Ombudsman Service in the UK

The Ombudsman Service is a service that provides dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property and copyright licensing industries.

Ombudsman Services was founded in 2002 to provide independent dispute resolution. We provide an independent, impartial and cost effective means of resolving disputes outside the courts.

They are experts in dispute resolution; there to sort out complaints about the companies which you use.

Ombudsman Services operate under appropriate legislation and regulatory authority, and their governance ensures that they are independent. The Chief Executive/Chief Ombudsman is Mr Lewis Shand Smith. Ombudsman Services employ 428 case handlers, approximately 85% of whom are employed on a full time basis and 15% of whom are employed on a fixed term contract basis. Case handlers are appointed upon successful completion of an interview and a skills based selection test.

They are a not for profit private company.

The Ombudsman Service can help you with issues surounding:

Not-for profit

The Ombudsman Service Ltd is a company limited by guarantee; a not-for-profit organisation. This means that Ombudsman Services has no shareholders and does not pay dividends. It can make a surplus but with no dividends to distribute, this surplus is used for two specific purposes. The first is to provide sufficient reserves to ensure the company can continue operating against a background of variability of income. The second use is to invest back into the business to further its aims of independent redress.

Funding

The Ombudsman Service business model is responsive, sustainable and provides value for money. There is no cost to the public purse. They are funded by those whose complaints we handle through a combination of subscription and case fees.

The case fee is a charge to consider a complaint – its payment is not dependent on outcome. This means that the more complaints companies resolve in-house, the less they pay; this provides an incentive for them to improve their customer service.

The service is free to use for consumers.

For information about the way they are funded by the companies they handle complaints about click here to visit their website page on costs.

More information on finances can be found in their annual reports click here

Quick guide to the Ombudsman Service

Download a quick guide to using Ombudsman Services – About Ombudsman Services click here.

Download a large print plain text version click here.