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frequently-asked questions

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

complaining to the ombudsman

complaints about our service

who can I complain to if I'm not happy with the service provided by the Financial Ombudsman Service?

If an ombudsman has made a decision on a case, that decision is final. Neither side can appeal to another ombudsman.

The consumer doesn't have to accept the decision – and if they don't, our decision does not affect their legal rights. So they are still free to go to court instead. However, we cannot give legal advice about how a court might handle a case or about any court requirements (such as time limits) that might apply.

If you are not happy with the way we have dealt with your case – or with the level of service we have provided – please let us know. We have a special procedure to handle complaints about our service – for example, if you think we have:

  • treated you unfairly or rudely;
  • failed to explain things properly; or
  • caused unreasonable delays.

This procedure involves the independent assessor, who can carry out a final review of the way we have handled a complaint.

The independent assessor is appointed by our board and has official terms of reference. She cannot get involved in disagreements about the merits of a case – whether we were right to uphold or reject a dispute between a business and a consumer.