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Communications

About the Ombudsman

If you have a problem sorting out a complaint with a communications company, we may be able to help.

We are approved by Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries.

Our work meets the requirements of the Communications Act, 2003. This law means that domestic and small business customers of communications companies have the right to take certain complaints to the ombudsman if the company fails to resolve the problem.

Communications customers are not charged for using our service.

Our job is to investigate complaints fairly by listening to both sides of the story and looking at the facts. We will decide what action, if any, should be taken when you and a communications company can’t agree.

If you would like to know more about the ways we will work with you and the company to resolve your complaint, click here to read the How we work page of our website. It will open in a new window. 

Is the service independent?

Yes. It is essential that we are independent from the communications industry, the regulator and from consumer groups so that people can trust us to be fair. It is a key role of the Board to make sure of this.

We are a member of The Ombudsman Association (formerly the British and Irish Ombudsman’s Association (BIOA) which recognises us as independent.

http://www.bioa.org.uk/

 

The decision making principles
Objective
The purpose of Ombudsman Services: Communications is to resolve disputes between consumers and communications providers.
Guiding principles
Ombudsman Services considers decisions in accordance with the following principles:
Independence
Fairness
Impartiality
Openness
Transparency
Effectiveness
Accessibility
Consistency
Measured performance
Official approval
Accountability
Decision guidelines
In achieving a fair and reasonable outcome for both parties, Ombudsman Services will:
Demonstrate that we have treated the company and the consumer fairly so that neither is unduly disadvantaged.
Remain objective and promote neither the position of the consumer nor that of the company.
Consider the evidence presented by the parties, the specific circumstances, and other information directly relevant to the dispute and whether to request further information from either party.
Recognise that both parties must, where it is in their possession, provide evidence relevant to the matters in dispute.
Give equal consideration to the word of the consumer and the word of the company.
Be mindful of, but not bound by, past rulings in similar cases.
Where appropriate take account of, but not rely on, the usual behaviour or practices of either the company or consumer.
Have regard to the relevant regulations, law and terms and conditions.
Ensure that the outcome will be based on the balance of probabilities in the absence of conclusive evidence and give full reasons for any decision.
Working with Ofcom
Ombudsman Services will aid the consistent application of these Decision Guidelines by working from time to time with Ofcom (the communications regulator) on examples of typical and testing cases.

The decision making principles

Objective

The purpose of Ombudsman Services: Communications is to resolve disputes between consumers and communications providers.

Guiding principles

Ombudsman Services considers decisions in accordance with the following principles:

  • Independence.
  • Fairness.
  • Impartiality.
  • Openness.
  • Transparency.
  • Effectiveness.
  • Accessibility.
  • Consistency.
  • Measured performance.
  • Official approval.
  • Accountability.

Decision guidelines

In achieving a fair and reasonable outcome for both parties, Ombudsman Services will:

  • Demonstrate that we have treated the company and the consumer fairly so that neither is unduly disadvantaged.
  • Remain objective and promote neither the position of the consumer nor that of the company.
  • Consider the evidence presented by the parties, the specific circumstances, and other information directly relevant to the dispute and whether to request further information from either party.
  • Recognise that both parties must, where it is in their possession, provide evidence relevant to the matters in dispute.
  • Give equal consideration to the word of the consumer and the word of the company.
  • Be mindful of, but not bound by, past rulings in similar cases.
  • Where appropriate take account of, but not rely on, the usual behaviour or practices of either the company or consumer.
  • Have regard to the relevant regulations, law and terms and conditions.
  • Ensure that the outcome will be based on the balance of probabilities in the absence of conclusive evidence and give full reasons for any decision.

Working with Ofcom Ombudsman Services will aid the consistent application of these Decision Guidelines by working from time to time with Ofcom (the communications regulator) on examples of typical and testing cases.

 

Quick guide to our services

Download a quick guide to Ombudsman Services: Communications here.

Download a large print plain text version here.