Advice from the Ombudsman Services – The Consumer Ombudsman

On Friday the Ombudsman Services were in The Oak Mall talking about the services they offer.

  • Nearly half of pensioners are in the dark when it comes to knowing their consumer rights.
  • People aged over 65 are most likely to have a complaint about energy provision but they are less likely to complain.
  • Close to a million older people are afraid to complain when they get poor service from their energy supplier.
  • A third of those in later life ‘don’t want to make a fuss’.
  • The most common complaint is billing, followed by supply issues and poor customer service
  • Only one in seven older people who complained were satisfied, with the majority feeling annoyed and frustrated when speaking to their supplier about the problem.
  • A third of pensioners worry they won’t be taken seriously because of their age.
  • More than a third of over 65s said they had to complain several times before anything was done.

If you are getting nowhere with a complaint the Ombudsman Services might be able to help. They offer a free and impartial service to help consumers to resolve their complaints.

They have years of experience handling complaints about energy companies, communications providers and property firms. In August 2015 they launched their new online service – to resolve complaints in sectors where there is no existing redress provision. This includes retail, travel and traders.

Before they can help you must first complain to the company and give them a chance to sort out your problem. The company usually has up to eight weeks to resolve your complaint, unless it confirms in writing that it can no longer help; this is called a deadlock letter.

If your complaint is still unresolved you can visit their website and log the details of your case. The Ombudsman are there to resolve any complaints you have appropriately. They are not there to punish firms or companies when things go wrong but their decisions are binding on the firm or company and enforceable in court.