A growing number of businesses are being forced by the Financial Ombudsman to pay out compensation for treating customers poorly.
The Financial Ombudsman ordered around 20,000 payouts for "distress and inconvenience" in 2010-11 - an increase of 1,500 on the previous year, reports the BBC.
The majority of awards were for less than £300 with amounts rarely exceeding £1,000.
Cases involved persistent administrative errors and failure to provide services as promised.
In one case, the ombudsman ordered an insurer to pay compensation of between £300 and £999 to a family of four who were forced to share a room in a relative's house after their home was flooded.
This was despite the fact they should have been given alternative accommodation under the terms of their home insurance.
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