On this page you’ll find more detail about how long you can expect it to take once you've sent us your complaint.
In general, it takes about two to three months for a case to be allocated for investigation. It can sometimes take longer, depending on what your complaint is about. We’re working hard to improve waiting times, so you may hear from us sooner than this.
If we’ve let you know that we’ve received your complaint, we’ll contact you as soon as your case is with someone who can help. We’d be grateful if you could avoid contacting us for an update, unless your circumstances have changed. You can read more about our timescales on this page.
Typical timescales for resolving your complaint
Below you'll find information about the timescales you can expect at each stage.
When you first send us information about your complaint, you should hear back from us within 10 working days.
We'll check we have the information we need from you to get started. If we think we need more information – for example, to check you've complained to the business first, or to ask you for things like your account or policy numbers – we will contact you. You can read more about some of the essential information we need upfront.
You'll get a case reference number. Please keep this reference number safe, treat it securely like any other personal information. Use it when you contact us, it helps speed things up when you do.
When we have the basic information we need to set up your case, it will be allocated to a case handler for investigation. In general, it takes two to three months for a case to be allocated for investigation. However, it can sometimes take longer, depending on what your complaint is about. You can find out more about timescales for specific complaint types by choosing the product area you’d like to read about in the ‘complaints we can help with’ section of this website.
Once your complaint is allocated to a case handler, they will contact you to introduce themselves. They will be your point of contact throughout your case.
You can find out about the standards we set ourselves in our communication with you on 'our customer service' page.
We will ask you to reply to our enquiries or requests for information by a particular date, usually within two weeks. You can read more about why we do this on our how we make decisions page.
Once the case handler has completed their investigation, they will give you an initial assessment of your case. Typically, this part of our process takes up to 90 days. A complex complaint, or where either party disagrees with the initial assessment and asks for final decision, may mean it takes longer. You will be updated by your case handler as things progress.
If either you or the business don’t agree with the case handler’s initial assessment and ask for a final decision, your complaint will be passed to one of our ombudsmen.
How long this takes will depend on a number of factors, including the type of complaint brought to us. We’ll do all we can to get your case to an ombudsman for review as soon as possible. During this time the case handler who reviewed your case will continue to be your main point of contact. They will keep you updated with your case’s progress; you can expect to hear from us every two months during this time. To help us deal with cases promptly, it is important that consumers and businesses provide us with information as soon as possible when we ask for it, Read more about how we make decisions.
Telling us about your circumstances
If you’re facing financial hardship or severe ill health and feel your complaint needs to be dealt with urgently, please let us know when you send us your complaint - or update your case handler direct.
If you need to update us about your circumstances before your complaint is with a case handler you can contact us on our helpline number quoting your reference number.