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information for businesses covered by the ombudsman service

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

the standard of service we provide

disagreeing with our initial findings

what can I do if I don't agree with your initial assessment of my case?

Please engage early on - and as fully as possible - with the person working on your case. Don't hold back your facts and arguments for later. The person working on your case will have seen many cases very similar to yours before - and they will have a pretty good idea of how the ombudsman would be likely to view your case.

If you don't agree with the our initial informal view, tell the person working on your case your concerns - setting out your reasons and any new facts and arguments. If you still disagree, once we have responded to your concerns, you can "appeal" by asking for a review and a final decision by an ombudsman.

A final decision by the ombudsman is binding on you - if the consumer accepts it. That's the last stage - so you should make sure you've presented all your arguments and facts to us well before this stage.

Don't wait for the ombudsman's decision and only then send us your lengthy detailed submissions, arguing why we are wrong. You need to have raised all your points beforehand, and we will give you plenty of opportunity to do this.

Because we are a public body - providing a service to the public - we can be "judicially reviewed" by the courts. A judicial review will generally focus on the way in which an ombudsman has arrived at a decision, not on the individual facts and merits of the dispute itself.

Simply disagreeing with the ombudsman is not generally considered grounds for judicial review. You would probably want to get your own legal advice before you began judicial review proceedings.