Swinton Insurance / illegal bank withdrawals

BIRMINGHAM, England, West Midlands, United Kingdom Review updated:

i just wondered if anyone else had ever had problems with swinton insurance.
i recently canceled a policy with swinton insurance for my car as i no longer use it and was told for 11 days insurance i had to pay £176.04 which i refused to pay as i thought it was way to much.
when i set up the policy over a year ago i used my debit card to make the payment and obviously gave the long number off the card, my expiry date and the 3 digit security number off the back of the card...i have now found out that swinton record all your card details.
i had canceled my direct debit so they could no longer take payments as my policy was now no longer needed but without my permission swinton used to my card details to take the £176.04 from my bank without my permission.
i checked with my bank who said the payment was either a telephone or internet transaction...i never made that payment so they illegally took money from my account.
surely if you owed a company money they should pursue you the right way...either through a debt collector or the small claims court so then at least you can dispute the money owed...well with swinton they just help themselves so beware if you have made a card payment at swintons they record all your card details and use it as they please.
if anyone has had similar issues let me know.
i am at the minute in contact with the trading standards office and the insurance ombudsman about swinton who i think have acted illegally.

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  • Sw
      31st of Aug, 2010
    Swinton Insurance - Harassment and bullying of it's own employees
    Manchester and Halifax
    United Kingdom

    Head of HR lied in my grievance meeting and failed to discipline senior managers for bullying staff. Directors also lie and cover up truth. Court case approaches. Have lots of proof of constructive dismissal. Watch this space.

    0 Votes
  • Ez
      5th of Nov, 2010

    I've had a very what seems to be common problem with swinton, my partner this year recieved a letter stating swinton were cancelling his insurance and demanded a £220 cancellation fee. so he phoned up the leek branch and spoke to a very abusive, arrogant woman who refused to even speak decently to him, he eventually got out of her that one £35 payment hadnt been recieved. so, we tried to make the payment and apologised for "one of those things", she refused to take the payment, refused to continue the policy and threatened him with debt recovery agents instantly! thoroughly unimpressed my partner switched insurance companies and I cancelled any further payments from my card until the matter had been delt with in a business and adult like manner. my partner then phoned up several times requesting his no-claims bonus, swinton agree that if he pays 3 sums of £36 they will give his no claims over and the matter will be over with (agreeing now that they had not sent notification that the direct debit hadnt gone through for one payment, a complete condradiction of what the woman at the leek branch said before). so, the payments are made and we and the new insurers await proof of no claims, no word from swinton, swinton after even more phone calls from us refuse to deal with us entirely and refuse us the no claims. finally our new insurers chase swinton and they refuse to deal with them, we call swinton back and demand they deal with the matter they have caused. new insurers phone swinton back and finally after 3 months of phone calls the no claims proof is sent through. end of matter??? nope...

    My partner recieves a letter saying that they are demanding a £156 cancellation fee roughly 2 months after the matters end. I called my bank instantly and instructed them not to pay a thing to swinton. my bank agree they cannot take anything without my authorisation and the fact that it was an old card that the direct debit was attached to, so how on earth did they have my new account details without me giving them over, they didnt have authorisation so they didnt have the new account details either. i've signed nothing instructing them to take funds and they knew this when I told them the direct debit was cancelled way back in june. this morning, 4th november 2010 my partner recieves a letter acknowledging payment of the outstanding £156.76, I contact my bank asking them about it and they tell me there's nothing they can do, but I can cancell it with swinton. I phoned leek branch and got a nice guy called sam who instantly called collections in manchester and called me back. he tells me that the manchester office wont agree to a refund until I phone myself just incase he was lying to his employers??? I phone manchester myself and speak to a woman called theresa churchill. she is again rude, and reasonably threatening to me, telling me if I didnt make my partner phone them by 5:30 they will send out debt recovery. I then demand my refund telling her she has had no authority to take from my card at all. (at first she ebbed around the subject and I wasnt even sure if I was going to get a refund at all by the tone of her voice and refusal to discuss it). eventually after the threats and crappy attitude she tells me that the money will leave their account tonight and its up to my bank to get the funds to me within 5 working days. i'm now £148 overdrawn, no money coming in and £5 charge per day until the debt it cleared off. thanks swinton, christmas is coming we have children to provide for week in week out and you've just wrecked all of it. be lucky to get an apple in their stocking at this rate.

