, make sure they are on the policy or that the police will cover anonymous drivers.

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