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Service standards

Service standards

Unhappy with our service?

At Ombudsman Services, we take complaints about our standard of service very seriously. If you think we have done something wrong please tell us so we have the chance to put things right quickly and effectively. Your complaint will help us learn from our mistakes and improve our service.

We can only investigate complaints that involve allegations of poor service or performance, for example where we have:

  • treated you rudely;
  • failed to keep you updated on progress;
  • caused unnecessary delays;
  • failed to explain things properly; or
  • any other shortfall in service.

If you disagree with the ombudsman's decision following the investigation of your complaint about your service provider, please refer to the report which explains our process and what you need to do next.

If you have a complaint about the service we have provided, please complete our online form, tell us about it over the phone or print, complete and send us the ‘unhappy with our service’ leaflet below. 

Our complaints procedure

If you call us, with a complaint about our service, a member of our enquiries team will try to help you.  If they cannot help you, they will arrange for a manager to call you within 24 hours to discuss your complaint. 
If you write to us with a complaint l, we will acknowledge receipt within 48 hours. Your complaint will be passed to a manager who will aim to respond to you within 10 working days of receiving it. The manager will tell you what action they think is necessary to resolve the problem.
Sometimes, we may need a little longer to investigate your complaint but if there is a delay due to exceptional circumstances, we will let you know what is happening and when you can expect a response from us. 
Most complaints are resolved at this stage of our process. 
If this has not been possible, you may ask us to refer your complaint to a senior manager who will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 48 hours and aim to review it within 10 working days.
If you do not accept the resolution to your complaint, the senior manager may refer your complaint to the director of corporate services who will independently review it. If the director accepts your complaint for review, he will acknowledge its receipt within 48 hours and will aim to respond to you within 20 working days. 
Ombudsman Services has an independent assessor who can look at your complaint after you have complained to the director of corporate services. The final response letter from the director will include the contact details for the independent assessor should you remain dissatisfied.

If you write to us with a complaint, we will acknowledge receipt within 48 hours. Your complaint will be passed to our customer relations department and we will aim to respond to you within 10 working days. Sometimes, we may need a little longer to investigate your complaint but if there is a delay due to exceptional circumstances, we will let you know what is happening and when you can expect a response from us. Most complaints are resolved at this stage of our process.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you may ask us to refer it to the deputy chief executive. The deputy chief executive will aim to review and respond to your complaint within 20 working days.

If you are still not satisfied with the resolution to your complaint, you can refer your complaint to the Independent Assessor.

The Independent Assessor will review the service provided by Ombudsman Services but will not consider the ombudsman's decision - this is final. The role is not a mechanism for appealing or overturning Ombudsman Services' decisions. The Independant Assessor does not make judgements about accepting a complaint for investigation, the weight of evidence or the amount of redress recommended.

Service standards

Click here to read our Service Standards

Click here to read our Unhappy with our service leaflet 

Privacy policy

The Ombudsman Service Ltd is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. This means that we are responsible for how and why your personal information is used.

We are committed to respecting your privacy and to complying with the Data Protection Act and any other relevant privacy laws. We have provided this Privacy Policy to help you understand how we collect, use and protect your personal information.

Our privacy policy is available below.

Reasonable adjustments

Ombudsman Services is committed in taking reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people who use our service are not disadvantaged. This policy demonstrates our commitment to improving accessibility for everybody we deal with. It sets out some of the basic principles of our duty to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled people and sets out the factors we will take into account when dealing with requests for reasonable adjustments.

Unacceptable actions

Our service is independent, impartial and free. We believe that complainants have a right to be heard, understood and respected. We work hard to be open and accessible. Occasionally, the behaviour or actions of individuals using our service makes it very difficult for us to deal with their complaint.

In a small number of cases the actions become unacceptable because they involve abuse of our staff or our process. When this happens we have to take action to protect our staff. We consider the impact of the behaviour on our ability to do our work and provide a service to others.

Our unacceptable actions policy is available below:

Frivolous and vexatious complaints

We may refuse to deal with a dispute if it is frivolous or vexatious. This decision is at our sole discretion. Read our fact sheet to find out more:

Our performance 

We publish monthly performance figures, which show how we are doing against our agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPI's).

Measures:

  • 90% of reports issued in under six weeks.
  • Less than 1% of reports issued over eight weeks.
  • 80% of calls answered in less than two minutes.
  • 95% of calls answered in less than five minutes.
  • 100% of written correspondence responded to in ten days or less.

 

Information about the length of time it takes us to make a decision and to complete a case in our main sectors can be found in the table below. The data represents the average days to make a decision and complete a case for the period January 2015 to December 2015.

Sector Average of Days to Decision Average of Days to Completion
Communications 34.4 58
Energy 34.8 46

2015/2016

Click here for monthly 2015/2016 KPI performance.

Case cleansing

We only keep personal data for the time we need to resolve the complaint. More information about our case cleansing policy can be found in our Privacy Policy .