    Lets just see if the refund goes in or not...

    For the record, sky tv did this too to a family member... she got it all refunded with hearty apologies, which is more than can be said for swinton.

    0 Votes
  • Sw
      7th of Feb, 2011

    I'm watching

    0 Votes
  • Da
      8th of Jun, 2011

    I have had the same problems with the york office of swintons I went with a comparison site and took the swinton house insurance quote as the office was in york and thought it may be easier to deal with as close by instead of faceless customer service centres HOW WRONG I WAS!! Then when my car insurance came up I got a reasonable quote of just under £20 pm and thought i would go with them again to keep things simple BIG MISTAKE!! we moved house just before xmas when there was all the snow and I posted off my no claims form from prev insurer & a change of address and thought nothing more about it as u can imagine I was quite busy at the time moving before xmas! then we received a load of mail from previous house at the end of january and it turned out that they had cancelled the policy claiming they had not received no claims ect and i had been driving my car wit no insurance since then not happy! so as my partner works in york he went in to see them and they refused to reinstate the policy ( The girl was very unhelpful ) even after we explained wot happened and also pointed out a number of errors on the policy which i had pointed out in the letter they apparently did not receive! anyway to cut long story short we had to take another policy out but they refused to honour initial quote and new one was £15 more per month they also helped themselves to extra money and refused to refund these on my january /feb payments, they didnt ask about new details of house when we did change of address which would be different from origional policy taken out ! they took a higher monthly payment for house insurance from our bank but did not inform us about it till weeks after they had done it! by this time we were getting pretty mad and i didnt want to have to go in to branch and when complaining would rather do it by email so called to get email address and they claimed they did not have one?? so we cancelled direct debits and got insurance elsewhere we were also horrified by the amount of paperwork sent and the clauses in it when we got round to reading they are all gimmicks and scarily they had given us a credit limit of £2000 why would I need that for under £300 worth of insurance?? we had not signed anything and cancelled the insurance within the first month of second policy so that was that or so I thought? They have been harrassing my partner by phone at work and constant letters which we have ignored and now in June i noticed my bank balance was wrong and checked my statement online and they have helped themselves to £56 of our debit card!! So now I am goin straight to FOS as I am sure this is illegal and why should I pay them for crap service! so final word swinton are unhelpful full of gimmicks and more interested in charging & fineing you which is hilarious as they are fineing you for there mistakes!!! Chris Garvey ps all the details were still incorrect on the second policy they made us take out to!

    0 Votes
  • Hu
      25th of Jun, 2011

    We've had similar problems with Swinton Cambridge branch, including a very arrogant girl called Cheryl. Took out a policy for our daughter on a learner licence, was not explained at the time the full extent of cancellation charges. When she passed her test a couple of weeks later and decided to go with another insurance company (as swinton's quote was way too high), we were shocked to find a number of 'cancellation' charges were added to the final payment. Eventually, we had to visit the cambridge branch in person and spoke to Daniel - and after some time, and parting with yet more money (which we were very unhappy about) we eventually managed to get the policy cancelled (including any related policies, e.g. breakdown cover, etc.). Daniel assured us that we would hear no more from Swinton. That was in March/April... we have since had a phonecall from our daughter to say that Swinton have started to take money from her bank account again, now for breakdown cover which we had canclled. We phoned cambridge branch and spoke to Cheryl - and to be honest, her manner on the telephone leaves a lot to be desired. We didn't get anywhere with her, in fact she cut us off! We then spoke to Customer Service at Head Office in Manchester and spoke to Julie... we started from the beginning explaining what had happened and she tried to pawn us off with a telephone number for breakdown - we explained we did not have a broken down car that it was regarding money being taken from a bank account for something we were under the impression was cancelled. When we asked her what her department dealt with - she said complaints - we told her that this was a complaint - and she hung up!!

    So Swinton - don't think much to your customer service (seems every branch has an arrogant snotty girl working for them - must be part of the criteria when going for a job there!) and to your lack of explanation of the policy before being taken out - e.g. cancellation fees, etc.

