At Ombudsman Services, one of our key priorities for 2020 is to improve consumers’ understanding and awareness of how, why and when to bring a complaint to us.
We believe this will bring benefits to our member companies and our own operational teams – as well of course to consumers themselves.
It’s as part of this focus on consumer education that we’ve created a new video explaining when an unresolved energy or communications complaint can be brought to us.
Called ‘When can I complain to Ombudsman Services?’, the short animation sets out that a consumer must give their provider eight weeks to resolve the issue before we can look at a complaint – unless they receive a deadlock letter sooner.
This video explains when you can escalate your energy or communications complaint to Ombudsman Services. For more information on submitting complaints, or to take action and submit your complaint for investigation, visit our website: www.ombudsman-services.org
It also includes advice to consumers that they make clear when speaking to their provider why they’re unhappy and what they would like to be done to fix the problem.
There is even a recommendation to consumers to be clear when making a formal complaint to their provider, because we felt such clarity would benefit all parties in the complaints process.
We would, however, like to point out to member companies that this in no way takes precedence over our established and long-held stance on when a complaint began and whether eight weeks has elapsed.
As explained in this guidance note, the broad principle that Ombudsman Services applies is that a complaint begins when a consumer makes an expression of dissatisfaction to a company.
We will be monitoring the video’s performance and will keep member companies updated appropriately.