I followed your advice and sent a letter informing the agents that my complaint was now a formal complaint. I asked for a copy of their complaints procedures and asked for a formal final response to my complaint.
I have just received a reply which I am sure is trying to worry me, but its succeeding. Could you let me know where I stand please.
"To re-iterate, we have reviewed your complaint and replied in relation to each issue within previous correspondence. We certainly do not consider any part of the com plait would warrant a reduction in our fee as we have conducted the marketing and sale process based on the information you have supplied at the outset and have concluded the sale to a buyer that we introduced to the property. Therefore our fee is due in full and without deduction.
Whilst we note your intention to file a complaint at the Property Ombudsman we are aware this process can take a considerable timescale to reach conclusion therefore if you wish to use this route the balance of our fee must be paid in full by return. The Ombudsman will not review the case if County Court Action is progressing for non payment of fees and furthermore, will take note o the advantage to sellers who do not pay their account on time and this is reflected in any award subsequently made. Therefore as a complainant you would have two options:
1. Pay the balance of the fee by return and lodge a complaint. As we are bound and adhere to the rules of the Ombudsman we will follow any subsequent recommendation they make after they have reviewed and concluded on the case.
2. Withhold the fee and lodge a complaint. As stated we are not pre parted to allow the Complaints process to be used to delay further the settling of our fee note. Therefore, we will initiate County Court procedures against you for the recovery of the fee. The Ombudsman have stated they will not review a complaint whilst a legal claim is ongoing and you risk receiving a CCJ against you at the conclusion.
Therefore, in conclusion, we again request that payment is made by return to avoid County Court Action. This will also allow your complaint to be heard by the Property Ombudsman."
Sorry to write it in full, but easier than trying to summarise.
Is this right? If I complain to the Ombudsman, they will start Court procedures which will effectively stop the complaint?
Also, is it better to pay now and await the outcome. My feeling is this is nonsense as the minute we hand the cash over, I can't see how we'll get it back.
Where do I stand?