Small print

I recently used one of those claim firms to help me claim back years of costs having been missold a packaged bank account after I retired.  The bank agreed to my claim without fuss, but the firm who contacted the bank now want 36% of the compensation.  There was nothing about this sum in the wording of the paperwork. It took two people, and magnifying the agreement before one of us noticed a single line below there signature line mentioning this fee. 

First of all, I thought information such as this had to be made clear in the body of an agreement, not mentioned in small print after the signature line. Secondly, because the bank needed to clear the overdraft that had been accumuiated as part of the packaged account, there was only £1000 left and The claim company want £1,700.  I am a cronically sick and disabled pensioner, with both hearing and sight problems and I am in my 70s, I only have my pension and no savings. I have no idea what to do now, because I don't have the means to pay this firm what they ask. I had been previous advised to expect to pay 10% , by a general money advice column.  Will I now get proscecuted as I don't have that sort of money?

Alasdair Taylor's answer to Small print (368080848)

Answer to the question: 

I'm afraid that this question falls outside my usual areas of work.

However, it is the sort of situation where I would expect to be able to put together a reasonable argument in your favour, for example that the presentation of the fees in this way amounts to a misleading action under s5(2)(a) of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. See:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/1277/regulation/5/made

For the special rules applying to claims management company conduct (in addition to the general law) see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil...

For the procedure for making a complaint, see:

https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-claims-company

I suggest that you contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau to go over your options:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/