    Anyone else had similar problems?

    0 Votes
  • Se
      19th of Jun, 2012

    hi there! my name is sergiu, and I have the same problem whit swinton, they just took 832£ from my account bank whit no authorization from me, after I canceled the direct debit .and back was sheet and say are making a temporary refund and I have to discuss whit insurer !!!they give me advice????need help asap, thanks !

    0 Votes
  • An
      22nd of Jan, 2013

    We have one for swinton. my son came back from afghanistan at the end of november after nearly being killed fighting for his country on arrival home he took out insurance with swinton paid his policy and sent his no claims through internal post to swinton. so a record is held of him sending his no claims to them. he then left his barracks to come home to be with his family and to take his well earnd leave. on the 28th of december he was stopped by the police and was told his insurance had been canceled as they had not received his no claim bonus. my son was not aware of this as they sent a recorded delivery letter to his barracks. so it was never signed for but the policy was canceled. the police sezied his car and he has now recieved a summons. for 6 penalty points on his licence. this will result in him losing his position at work as he needs a clean licence. we contacted swinton and said he had done nothing wrong he had paid for the policy sent his no claims and could prove it. if due to xmas post it arrived late how is this his fault.?? 15 emails later and explaining to swinton that all we need is a letter to say the policy should not have been canceled and the police will drop it and he won't risk his position at work. a rude member of staff called paul lyons technical manger. keeps fobbing is off saying they are looking into it. this is well over a month now. is it not simple to see he has done nothing wrong. is this really how swinton treat customers and even worse ones that risk their lives to keep us safe??

    0 Votes
  • Fo
      17th of Dec, 2013

    It seems to me that Swinton say they send out letters of cancellation but don't in order to rack up ludicrous charges and blackmail you by with holding your no claims discount until you pay up. I had an issue with them in 2012 when they cancelled my car insurance policy. I first heard about it by a letter from the DVLA saying we notice your car is not covered by insurance. Thankfully this arrived before the police stopped me as I had no idea!
    This morning I had a letter from my bank saying Swinton had tried taking £215 out of my account, I phoned them up and was told they had cancelled the policy in October as they had not been able to colect the monthly instalment and wanted the policy paid off. I have paid it but only to get my no claims discount out of them.
    They told me that a letter had been issued (which I never received) however since October I have had 6 emails from Swinton all advertising their promotions. 6 emails of marketing crap and not 1 email informing me that my policy had been cancelled. This company are ripping people off and need to be stopped.

    0 Votes
  • Da
      18th of Aug, 2014

    Same problem today!! Apparently, Swinton are allowed to keep card details as per therir terms and conditions!!! I was also told that if they believed they were owed money that they could take it up to 6 years later?!!! It was an unauthorised card payment, but the banks are not very willing to recall, or look at it as fraud. Was told it could take up to 3 months to receive back!!

    0 Votes
  • Pr
      3rd of Sep, 2014

    I have been having issues with Swinton too!! I took out an insurance policy and was contacting Direct line (previous insurers) for proof of no claims. Before I received my no claims in the post to give to swinton they cancelled my policy and refused to reinstate it even though I had made payments already. (Policy less than one month). I had to quickly get another policy elsewhere so that I could go work. They never sent me any further correspondence until two months later when I noticed they were taking money via direct debit and cancelled my direct debit as I didn't owe them anything and had not received any communication saying that I did. I then received a letter threatening all sorts and to take £147 from my debit card. I called the company who were very rude and would not listen. I then contacted the financial ombudsman and put in a formal complaint. Swinton ignored the complaint and I have just received a letter threatening debt collection. I phoned the number on the letter and explained to the man on the other end that I had an open complaint with the FOS and that it was hopefully being sorted out. He was incredibly rude and said well it doesn't matter because I'm the one at fault and that I better pay them. I told him that I am incredibly heavily pregnant and am at high risk of premature labour and that this stress doesn't bode well. He said it doesn't matter. I put the phone down on him and am contacting the FOS again today!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ca
      19th of Sep, 2014

    Have just found Swinton has taken nearly £300 from my account, no authorisation, just helped themselves. We are underneath step change can they do this?

