About Ombudsman Services
The service is free for consumers to use. We operate under appropriate legislation and with the approval of regulatory authorities and trade bodies. We are not a watchdog or a regulator – our job is to resolve complaints, not punish the companies we resolve complaints about. We are independent so we do not take sides.
We run Ombudsman schemes for the following sectors:
Communications (telephone, mobile, broadband etc)
Energy (including the Green Deal)
We also provide an alternative dispute resolution service for the following:
In making decisions, we take into account:
Why do companies join us?
By offering an alternative dispute resolution services like ours, companies show that they take complaints seriously and they are committed to customer care.
We offer a cost effective solution to complaint resolution. We have robust processes and a highly skilled team in place to resolve complaints in a fair and efficient way. We work with our participating companies to help them improve their customer service.
Who can use our service?
We handle complaints from domestic and small business customers about companies that have signed up to our service. The definition of a small business customer is on our website: www.ombudsman-services.org.
When can we become involved?
Before contacting us, customers must give the company a reasonable opportunity to resolve the complaint. A company should give information on its website about how to complain or provide the customer with a written copy of its complaints procedure.
If the customer receives the company’s final response to a complaint and remains unhappy, or the complaint is unresolved after eight weeks, we may be able to help.
How we handle complaints
We aim to resolve complaints as quickly as possible with the most appropriate outcome. We look at complaints on a case by case basis and use different approaches to reach a resolution, depending on the complexity of the complaint:
Early resolution - our enquiry officers are trained to identify simple complaints where it is clear what needs to be done without requiring a case file. Some of these complaints can be resolved within a matter of hours.
Mutually acceptable settlement - if we need to gather more information from complainants and companies, we will aim to do so over the telephone. This can help us reach a resolution that is acceptable to both parties much quicker. It also gives us an opportunity to explain our resolution and to offer advice to companies.
Ombudsman Services decision - if both parties agree with our proposed resolution it becomes the ombudsman’s decision and is binding on the company and enforceable. We will contact both parties to confirm what has been agreed. If either party considers there is an error in fact or has new information which was not previously available, this may be given to us for consideration. We will check to see if this affects the outcome before the ombudsman services decision is finalised.
Putting things right
Our role is to resolve the complaint appropriately. We are not here to punish companies when things go wrong. Our decisions are binding on the company and are enforceable in court. We can require:
An explanation of what went wrong
A practical action to correct the problem
A financial award (subject to a limit)
We may also make recommendations to the company so that it can avoid similar problems happening again.
If the customer accepts our decision it becomes final and the company has 28 days to put the remedy in place.
If the customer rejects our decision, they lose the right to the resolution we have offered, but retain their right to take the complaint elsewhere, such as the courts.
Want to know more?
Visit our website for more information about the way we work www.ombudsman-services.org.
Working with reallymoving.com
Ombudsman Services handles complaints about removal companies that are registered to reallymoving.com.
reallymoving.com offers instant quotes for home moving services. Removal companies registered with the site are firms that have passed its qualifying criteria and committed to its code of practice. Registered removal firms must have relevant insurance in place, take care of their removal vehicles and make customer service and dispute resolution commitments.
If you have a complaint about a removal company that we recommended, which the removals firm cannot resolve, we may be able to help.
You can view the reallymoving.com Ombudsman Report for 2014/2015 here.
Contact: Ombudsman Services/reallymoving.com
Call: 01727 238010
Email: [email protected]