Unhappy with our service.

We value your feedback and we're always looking for ways to improve our service.

Unhappy with our service

We value your feedback and we're always looking for ways to improve our service.

Complaints that we can investigate

Under our service complaints procedure we can investigate complaints that involve allegations of poor service or performance, for example where we’ve:

  • treated you rudely;
  • failed to follow our processes;
  • failed to keep you updated on progress; and
  • caused unnecessary delays.

Complaints that we can’t investigate

  • Our complaints procedure doesn’t cover:
  • your disagreement with our decision on your complaint about your service provider;
  • the evidence we looked at in reaching that decision; and
  • the failure of your service provider to implement the remedy.

These issues are dealt with through our investigation or remedy implementation processes.

How do I complain?

We recommended you contact the person who dealt with your complaint or their manager. They’ll try to resolve any problems for you on-the-spot.

If you’ve been unable to resolve things with the member of staff concerned or their manager, our formal complaints procedure is here to help. It details what you can expect from us if you raise a service complaint.

You can request an ‘Unhappy with our service’ complaint form by emailing us at: uwos@ombudsman-services.org

How long do I have to make a service complaint?

You must make your complaint within 6 months of the event you want to complain about, or within 6 months of finding out that you’ve a reason to complain.

We may be able to accept a complaint after this time limit but only in exceptional circumstances. If you feel that this time limit shouldn’t apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

What happens when I have complained?

Early resolution

Our customer relations team will aim to contact you and resolve your complaint within 10 working days. Our first priority will be to try to put things right. We’ll work with you to understand what’s gone wrong and how we can help get things back on track. Most complaints are resolved in this way. However, you can ask us to investigate your complaint if you’re not happy that the action that we’ve taken has resolved things for you.


Where we can’t resolve things through early resolution, or where we decide that the complaint needs a more in-depth review, we’ll investigate your complaint and provide you with a written response. Our customer relations team will aim to respond to your complaint fully and in writing as soon as possible and usually within 20 working days.

We’ll acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 2 working days unless we’ve already discussed this with you. If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we’ll tell you and keep you updated on our progress. We may decide that it’s better to respond to your complaint after our investigation of your complaint about your service provider has been completed. Again, we’ll let you know when you can expect our response.

What if I’m still not happy?

The investigation stage of our process ends our complaints procedure and if you’re still unhappy, you may refer your complaint to the Independent Assessor. Our final response will explain how you do this. You should contact the Independent Assessor within 3 months of receiving our final response.

If there’s still a problem

We aim to do all we can to put things right. But if you find you’re still not happy with us, you can refer your complaint to the Independent Assessor.

Who is the Independent Assessor?

Joanna Wallace is the Independent Assessor (IA). She is appointed by the Ombudsman Services board to investigate complaints about the level of service we’ve provided, as long as we’ve had an opportunity to respond to the complaint.

The role of the IA is to investigate complaints using our Independent Assessors' - scheme rules given by the board.

Consumers who have an unresolved service complaint are signposted to the IA by the Customer Relations Manager, who investigates the final stage of our complaints procedure.

The Independent Assessor can only review the service provided by Ombudsman Services.

The IA can’t:

  • look at the decision made about your complaint about your service provider – this is final;
  • consider appeals to overturn our investigation decisions;
  • consider our decision not to accept a complaint for investigation;
  • consider the weight of evidence; or
  • consider the amount of financial awards recommended in our investigation decisions.

The IA’s decision letters are sent directly to the person who has complained.

Each year the IA publishes a report into the service complaints that consumers have referred to her. You can read the IA reports here Independent Assessors' report 2017

Please be polite to our colleagues

We understand that complaints can be unsettling and customers who contact us may be angry or upset. We will always do our best to help.

We also have a duty of care to our employees and ask that users of our service are polite to our colleagues. We will not tolerate abuse of our people.

Read our Unacceptable Actions Policy