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How do I get Jaja to offer compensation for poor customer service?

My Post Office credit card account was taken over, like thousands of others, by Jaja last year.

On 18 February, I told Jaja that a refund of £917 from Premier Holidays had been paid to me onto an old Post Office credit card which expired in May 2020.

There was a lot of back and forward with Jaja’s customer services and eventually I was told I didn’t even pass security so I couldn’t speak to anyone.

Jaja gaga: It took over thousands of Post Office credit card customers but many have had problems

To make matters worse, Jaja then took a further £917 from my account. 

It took a month for it to be returned but this caused me much distress and, as a pensioner, it was a lot of money to be without. Am I entitled to compensation? J.N., via email

Grace Gausden, consumer expert at This is Money, replies: When little-known financial firm Jaja took over half a million Post Office accounts last year, it was quite a surprise.

The company was founded in 2015 by Norwegian entrepreneurs and based in London.

It has received complaints from customers with some finding money going missing and others saying customer service wait times were proving unbearable – Jaja has seemingly turned some of its new customers gaga.

My colleague, George Nixon, has previously written extensively about the problems faced by former Post Office credit card holders.  

In your case, a £917 refund for a cancelled holiday was sent to your old Post Office credit card on 8 February this year.

GRACE ON THE CASE

Our weekly column sees This is Money consumer expert Grace Gausden tackles reader problems and shines the light on companies doing both good and bad.

Want her to investigate a problem, or do you want to praise a firm for going that extra mile? Get in touch:

grace.gausden@thisismoney.co.uk

This was a simple error that should have been fairly easy to sort.

However, you say that getting those funds back was ‘distressing and difficult’ with many sleepless nights.

You had breast cancer surgery and treatment last year and you say this ‘awful’ service has only added to your worries.

Initially, when you realised the money was in the wrong account, you were told by customer services it could not find this amount and you should phone its disputes team which you did, explaining the situation.

It decided to set up a dispute, despite the fact your money was simply a refund that had gone into the wrong account.

When calling customer services again the same day, you were told your notes from the previous day say you had failed security and the call was ‘not accepted’.

Calling the next day and answering all the security questions, this time you were told by the operator they couldn’t say if you had passed the checks or not. They said Jaja could not speak to you until security had phoned you to sort.

Eventually, you say security did phone you, asking a number of questions, and you were allowed to speak to customer services.

After this, you phoned almost daily but were given no answers – in one case even being told the transaction had been deleted before then being told that had been a mis-communication.

Then, rather unbelievably, Jaja debited your account by another £917 leaving you £1,834 out of pocket.

One customer found herself out of pocket by hundreds of pounds thanks to Jaja's service

One customer found herself out of pocket by hundreds of pounds thanks to Jaja’s service 

This left you incredibly distressed, but fortunately, a customer services agent finally credited your account twice, leaving you with the correct amount.

You asked for the balance, which was now £789.98, after you had made extra spending on your credit card, to be transferred onto your current account but was told this would take 5 to 10 days.

Now you have all the money back and, although relieved, you asked Jaja for compensation due to the length of time it took to get it back – and the immense distress it caused you along the way.

This request, in my opinion, is fully justified for just how much time and effort it took you to sort. 

However, you never received a reply.

I contacted Jaja to ask whether its customer service in this scenario was good enough and why it hadn’t replied to your request for compensation.

It apologised for its service and has now given you £150 in redress as a result.

A Jaja spokesperson said: ‘We’re very sorry for the poor experience Mrs N had with us. 

‘The delay in returning the amount refunded to her card was a result of individual agent error, which has been raised to management to ensure this does not happen again. 

‘This is not the standard of service we’d expect for our customers and we have offered Mrs N a gesture of goodwill in recognition of the inconvenience this situation caused, which she has accepted.’

You are now satisfied with the outcome – it’s just a shame that it took such effort to get the money that was rightfully yours, and then my involvement to get you compensation for such poor service.  

One reader found her pan was covered by a lifetime guarantee despite getting it from an outlet

One reader found her pan was covered by a lifetime guarantee despite getting it from an outlet

Hit and miss: This week’s naughty and nice list

Each week, I look at some of the companies that have fallen short of expected standards as well as those that have gone that extra mile for customers.

Miss: This week, reader Grant, has complained about a generator he bought from Iforce Marketzone for £141.49 last April.

He said it started faltering after about 10 uses but he first contacted the company last month after the issues became worse. However, he was told it was out of warranty by six months.

Grant contacted Impax, the manufacturer of the generator, who specify it should have a one year warranty in the manual, but told him he must deal with Iforce Marketzone

I contacted with Marketzone about this issue and it agreed to refund the cost of the generator once it was sent back, which has now happened. 

Hopefully this experience hasn’t generated too much hassle and you can now buy another product that will last years, not months.  

Hit: In happier news, reader Claire got in touch to praise the services of Denby.

She said: ‘I bought a saute pan from a Denby outlet six years ago. During the last six months the surface started to peel away. It’s my favourite pan, so I went online to buy another, which cost approximately £60.

‘I saw Denby had a lifetime guarantee on their pans so made enquiries. After a few emails with excellent customer services, a brand new saute pan was sent, even though the previous pan was bought at an outlet for half the price.

‘Many people forget that lots of companies offer lifetime guarantees for certain products – I certainly did. I can’t fault Denby for honouring their guarantee so readily.’

Luckily this wasn’t pan-demonium and you are incredibly happy with Denby’s customer service. 

It is also a very good point made by Claire. Many companies do offer lifetime guarantees – it is well worth contacting them if something goes wrong with your product.  

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