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      14th of Feb, 2015

    How about if you were to report your card lost
    Can they still take money out?

    0 Votes
  • To
      25th of May, 2015

    Do not buy car insurance from swinton!!! hi there all, I am the newest addition to the massive swinton insurance scandal, after I cancelled my policy in december 2014 I was told I would receive a final letter of cancellation and that the account was up to date with no outstanding balance, brilliant, so I went out and got my self a cheaper policy with another company as swinton's prices are ridiculous and being a young driver insurance is already through the roof, anyway 5 months later I have yet to received any acknowledgement that my policy is terminated so I decided to give them a call this morning 25/05/2015, I explained my situation to the advisor on the phone who confirmed my insurance policy was indeed terminated by myself in december, after that I then explained how I still have not received any form of documentation stating the termination of my policy, the advisor informed me that the letter was issued on the 01/01/2015 and that I should have received it (which I have not), he then goes on to explain that I have an outstanding balance of £480!! how the hell I owe this amount of money is beyond me, after I confronted the advisor about the amount apparently owed demanding a break down of the cost he fobbed me off by saying I will email head office and get them to call you, and that all he repeatedly said, so now I am waiting for somebody to call me so I can find out where this imaginary debt has accrued from, im contemplating informing ombudsman and taking it further, massive round of applause swinton you have been aloud to exploit the system yet again!!

    0 Votes
  • Di
      15th of Jun, 2015

    Never ever use Swinton insurance I had no problems until i tried to change my details on a Sunday, I needed my car for work and phoned to change details was told this can't be done we are closed even though I was told I could buy a new policy off them but would be charged a cancellation fee. I asked why I could just not change it as I was actually speaking to them and he said the offices were closed. I said just cancel I will go to a firm who are open regularly and not just to sell insurance but look after their customers. they had the cheek to charge me for their inability to change my details so I stopped my direct debit Recieved a few letters from them but ignored them checked my bank this morning and they have stolen 77 pounds from me absolutely ridiculous will contact them today to make sure they never darken my door ever again I would recommend co-op they are a good insurance firm

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      18th of Dec, 2015

    Totally agree worst is ♅ company on yhe planet, just had major row with a representative of this sham, told them didn't want auto renewal when took out policy, they agreed, had renewal quote this week on the 15th Dec, was too expensive, phoned them to say did not want to
    renew, they agreed,
    had a phone call
    yesterday saying if
    you don't wish to
    continue you must
    phone and cancel
    strait away or they
    will draw €107 from
    my account on the
    18th Dec.

    So I phoned them
    back instantly and
    said, I have already
    cancelled so do not

    draw from my bank,
    and by the way ... I
    said no auto renewal
    so you have no
    permission to help
    yourself to my hard
    earned cash. To be
    told they could not
    stop this withdrawal
    now it was too late,
    and I will have to go
    to my bank . !!! .
    Extremely annoyed
    I took a trip to my bank, they stopped the funds being withdrawn and informed me that they are having major trouble with Swinton putting there hands into people's accounts and helping themselves. And they are considering taking legal action against them .
    oh yes.., they also informed me that they had already stole from my account 1 month ago. !!! Another dodgy practice Swinton feal they have the right to do.

    0 Votes
  • Si
      8th of Aug, 2016

    My husband changed our car insurance mid term and the dd was to be £68 per month from may 2016 to August 2016. It states this amount on our policy and yet for the last three months they have taken £175 each month. My husband has rang the company and been into our local branch to see the manager but they seem unconcerned that they have taken over £100 a month more than they should have. It's really unsettling to think that a high profile company like swintons can just help themselves.

    0 Votes
  • Si
      8th of Aug, 2016

    Just an update. The manager of the local branch is apparently ringing my husband tomorrow (he's in a meeting today) and he has yet another appointment on Friday. We have as yet had no explanation why they have taken nearly three times what they should have and there has been no mention of any refund though apparently if we hadn't noticed the error they would've carried on taking this amount when the policy renewed.. We insure three vehicles with them and my husband has been a customer for many years. Has anybody else had a similar experience?

    0 Votes
  • Lu
      10th of Oct, 2017

    Continental car hire is a leading Courtesy car and Accident Management Company in United Kingdom.

    0 Votes

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