These illustrative stories are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.
It was a real worry to be faced with what looked like becoming a serious complaint. My client hadn’t yet complained to the ombudsman service – and I wanted to try and settle matters before that happened. But nothing I suggested seemed to help. We were going round in circles and things were starting to get out of hand.
I’ve been in business for years and have always prided myself on good customer service. When you’re running what is – in effect – a one-man business, you rely a lot on having satisfied customers. Of course – the odd mistake can sometimes happen however careful you are. But till then I’d always been able to sort out any problems myself – right away.
I’d been uncertain about ringing the ombudsman’s technical advice desk. I wasn’t sure they’d be that interested – with my being only a small business. And I thought they might just assume it was all my fault. But talking things through with them really helped. They said the situation I was dealing with was something they’d come across many times before. Knowing that was a quite a relief in itself. They explained the kind of approach that other businesses had taken in similar cases. And they told me what seemed to the ombudsman service to be a fair and reasonable way of dealing with things. Armed with some practical suggestions, I went back to my customer and found we were quickly able to settle our differences.