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information for businesses covered by the ombudsman service

This section answers a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:

before we get involved

first-time complaint

we've received a complaint for the first time. What do we need to do?

First of all, remember that complaints happen even in the best-run companies. And most can be sorted out very early on - through good communication and following the procedures. The ombudsman service only considers disputes after you have first had the opportunity to look into the complaint, to try to resolve matters to the consumer's satisfaction.

Our quick guide - helping you resolve complaints - briefly sets out what you need to do if a consumer complains to your business. The procedures largely reflect what is generally held to be good customer service. This includes:

  • carrying out a proper investigation into the complaint;
  • keeping in touch with your customer - and telling them what's happening on their case; and
  • telling your consumer about their right to refer their case to the ombudsman service, if they remain dissatisfied.

If you would like an informal steer on how the ombudsman might approach a particular complaint or an answer to a more general question about our rules and how we work, then as a business covered by the ombudsman service, you can get in touch with our free technical advice desk for information on a wide range of issues.

Drawing on our experience of resolving tens of thousands of financial services complaints, we can give businesses practical help to nip potential problems in the bud - before they turn into full-blown disputes.

But if you have a question about a specific case that has already been allocated to one of our adjudicators for investigation, you should get in touch with that adjudicator.