Customers complaints

If your company has joined Ombudsman Services, or is thinking of using us to provide dispute resolution, there are some things you will need to have in place. For example:

  • You must have a complaints handling procedure
  • You must make this available and easy to find
  • You must tell your customers that if you cannot resolve the problem, the ombudsman is available to help

We can only consider a complaint from your customer if they have given you a reasonable chance to sort it out. We can accept complaints online, by telephone, by post and by email.

Explaining your final position

When you recognise that something has gone wrong you must try to reach a solution as soon as possible. When you’ve decided your final position, you should provide this in writing. We call this a deadlock letter. This letter will help us to check that the customer has used your complaints procedure if the customer raises the complaint with us.

If, at any time, your customer receives a letter from you which indicates that the end of your complaints process has been reached, and if they remain unhappy, we will consider accepting their complaint for investigation.


The following information and templates may help when handling customer complaints. Further information is available on our supporting improvement page.