If your energy supplier has ceased trading, we’ll provide an update on your case as soon as Ofgem nominate a 'Supplier of Last Resort' to take over as your new supplier. Until that time we appreciate your patience and recommend you take a meter reading.

More information on our SoLR process is available here.

Domestic and General Dispute Resolution Process

We’re approved by CTSI to independently handle consumer disputes about Domestic and General service and maintenance plans.

How to register your dispute

After raising your complaint directly with Domestic and General, and giving them 28 days to resolve the issue, you can bring your dispute to us for consideration.

Please download and complete the dispute form and submit it to us via email or post. Please also send us copies of any information you have to support your dispute. This could include bills, emails, letters, a note of the dates and times you’ve called Domestic and General, the people you’ve spoken to and what was said, or copies of itemised phone bills. If you’d like to speak to us, you can create your case with us over the phone. We’re happy to use your chosen method of communication, simply let us know what you’d prefer. We conduct our reviews in English, but we also offer a Welsh service for written correspondence. Please see our Accessibility page for further information.

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Register your dispute

To register your dispute, please download a Dispute Form (available in two formats below).

DG Dispute submission form 2022 (PDF) DG Dispute submission form 2022 (Word)

Once you’ve completed your form, please return it either by emailing complaints2@consumer-ombudsman.org or posting it to Ombudsman Services: Consumer, PO Box 1623, Warrington, WA4 9RE

You don’t need to get legal advice to be able to use our service, but you are welcome to. If you’d rather be represented by a third party at any point, please just let us know. You can withdraw from our process at any time.

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What happens next?

We'll review your form and send you back a summary which we’d appreciate if you could check it through. If you’re happy that it’s right, we need the person named on the service and maintenance plan to sign and date the declaration at the end of the form, before sending it back to us.

Please let us know as soon as you can if you need anything to be added, or if there are any details on the form you’d like changed. We need to make any changes for you, because unfortunately we can’t accept a form that’s been changed manually. Once your form is correct, signed and returned to us we can start considering your case.

Once we’ve established that your dispute is within our power to resolve, we’ll request information (called a case file) from Domestic and General which they’ll have 21 days to provide. This may include documents such as a log of the calls made or information about the terms and conditions of the cover you purchased.

Please send us copies of any information you have to support your dispute as soon as possible within 21 days of signing your form. This could include bills, emails, letters, a note of the dates and times you’ve called them, and the people you’ve spoken to, or copies of itemised phone bills. The quickest way to return your form and documents is by emailing them to complaints2@consumer-ombudsman.org. Please don’t send originals by post as we’re unable to return them.

We treat your information with respect and take your privacy seriously. A full explanation of how we store and use your data is in the privacy policy section found in the footer of our website www.ombudsman-services.org where you can also find other useful information. Information provided by either party can be made available to the other party if requested. If you have completed an exchange of evidence request, we’ll provide information to you within 7 days and provide you with a further 7 days for you to be able to view and provide any comments to us before your case is investigated.

Once we have all of the supporting information from both parties, we try to resolve the dispute as quick as possible and within 12 weeks. Sometimes we may need a little longer to consider, but we’ll keep you updated and will be in touch with any questions. We’ll notify both parties once we have received the complete complaint file and we usually resolve disputes within 4 – 6 weeks from this point. Domestic and General may suggest a quick resolution to your dispute. If we think that it’s in line with the resolution you’re looking for, we’ll contact you to discuss their proposal.

Our conclusion will be impartial and based on the information provided by both parties. Our role isn’t to punish Domestic and General, but our resolution may include an action they should take to put things right. If we identify a shortfall in customer service, we might suggest a goodwill payment, but this isn’t the same as the compensation a civil court might award.

Our conclusion

Both you and Domestic and General will have 14 days to either accept or challenge our conclusion, which will be provided using your preferred contact method. You will also have the opportunity to decline our conclusion, this would close your case and no further action would be required by Domestic and General. If both parties accept, the decision will become binding and Domestic and General will have up to 28 days to implement any proposed resolution. If you reject our final decision, you may choose to resolve your complaint in another way, such as through the civil courts.

If we don’t receive a response to our proposed decision it will become the final decision outcome. If you do not accept our conclusion or final decision outcome, Domestic and General are not obliged to implement any proposed resolution.

If you or Domestic and General wish to challenge our conclusion, you must be able to:

  • show that we’ve made a significant error with the facts that makes a material difference to the outcome; or
  • provide new information that wasn’t available when we considered your case that makes a material difference.
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Disputes that we’re unable to register

We try to help as many people as we can, but there are some circumstances around a complaint where we’re not able to register a dispute, such as:

  • The complaint was made before Domestic and General subscribed to our service.
  • A court, another independent body or organisation is in the process of or has already reviewed your complaint.
  • The issue needs to be considered by a court, unless it’s agreed in writing, that there’s a stay on the court action
  • The issue needs to be considered by a regulator or other independent body, e.g. if the complaint is about the insurance plan, it would need to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
  • A complaint has been raised to deliberately inconvenience a company.
  • The complaint has no real merit or value and no prospect of success.
  • Where the complaint involves public liability e.g. any complaints about 3rd party damage.

