It is not our role to punish communications companies when deciding what solution to provide. Our awards will be proportionate and will take into account all the facts in the complaint.

How might things be put right?

If we decide to make an award, and you accept it, the communications company must take the action that we require. This might include:

  • a service or a practical action, for example, removal of charges incorrectly billed;
  • an apology; or
  • a financial award.

If a financial award is needed, this will be an amount that we consider appropriate to the individual complaint. We can award up to £10,000 but the most common award is much less, about £50.

So that the same problem is less likely to happen again, we may also recommend that the communications company make changes to its policies and procedures. We also work with the industry as a whole to help it improve and learn from the complaints we handle.

Accepting the ombudsman’s decision

We will work with you and the company to reach the best solution to the problem. In many cases we are able to do this quickly by speaking to both parties. If the complaint is very complicated or either party finds it difficult to reach a mutually acceptable settlement, we will write a report which gives our decision.

If the consumer accepts the ombudsman’s decision the company must take the action we require. If the consumer declines the decision or fails to respond to us within the given timeframe, the consumer loses the right to the solution offered, but remains free to complain in another way, for example through the courts.