The Motor Ombudsman says consumers communicating with a business before ADR is key to resolving complaints
The Motor Ombudsman, the automotive dispute resolution provider, has unveiled the “#talk2resolve” campaign on their Twitter page (@Motor_Ombudsman). The aim of the online awareness drive is to emphasise the importance of consumers giving a business the opportunity to resolve a complaint directly with them, prior to involving an impartial alternative dispute resolution (ADR) provider, such as The Motor Ombudsman.
The launch of the social media initiative comes in response to instances where vehicle owners are seeking assistance from The Motor Ombudsman without following the internal complaints process of the business that provided a vehicle repair, car or warranty. This may be due to motorists being unaware that speaking to them should always be the first port of call when looking to conclude an issue, or the result of a breakdown in relations, thereby deterring consumers from making an attempt to find a suitable resolution. Consumers should always give businesses accredited to The Motor Ombudsman up to eight weeks to formally respond to a complaint in writing, although this can be a lot earlier for issues that are less complex.
Using “#talk2resolve” on Twitter, and the number “2” to highlight the essential element of communication between the two parties, The Motor Ombudsman will be offering motorists tips regarding the first steps to take before engaging in ADR, a form of mediation to help conclude a dispute without the need for often costly and time-consuming legal action. They are namely:
- Talk 2 the business 2 explain the issue and the resolution you’re looking for (e.g. goodwill or a repeat repair).
- Also put your complaint in writing so that both parties have a formal record of any correspondence.
- Give the business up 2 eight weeks 2 formally respond 2 your issue in writing.
- Happy 2 accept the resolution from the business? YES! Problem solved!
- If, NO, use the Garage Finder to see if they are accredited 2 The Motor Ombudsman.
- If they are accredited, you can submit your evidence and complaint 2 us.
If they are not accredited, talk 2 the business 2 find out who their appointed or preferred ADR provider is, and make contact.
- We’ll then review your case and get in touch with the business 2 get their side of the story.
We may need 2 ask for additional evidence 2 support your case.
- Await the outcome from the ADR provider.
Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “When a consumer encounters a problem with the purchase of a car, repair or warranty claim, this may cause frustration and make communicating with a business difficult. This means that some motorists will either choose to or unknowingly bypass the critical step of actually speaking to them to try to sort out the issue, and turn to an ADR provider immediately to try and bring the dispute to a close.”
Bill added: “This can however, have the opposite effect and ultimately prolong the resolution process, because even if the business is accredited to one of our Codes of Practice, we cannot start work on a case until their own complaints procedures have been exhausted. Our #talk2resolve campaign is therefore encouraging the two parties to get together to talk to one another, as this ultimately gives the best chance of a long-term and amicable relationship.”