For further information about the terms on which we can register a dispute, please see our Terms of reference - post 2015 in conjunction with Terms of reference - Consumer Ombudsman.

We also work closely with other organisations that provide help and support, such as Citizens Advice. Please take a look at our Advice and support from other organisations page for more details.

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How we're appointed

We’re approved by CTSI to independently handle consumer disputes about Domestic & General service and maintenance plans.

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ADR officials

Matthew Vickers is our Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive. He was appointed by our Board following a process which the Nominations Committee oversaw. Matt delegates the handling of disputes to our dispute resolution teams, who are overseen by Leaders and Coaches.

Every case handler has been selected based on their experience and a thorough assessment and interview process. Their training ensures that they have the appropriate industry knowledge and understanding of consumer law to provide a quality, impartial, effective service. We ensure that high standards are maintained through use of our quality checking framework.

In total, around 185 ADR Officials are in place to resolve disputes received by Ombudsman Services. Five work On domestic and general complaints. Many colleagues are dual skilled and can move between sectors to meet demand.

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Common questions

What do Ombudsman Services do?

We resolve disputes between consumers and suppliers that are signed up to our scheme. This may be by facilitating a resolution, or by making an impartial decision based on the information provided.

Will you help me build my case?

We encourage both parties in a dispute to provide as much supporting information as possible. This helps us to reach a fair and impartial decision.

What type of complaints do you handle?

For Domestic and General, we review and resolve disputes about appliance service and maintenance plans.

How much does it cost?

Our service is free for consumers.

How are you funded?

We are funded by fees and subscriptions from the suppliers that use our scheme. They pay us a fee for each case we review, regardless of the outcome or decision we make. This encourages suppliers to resolve more complaints in-house and improve their customer service.

Find out more about how we’re funded.

Who regulates Ombudsman Services?

Authorities in each sector we work in, ensure our compliance with regulations.

Find out more about how we’re regulated.

What is a deadlock letter?

If Domestic and General can’t resolve your complaint directly, they may send you a letter or an email to explain. This is called a ‘deadlock letter’. It will provide our contact details and suggest that you contact us. Please make sure that you register your case with us within 12 months of receiving it.

What am I likely to get if I complain?

If we decide that Domestic and General have made a mistake, or treated you unfairly, we’ll recommend they take action to put things right. This could include any of the following individually or combined:

  • A practical action (for example: apply a credit or replace the appliance)
  • An apology
  • A financial award to acknowledge the difficulties encountered.

We might also make recommendations to them to prevent the issue happening again. Find out more about dispute outcomes.

Do I have to accept your conclusion?

Both parties have 14 days to either accept or challenge our conclusion. You will also have the opportunity to decline our conclusion, this would close your case and no further action would be required by Domestic and General.

Either party can challenge our conclusion where a material difference is made by new information that wasn’t available when we considered your case, or where a significant error in the facts has been made.

If you reject our final decision, you may choose to resolve your complaint in another way, such as through the civil courts.

Using our service doesn’t stop you from seeking redress through the courts. Our outcome may be different from the outcome of a court. However, if you accept our decision and resolution, you are doing so in full and final settlement of the dispute

How do you make sure Domestic and General carry out your recommendations about service improvements?

We support the suppliers that subscribe to our service to improve the way their services are delivered, and their complaints are handled.

Resolving your dispute with Domestic and General

You'll need to provide a summary of the main points of your dispute and how you feel Domestic and General should resolve it.

We’d appreciate if you could check it through. If you’re happy that it’s right, we need the person named on the service and maintenance plan to sign and date the declaration at the end of the form, before sending it back to us.

Please let us know as soon as you can if you need anything to be added, or if there are any details on the form you’d like changed. We need to make any changes for you, because unfortunately we can’t accept a form that’s been changed manually. Once your form is correct, signed and returned to us we can start considering your case.

Please send us copies of any information you have to support your dispute as soon as possible within the next 21 days. This could include bills, emails, letters, a note of the dates and times you’ve called them, and the people you’ve spoken to, or copies of itemised phone bills. The quickest way to return your form and documents is by emailing them to complaints2@consumer-ombudsman.org. Please don’t send originals by post as we’re unable to return them.

We treat your information with respect and take your privacy seriously. A full explanation of how we store and use your data is in the privacy policy section found in the footer of our website www.ombudsman-services.org where you can also find other useful information. Information provided by either party can be made available to the other party if requested. If you have completed an exchange of evidence request, we will provide information to you within 7 days and provide you with a further 7 days for you to be able to view and provide any comments to us before your case is investigated.

Once we have all of the supporting information from both parties, we try to resolve the dispute within 12 weeks. The average length of time for us to resolve a Domestic and General dispute is around four weeks.

You don’t need to get legal advice to be able to use our service, but you are welcome to. If you’d rather be represented by a third party at any point, please just let us know. You can withdraw from our process at any time.

If you accept our decision, it officially settles the dispute. If you reject our final decision, you may choose to resolve your complaint in another way, such as through the civil courts.