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Complaining to an Ombudsman: A Guide

Complaining to an Ombudsman: A Guide

 

Complaining to an Ombudsman Header ImageThe ombudsman is a service that helps the public resolve complaints. Whether your concern is with a business or government institution, the ombudsman is there to help you. To help you understand this critical service we’ve put together some advice on what they do, how they do it, and how you can complain to the ombudsman.

What is the Ombudsman?

The ombudsman is someone appointed to look into complaints about businesses and organisations. As an independent third party, this vital service is free and impartial and is designed to help solve disputes amicably. There is an ombudsman for almost every sector and concern, whether its concerns with your energy supply, financing, or health, you’ll find someone to help you.

When should I contact the Ombudsman?

First, it’s important to remember that before reaching out to the ombudsman you should complain to the company or organisation that you feel has let you down. They will investigate your complaint and may potentially offer refunds or other forms of redress to resolve the issue.

However, if you have already complained to the organisation and spoken to everyone who will listen then you can reach out an ombudsman. The ombudsman will accept your complaint and look into the matter.

Their investigation can vary depending on the complaint and the nature of the industry but it usually takes quite some time. You’ll also need to make sure you complain promptly as ombudsmen often have a cut-off point for complaints.

It is also worth bearing in mind that if you have already started legal proceedings then the ombudsman will not get involved. The role of the ombudsman is to solve an issue before it becomes a legal issue.

How do I complain to the Ombudsman?

First, you’ll need to find an ombudsman who specifically works with your case. Ombudsmen are usually split between the public sector and private sector claims. Within the private sector, you’ll find Ombudsmen Services for;

  • Gas and electricity
  • Phone
  • Internet providers
  • Car repairs
  • Public transport
  • Banks
  • Insurance
  • Loans
  • Pensions
  • Mortgages
  • Property
  • Furniture
  • Legal issues

This list is by no means exhaustive and you can find a full list of ombudsman and support schemes approved by the CTSI here.

Public infrastructure can also be beholden to complaints. You’ll find a public sector ombudsman for just about anything including;

  • Health services
  • Social care
  • Housing
  • Prison and probation
  • EU issues

Once you have made your complaint to the company and organisation, and are remain unhappy with the outcome you simply fill in a form on your chosen ombudsman’s website. You’ll find that most trusted service providers are members of the Ombudsman Association.

You may be asked for letters and other evidence to understand and support your complaint so make sure you have all the paperwork you can find available. You may also require a document called a ‘letter of deadlock’. However, if a complaint has gone unanswered for a long time, usually around 8 weeks, then you will not need to provide this document. Make sure you check what rules your chosen ombudsman has in place and follow those to the letter.

What happens next?

Once all the paperwork has been submitted the ombudsman will look at the evidence and decide what happens next. This process takes into account a wide number of factors and requires a lot of time and work so be patient. The ombudsman will make a recommendation. This can be anything from requiring a written apology from the guilty party to monetary compensation for damages, losses etc.

We hope this guide gives you some insight into how to use this integral service. At QuidMarket, we provide simple short term loans with no hidden fees or catches. All our loans are manually underwritten by our skilled underwriting team. QuidMarket is also a direct lender and not a credit broker. We offer a quick, easy-to-understand application process.

As always, we advise customers that short term loans are an expensive form of credit and are not designed for long-term borrowing meaning there may be cheaper options available.