Our powers

If, following our review of the complaint, we decide that a remedy is appropriate, we can require:

Sometimes we decide that a remedy is appropriate, we can require:

  • an apology;
  • an explanation as to what went wrong;
  • a practical action to correct the problem; or
  • a financial award. (subject to a limit)
  • A remedy usually includes more than one of these factors.

    We also make recommendations to your company so that you can avoid similar problems happening again.

    Sometimes we decide that no further action is required. We include examples of these complaints in the anonymised case summaries we publish on the site (in Our services, sector pages under advice and stories)and in our annual reports, particularly when we can highlight examples of good practice.

    The case fee is our charge to consider a complaint and payment of the fee is not dependent on outcome. This means that the more complaints you resolve in-house, the less you pay to us; this provides an incentive for your company to improve its customer service.

    Carrying out our decision

    If a consumer accepts our decision your company has 28 days to put in place what we have asked for. In exceptional circumstances, if it is not possible to complete what we've asked for within 28 days, you need to let us know and we may allow more time.

    We will continue to contact you until we are satisfied that the complaint has been resolved. If you do not implement the proposed remedy the consumer can take legal action.

    If you take the action we require as soon as possible within 28 days, your company is more likely to retain its customer.