Students are missing out on £262m a year because they do not know their rights. According to new research from Ombudsman Services, three in five students have experienced problems with a company since leaving home for university, and they estimate this costs them more than £150 a year each as a result.
Certain sectors are more problematic than others, with two thirds (66%) of students experiencing issues with mobile phones, three in 10 (29%) having troubles with their energy supplier and 17% having qualms with rail providers.
The problem is that many students are not sure how to resolve a problem, with nearly two thirds (65%) unaware of their options if they have an issue with their telecoms supplier. Even when they are aware of their rights, students have little confidence that their complaint will be successful. Two thirds (66%) of current students believe companies do not take them seriously on account of their age, while nearly three quarters (73%) think firms take advantage.
To help, Ombudsman Services has launched a new student advice leaflet which includes six simple steps to complaining. We’re also encouraging students to take to Twitter using #StudentMoans to vent their frustrations and share advice with peers – we can offer free, impartial advice and signpost students where appropriate. It’s hoped this campaign will give students the support and information they need to complain effectively.
Further information is available on our student web page.
Lewis Shand Smith
Chief Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services