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Vertu Motors Customer Complaints Policy (last updated: January 2024)

Our Commitment to Handling Customer Complaints

This process covers the following companies that are part of the Vertu Motors group:

  • Bristol Street First Investments Limited
  • Bristol Street Fourth Investments Limited
  • Grantham Motor Company Limited
  • Albert Farnell Limited
  • Vertu Motors (VMC) Limited
  • Vertu Motors (Chingford) Limited
  • Vertu Motors Third Limited
  • Vertu Motors (Continental) Limited
  • Vans Direct Limited
  • Vertu Accident Repair Limited
  • Helston Garages Limited

We take all complaints seriously.
If a customer contacts our Customer Services team or the Group's central support centre directly (either by letter, email or telephone) or via a third party, their concern will be logged on the central system. An initial response will normally be made to the customer within 48 hours after the time that the concern is logged onto the system. This may take longer when the circumstances are complicated or the individuals involved are temporarily out of the business.

Our process for dealing with complaints received by us will differ depending on what the complaint is about.

1. Products regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

We will treat as an FCA product complaint (FCA Complaint) any oral or written or email expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from, or on behalf of, a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service, which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience. This includes complaints made to our dealerships or to our central Customer Services team.

2. Goods and non-financial services

All other complaints regarding goods or non-financial services supplied by us will be treated as a general complaint.

Process for all complaints

Many concerns can be dealt with straight away but sometimes it is necessary for us to look into the matters you have raised in more detail. Whether you have contacted the dealership or department that you have been dealing with direct, or whether you have contacted our central Customer Services team, in most cases the relevant dealership or department will still be responsible for attempting to resolve your concern.

The responsible manager or director will contact you to attempt to resolve the concern and will update the central system accordingly.

If the concern has not been resolved within 14 days it will be automatically escalated so that the operational director in charge of the dealership's division is notified. When a concern is believed to have been resolved by the responsible manager or director, they will submit the concern for closure via the central system.

You may raise or discuss your concern with our central Customer Services team at any stage.

Process for general complaints

After the process above, if we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction, then we will provide details of certified Alternative Dispute Resolution providers that you may contact.

Process for FCA complaints

In addition to the process above, our central review team will also review all FCA Complaints and we have a slightly more formal process as follows:

- Promptly following receipt of your complaint

Any FCA Complaint that has not been resolved straight away will be recorded by our central Customer Services team and we will send you a letter to acknowledge your concerns.

If we believe that another firm or company is responsible for the matters to which your complaint relates and is therefore best placed to resolve it, we may forward your complaint to them to investigate. If we do so, we will write to you to let you know and will give you the name of the firm or company to which we are forwarding your complaint.

- Within eight weeks from receipt

We will aim to have completed our investigation and provide you with our final response in relation to your complaint within eight weeks of receipt of your complaint. If we cannot provide you with our response within eight weeks, we will write to you explaining why this is the case and indicate when a response will be sent to you. You will also be advised of your right to take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service should you be dissatisfied with the outcome of our investigation and our final response.

- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Ruling 11.01.2024 /Paused Response Complaints:

Where it is established that your complaint relates to relevant motor finance discretionary commission arrangements (DCA), in line with guidance set out by the Financial Conduct Authority communication dated 11 January 2024, we will pause our response timeframe for a 37 week period, until at least the 25 September 2024.  You can find more details in relation to the paused response time process here: https://www.fca.org.uk/carfinance.  Our final response will advise you of your extended 15 month right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The outcome of each centrally recorded concern is also reviewed by our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer.