What will the Ombudsman do?
You will be required to fill out an application form that will help you put your complaint to us. You will also be asked to agree to us contacting the retailer about your complaint and getting information from them.
When we receive your application form and the retailer’s response, we will pass your file to one of our Ombudsmen who will undertake an initial case review – largely based on the documents and information sent to us by both parties, but we may make other enquiries. Only in a few instances will it be necessary for someone from this office to speak to you directly.
Our Ombudsmen will look at the history of the problem and all evidence presented. We will contact you and the retailer to enable the complaint to be resolved quickly and informally. Where this is not possible we will decide whether we need further information from you or the retailer, or if we require further evidence before we can make an adjudication decision. If we do, we will contact you and explain this to you.
In the majority of cases that we deal with, an inspection report is not necessary. Where we do consider that an inspection is necessary, an independent expert will contact you to arrange a convenient time to visit you.
If you do not wish to have an inspection carried out we can attempt to make a decision based on the evidence that has been presented so far. Please note however that we will often recommend that an inspection be carried out so that the Ombudsman has sufficient evidence to make a fair and reasoned decision.
Once the Ombudsman has made a decision, we will send a written copy of this to you and the retailer. This includes our view on the validity of the complaint and any action that should be taken to resolve it.
Any award that we may make in your favour is to compensate you for any loss you may have suffered and which we feel is appropriate in your particular case.
The decisions that we make are in relation to the dispute between you and the retailer. We do not intervene where finance or credit agreements are concerned and our awards do not include these. Neither can we intervene in cases where, for example, you have paid the retailer’s fitter to do additional work for you.
This decision is binding on Full Members of the Ombudsman Scheme and legally enforceable against them. The consumer has the right to pursue the matter further through alternative channels if they choose to do so.