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Complaints procedure

Complaints Handling Procedure

Our aim is always to provide an exceptionally high level of service to all of our customers. Where customers feel they have cause to raise a complaint it is important to us that these are dealt with objectively, fairly and within an acceptable time frame.

The following procedure explains how we deal with complaints, our commitments to you and what redress you have if you think your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction. If you have a complaint about any aspect of our service then we would like to hear from you.

How to tell us if you have a complaint

To help us investigate and resolve your issue as quickly as possible, you can contact us by telephone or in writing. The most appropriate person will handle your complaint in the quickest possible time.

Our complaints contact is based at:

email sharon@athena-leasing.co.uk
calling us on 01952 273273
or write to us at Athena House, Wellington Road, Donnington, Telford, TF2 8AJ

To assist us in resolving your complaint efficiently it would be helpful if you could provide the following information:

  • Your full name and preferred contact details
  • Your Athena Leasing order or vehicle registration number
  • Full details of your complaint
  • Copies of relevant paperwork
  • Photographic evidence of any complaint relating to vehicle damage/defects where applicable
  • What you expect us to do to put things right
  • Any other information that you think may be relevant

Please note: If you appoint a third party to act on behalf we cannot discuss any aspect of your contract with them until we receive your permission in writing or from your personal email address or in writing to the above address.

Any complaint, verbal or written, will be allocated it to the most appropriate Complaints Handler.

We will always try to resolve your complaint immediately. However, sometimes this may not be possible. In all cases we will implement the following process:

  • Your case reference will be your Athena Leasing order number
  • We will give you the name and title of the person handling your complaint
  • We will send you written acknowledgement within 2 working days of receiving your complaint
  • Make contact to seek clarification on any points where necessary
  •  Fully investigate your complaint with reference to third parties where relevant
  • Keep you informed of progress
  • Discuss with you our findings and proposed response
  • Our aim will be to send you our final written response within ten working days but no later than eight weeks as required by the Financial Conduct Authority

Adviser or Provider

Customers sometimes express dissatisfaction to us about their product provider/funder. In this scenario, we will establish whether your complaint relates solely to the advice or service given by Athena Leasing or the service/performance of your funder/product provider or vehicle manufacturer. If unclear, this should not delay investigation and regardless of cause we will proceed with our own investigation. Your complaint handler will review this matter and take the complaint directly to the third party, if appropriate, in consultation with you. In cases where third parties have clearly caused the issue we will refer the matter promptly to the third party, providing you with a written explanation of why we have done so and their contact details.

Investigation

The complaint handler will work with the relevant department managers to establish the nature and scope of your complaint having due regards to the Financial Conduct Authority’s direction:

  • Deal with complaints promptly and fairly
  • Give complainants clear replies and, where appropriate, fair redress

Eligibility

It is Athena Leasing policy to treat all complainants the same, however, certain types of complaints fall within the scope of FCA rules and consequently within the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

FCA Complaints Rules

  • Complaints made by, or on behalf of an eligible complainant; Eligible Complainants are essentially individuals and certain small businesses
  • The Complainant must relate to the provision of or failure to provide a financial service or a redress determination and;
  • The Complainant must allege that they have suffered, or may suffer, financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience

Final Response

This will set out clearly the Athena Leasing decision and the reasons for it. If any compensation is offered a clear method of calculation will be shown.

Where appropriate we are required to include details of the Financial Ombudsman Service together with the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association) Conciliation Service in the final response. If dealing with an eligible complainant and a regulated activity, we will:

  • Explain that the complainant must refer the matter to the Ombudsman within six months of the date of this letter or the right to use this service is lost
  • Indicate whether we consent to waive the relevant time limits

Closing a Complaint

We will consider a complaint closed when we have made our final response to you. This does not prevent you from exercising any rights you may have to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the BVRLA Conciliation Service.

What to do if you are not happy with our decision

If you have a regulated consumer credit contract arranged by us and are not satisfied with our Final Response, you may be eligible to refer the matter either to the Financial Ombudsman or to the BVRLA Conciliation Service.

Financial Ombudsman Service

If relevant then you can refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service – you must do this within six months of our final response. When we send you a final response, we will also provide you with a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s explanatory leaflet.We will co-operate fully with the Ombudsman in resolving any complaints made against us and agree to be bound by any awards made by them.You can contact the financial Ombudsman at the following address:

The Financial Ombudsman Service

Exchange Tower
London
E14 9SR
Tel: 0800 023 4567 (free for most people from a fixed line) or 0300 123 9123 (cheaper for those calling using a mobile) or 020 7964 0500 (if calling from abroad)

Email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Website: https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

BVRLA Conciliation Service

As a Leasing Broker member of the British Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA) you may refer any unresolved disputes to them.The BVRLA is approved by Government as a Consumer ADR body under the Alternative Dispute Resolution For Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities andInformation) Regulations 2015.
The BVRLA Conciliation Service will investigate potential breaches of the BVRLA Code of Conduct and will aim to resolve matters using information presented by both parties to the dispute. Any information requested from Athena Leasing Ltd will be sent to the BVRLA within five working days. Based on the information available, the BVRLA will provide both parties with its findings and recommendations.The BVRLA aims to resolve complaints through their Conciliation Service within 30 days and members must comply with the Conciliation Service’s findings.
You can send any complaint to the BVRLA in writing via:
Details should be submitted by email to: complaint@bvrla.co.uk
If you do not have access to email, details can be sent by post to:

British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association

River Lodge
Badminton Court
Amersham
HP7 0DD
If you have any questions relating to Athena Leasing’s Complaints handling process, please contact us on 01952 273273 or email complaints@athena-leasing.co.uk

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