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frequently-asked questions

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

complaining to the ombudsman

how long does it take?

how long will the ombudsman service take to consider and resolve my complaint?

We look at each case carefully - and the time it takes varies significantly. It can depend on:

  • how complex the case is and
  • how long it takes us to get the information we need, to get to the bottom of your complaint.

This means we can sort out some complaints within just a few weeks - and around two thirds of cases within three months.. But some disputes can take longer. For example, because of the large number of people asking for our help, complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) are likely to take up to two years to sort out.

Complaints can take longer if you or the business raise particularly complex issues - or you want a final decision from an ombudsman.

How we prioritise cases can also be affected by the number and type of complaints that consumers refer to us.

We publish detailed figures showing how long it takes us to resolve complaints each year in our annual review (in the section, "how we dealt with the complaints").

Like the courts, the ombudsman service is entirely impartial. We are also open about our work. We publish complaints statistics about the proportion of cases we uphold, so that everyone can see the outcome of complaints following our involvement.

We send our consumer factsheet to consumers who bring complaints to us, explaining in brief how our complaints-handling process works:

consumer factsheet on ... how we deal with your complaint