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Retail Ombudsman wins Ofcom approval to handle complaints in communications and postal sectors PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 November 2016
The Retail Ombudsman has been authorised by Ofcom to provide a consumer complaints handling service in the communications and postal sectors in the UK.  

The organisation, which has grown in just two years to become the biggest provider of alternative dispute resolution in the retail sector, was given approval following a thorough auditing and vetting procedure by the regulator.

The cost to the company of using the service is just £45 per complaint. The service is free to the consumer.

In the communications sector, this means the Retail Ombudsman will now handle complaints relating to:

Premium rate services
Video on demand
Equipment supplied with communications contracts such as broadband routers and mobile phone handsets Medium, large and corporate billing disputes

In the postal sector, the Retail Ombudsman will handle complaints which include:

Courier services (over £1)
Parcel services (over 350g)
Customer service issues
Damaged or failed deliveries

The Retail Ombudsman will not handle complaints about domestic consumer or micro-business billing or complaints covered under section 52 of the Communications Act 2003.

CISAS or Ombudsman Services: Communications will continue handling unresolved complaints for domestic and micro businesses relating to:

Landline services and billing;
Broadband service and billing;
Mobile phone and broadband provisions
Any disputes regarding the broadcasting content of TV programmes or a complaint about the service of Royal Mail will continue to be regulated and dealt with by Ofcom.

The Retail Ombudsman has a dedicated communications complaints team, based at their HQ in Milton Keynes, Bucks.

In addition to their Ofcom approval, the Retail Ombudsman has approval to operate in the retail sector by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. They are also the largest provider of dispute resolution in the airline sector after the Civil Aviation Authority granted their authority earlier this year.

The Retail Ombudsman’s chief executive Dean Dunham said: “We are delighted by Ofcom’s approval of our ombudsman services. Our model works well across multiple sectors, and is at a fair price, which was set at that level to be realistic for retailers where most transactions are very low in value.

“We quickly realised that the case fee didn’t need to be increased just because the value of a dispute may be higher. This is why £45 is charged now for communications and postal services as well as energy, aviation and retail.

“We look forward to helping consumers and businesses access low cost ADR across the communications and postal sectors.”

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