Single parent Debbie King came to Crusader in pieces after the Mercedes she bought in a part exchange deal then kept breaking down. Relying on a car for work, but saddled with an unusable one and with no means to buy another, her complaints ended up on the scrap heap.
Had that remained the situation, Debbie, her family and her vulnerable customers would have all been unjustifiably worse off, so combining our forces we fought this tooth and nail. Having the protection of a regulated finance agreement undoubtedly helped.
++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer champion Maisha Frost on [email protected]
Releasing Debbie from the £4,000 two-year credit deal, Blue Motor Finance has now returned the £5,000 deposit she paid and seller Prestige Car Zone, trading as The Car Guys, took back the vehicle.
Debbie’s year of a low followed by a terrific high was typical of the many who came to Crusader in 2022 – tangible proof that refunds of all sizes now matter more than ever.
While several hundred thousand pounds were returned, just as important were the less visible gains – from setting right poor service and negotiating happier outcomes to help with trustworthy expert advice and preventing losses in the first place.
Scams were and remain a constant. Banks certainly helped with refunds after rogue car part sellers, vitamin gummies floggers and personal data thieves among many had a field day.
Unhappy holidaymakers came to us in droves. A request for companies and platforms to take a second look at complaints helped reverse plenty, such as “mistaken” extra charges when changing air ticket dates, redress for a bitterly cold holiday cottage and for another lacking promised bike storage.
Then there was the place that didn’t have any wardrobes, where visitors were first fobbed off with the excuse that this was their problem as they had not asked for them!
We helped families who despite having correct travel insurance cover struggled to get their claims paid.
And as extreme weather is set to be the norm because of climate change, water damage issues will figure ever more frequently.
Getting in a trustworthy expert intermediary such as Oakleafe Claims (oakleafe.claims) to handle your case could make a huge difference to the outcome as it did for a group of flat-owning policyholders who got their £4,000 settlement.
Visas also became obstacles because of countries’ delays in issuing them scuppered travellers’ plans.
One of our happiest endings concerned Ellen Farley who had to give up her dream £1,746 cruise around Spain with husband Darren because as a Chinese national living in the UK she needed a visa and Spanish embassy strikes were causing appointment backlogs. Travel insurance does not cover failure to have key documents.
Operator P&O agreed to roll over the booking and the delighted Farleys went on another cruise last autumn.
Energy worries and rights also dominated as customers felt bounced into direct debit hikes as prices rocketed. Crusader also helped get system errors sorted that had resulted in incomprehensible and frightening bills for householders.
It was the same for other problems that regularly crop up such as poor building work, for example, conservatories and bodged bathroom installations, that fail to be fixed and blight lives for years.
Our access to expertise also helped with child maintenance payments and disputes over returning goods – always keep a photographic record.
And as we always say – and mean it – we are here to do our best for you this year.