BBC TV Licensing appoints Ombudsman Services to handle complaints
BBC TV Licensing has joined Ombudsman Services who will provide independent dispute resolution for its customers from 2 November 2017. This replaces the previous arrangement where the BBC Trust was the final escalation point for complaints and was necessary as the Trust is no longer in existence.
The Licence Fee Unit (LFU) within the BBC is responsible for collecting the licence fee, throughout the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Commenting on the news, Chief Ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith said: "The BBC is showing its commitment to its customers with the appointment Ombudsman Services. Investing in complaints handling is a clear sign that they want to provide the level of service that their customers expect."
The BBC has said: "The Ombudsman service replaces the BBC Trust which used to be the final arbiter of TV Licensing complaints. There are more than 25.5 million licences in force in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man and we are pleased the number of complaints has halved since 2011. However, if there is a problem we rely on feedback from our customers to help us put things right as quickly as possible and improve our services. Ensuring our complaints process addresses the concerns of our customers is very important to us."
Ombudsman Services provides an independent and impartial means of resolving disputes outside the courts at no cost to the consumer. It can investigate disputes between customers and TV Licensing that have been progressed through TV Licensing complaint handling procedure, or those that have reached a deadlock stage. Customers must contact the BBC directly to seek a resolution to their complaint before they can escalate the complaint to the ombudsman.