Handling complaints from your customers
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:
- you must have a complaints handling procedure;
- you must make this available and easy to find; or
- you must tell your customers that if you cannot resolve the problem, the ombudsman is there to help.
We can only consider a complaint from your customers if you have been given a reasonable chance to sort it out:
- you have up to eight weeks to respond to the complaint*. After this the complaint can be passed to the ombudsman.
We have established procedures which help people who contact us to register a complaint. We deal with complaints online, by telephone, text phone, post and email.
If your customers want us to consider their complaints there are some things that they must do first:
- give you a reasonable chance to sort it out. You have up to eight weeks to respond to the complaint;
- your customers need to contact us within 12 months of your final response, so 12 months from the date of your deadlock letter.
*SSE has six weeks to respond to the complainant.
Explaining your final position
When you recognise that something has gone wrong you must try to agree a solution as soon as possible. When you have decided your final position, you should put it 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 the process has been reached and they remain unhappy, we will consider accepting the complaint for investigation.