Complaints and how we can help
The member of staff to whom the complaint is made should attempt to resolve it. If they are unable to do so, the member of staff should escalate the complaint to the Customer Relations Representative, who was nominated at The Motor Ombudsman registration stage.
The Customer Relations Representative should aim to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible, to the satisfaction of the consumer.
You can start referring consumers to the Code once you have registered
The information line is available for both motorists and garages. Motorists can call 0345 241 3008 to seek guidance about the service they have received or to register a complaint. The Motor Ombudsman will assess the enquiry and provide the appropriate information.
Alternatively consumers can submit an enquiry and/or complaint online.
Where consumers contacting us have registered a complaint and their vehicle is still at a garage, or we think the issue can be easily resolved, we can contact the subscriber to resolve the complaint more quickly without the need of a formal adjudication. However, if a resolution cannot be reached, the consumer can ask for an adjudication to be made.
Adjudication is a dispute resolution process which, under the Code, aims to resolve disputes between a consumer and subscriber. The Motor Ombudsman will investigate a consumer complaint and assess whether there has been any breach of the Code. We will listen to both sides, gather information and use this to make a fair and independent decision based on the Code and any relevant law.
If a case remains unresolved, then either the consumer or subscriber can ask to have a final decision made by an ombudsman. The ombudsman will consider the initial outcome and may ask for further information. A final decision is the last step in our process - if a consumer or subscriber is still unhappy, then they would need to take the matter to court.
As a business accredited to The Motor Ombudsman, the adjudication service is compulsory.
The Independent Compliance Assessment Panel (ICAP), currently chaired by Ron Gainsford OBE, Chief Executive of Trading Standards, is responsible for monitoring the operation of The Motor Ombudsman and subscriber compliance. Its role includes:
Monitoring the operations of the Code.
Reviewing cases of persistent or serious breaches of the Code by subscribers.
Imposing sanctions on a subscriber for non-compliance with the Code, ranging from education and continued monitoring, through to written warnings and expulsion from The Motor Ombudsman.
Highlighting poor working practices and make recommendations to the sector and subscribers to the Code, with a view to stabilising performance and, over time, minimising identified causes of consumer detriment.
ICAP fulfils the important monitoring, compliance and sanctioning elements of code operations required by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI). The panel meets at least twice a year to assess the performance of subscribers and review the content and operation of the Code and its operating structures and processes.
The Consumer Survey provides customer feedback which is used in monitoring subscriber performance under the Code. The information gained from the survey results also allows ICAP to monitor the industry's performance under the Code of Practice and make necessary amendments to the Code.