Decision making principles

Guiding principles

Ombudsman Services considers decisions in accordance with the following principles:

  • Independence
  • Fairness
  • Impartiality
  • Openness
  • Transparency
  • Effectiveness
  • Accessibility
  • Consistency
  • Measured performance
  • Official approval
  • Accountability

Decision guidelines

In achieving a fair and reasonable outcome for both parties, Ombudsman Services will:

  • Demonstrate that we have treated the company and the consumer fairly so that neither is unduly disadvantaged.
  • Remain objective and promote neither the position of the consumer nor that of the company.
  • Consider the evidence presented by the parties, the specific circumstances, and other information directly relevant to the dispute and whether to request further information from either party.
  • Recognise that both parties must, where it is in their possession, provide evidence relevant to the matters in dispute.
  • Give equal consideration to the word of the consumer and the word of the company.
  • Be mindful of, but not bound by, past rulings in similar cases.
  • Where appropriate take account of, but not rely on, the usual behaviour or practices of either the company or consumer.
  • Have regard to the relevant regulations, law and terms and conditions.
  • Ensure that the outcome will be based on the balance of probabilities in the absence of conclusive evidence and give full reasons for any decision.

Working with Ofcom

We will aid the consistent application of these decision guidelines by working with Ofcom from time to time, testing cases.