Service standards

Unhappy with our service?

At Ombudsman Services, we take complaints about our standard of service very seriously. If you think we have done something wrong please tell us so we have the chance to put things right quickly and effectively. Your complaint will help us learn from our mistakes and improve our service.

We can only investigate complaints that involve allegations of poor service or performance, for example where we have:

  • treated you rudely
  • failed to keep you updated on progress
  • caused unnecessary delays

If you disagree with the ombudsman's decision following the investigation of your complaint about your service provider, please refer to the report which explains our process and what you need to do next.

If you have a complaint about the service we have provided, please complete our online service complaints form, tell us about it over the phone or print, complete and send us the ‘unhappy with our service’ leaflet below.

Our complaints procedure

If you write to us with a complaint, we will acknowledge receipt within 48 hours. Your complaint will be passed to our customer relations department and we will aim to respond to you within 10 working days. Sometimes, we may need a little longer to investigate your complaint but if there is a delay due to exceptional circumstances, we will let you know what is happening and when you can expect a response from us. Most complaints are resolved at this stage of our process.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you may ask us to refer it to the deputy chief executive. The deputy chief executive will aim to review and respond to your complaint within 20 working days.

If you are still not satisfied with the resolution to your complaint, you can refer your complaint to the Independent Assessor.

The Independent Assessor will review the service provided by Ombudsman Services but will not consider the ombudsman's decision - this is final. The role is not a mechanism for appealing or overturning Ombudsman Services' decisions. The Independent Assessor does not make judgements about accepting a complaint for investigation, the weight of evidence or the amount of redress recommended.

Service standards

Click here to read our Service Standards

Click here to read our "Unhappy-with-our-service-paper-form" leaflet

Privacy policy

The Ombudsman Service Ltd is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. This means that we are responsible for how and why your personal information is used.

We are committed to respecting your privacy and to complying with the Data Protection Act and any other relevant privacy laws. We have provided this Privacy Policy to help you understand how we collect, use and protect your personal information.

Our privacy policy is available below.

Reasonable adjustments

Ombudsman Services is committed in taking reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people who use our service are not disadvantaged. This policy demonstrates our commitment to improving accessibility for everybody we deal with. It sets out some of the basic principles of our duty to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled people and sets out the factors we will take into account when dealing with requests for reasonable adjustments.

Unacceptable actions

Our service is independent, impartial and free. We believe that complainants have a right to be heard, understood and respected. We work hard to be open and accessible. Occasionally, the behaviour or actions of individuals using our service makes it very difficult for us to deal with their complaint.

In a small number of cases the actions become unacceptable because they involve abuse of our staff or our process. When this happens we have to take action to protect our staff. We consider the impact of the behaviour on our ability to do our work and provide a service to others.

Our unacceptable actions policy is available below:

Frivolous and vexatious complaints

We may refuse to deal with a dispute if it is frivolous or vexatious. This decision is at our sole discretion. Read our fact sheet to find out more:

Our performance 

We publish monthly performance figures, which show how we are doing against our agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPI's). View our latest performance figures.

Case cleansing

We only keep personal data for the time we need to resolve the complaint. More information about our case cleansing policy can be found in our Privacy Policy.