Working with consumers and businesses to resolve complaints
Our people are friendly, approachable and down-to-earth, and:
- we are trained to listen and to provide a helping hand to consumers and businesses in resolving disputes
- we help to get the complaint resolved as quickly as possible with the most appropriate outcome; and
- we work closely with businesses to provide support and industry-wide information and guidance. This helps to improve the way services are delivered and complaints are handled.
Our case investigators gather information from both sides before passing a complaint to an adjudicator, who will make a decision based on the Codes of Practice, relevant legislation and best industry practice. Each party can provide their side of the story – including any documents they would like us to consider. A case investigator or adjudicator may also ask for specific information, such as a technical report, sales documents or photographs, depending on the complaint.
Once an adjudicator has made a decision, either side can ask for a final decision if they disagree with their outcome. They can provide their reasons for disagreeing, along with any further information they may have, at this point. An ombudsman will then look to make a final decision, which brings our process to a close. Once the ombudsman has made their decision, a consumer can choose to accept it – in which case, it becomes binding on both parties – or reject it and pursue their complaint elsewhere. Please note that a final decision will not be reviewed further internally.
Some complaints can be quite straightforward to resolve. If we think it can be sorted more quickly, an adjudicator will discuss ways in which a mutually agreeable and fair resolution can be achieved or help both parties to communicate with each other. This should take a maximum of 5 working days but, sometimes, we can get things sorted out there and then.