New Look, one of the UK’s most prominent fashion retailers, has appointed Ombudsman Services to provide a bespoke alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme for its customers.
The retail sector is responsible for a quarter (25%) of all complaints about products and services in the UK, with more than 13 million complaints in 2015, according to Ombudsman Services’ Consumer Action Monitor1.
Following the introduction of an EU directive in October, which called for all companies selling products or services to make an ADR scheme available to their customers, Ombudsman Services established the Consumer Ombudsman to handle complaints in all sectors, other than finance and health, including retail.
New Look has chosen to offer its customers access to this new resolution service from Ombudsman Services, which will help it to improve its complaints handling while giving disgruntled customers a way to get their problems resolved without going to court.
Commenting on the news, Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith says: “Customer service is becoming more important to customers in the UK, and New Look’s appointment of Ombudsman Services shows that it wants to provide the level of service its customers both expect and deserve.
“Since launching the Consumer Ombudsman in August, we’ve received a high number of complaints from consumers, and while we have a number of retailers on board, we hope this move by New Look will encourage more businesses to follow suit.”
Louise Moghaddam Senior Group Customer Service Manager for New Look adds: “As part of our ongoing commitment to providing great service to our customers, we’re delighted to be joining the Ombudsman Services. Whilst we always aim to resolve customer complaints ourselves, for the rare occasions where this isn’t possible, the Ombudsman Services provides that added reassurance of fair review and outcome.”
Ombudsman Services is the UK’s largest provider of Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is the sole provider of ADR in the energy sector, and also operates schemes in communications, property and copyright licensing.
The role of Ombudsman Services is to investigate complaints fairly by taking into account both sides of the story and making a recommendation on what, if any, action should be taken to resolve the complaint. So that complaints can be handled effectively, companies using the scheme agree to provide the necessary information and to abide by the ombudsman’s decision.
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1 Figures from Ombudsman Services’ 2016 Consumer Action Monitor (not yet released). The survey (of a nationally representative sample of 2,355 UK adults) was conducted between 22 and 25 January 2015 by ICM research.
Published: 9 February 2016