MSE News: Retail ombudsman service launches today

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Consumer Rights
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Former_MSE_PalomaFormer_MSE_Paloma
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Consumer Rights
"The Retail Ombudsman scheme has launched today that aims to settle unresolved disputes between shoppers and retailers ..."
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Retail ombudsman service launches today

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  • edited 3 January 2015 at 12:58AM
    ConsumerGuy0016ConsumerGuy0016 Forumite
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    edited 3 January 2015 at 12:58AM
    "The service is similar to other ombudsman services, however, unlike other such organisations, when a customer lodges their complaint with TRO, they are bound by its decision so a retailer or customer cannot take any further legal action if they are not satisfied with the outcome."

    Due to the above, I don't foresee the Retail Ombudsman service being a massive success.

    Added to the fact that "It's a voluntary scheme, however, and its decisions are only binding for member retailers, which pay between £100 and £2,600 annually depending on the size and type of business."

    The maximum amount is hardly that much - I can't see this Ombudsman service being that well staffed, or having staff who have the relevant expertise to deal with complaints (especially if they are then blocking people from going to court if they are unhappy with the claim).
  • unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    "The service is similar to other ombudsman services, however, unlike other such organisations, when a customer lodges their complaint with TRO, they are bound by its decision so a retailer or customer cannot take any further legal action if they are not satisfied with the outcome."

    I presume that doesnt come from MSE's article? Where was that from?

    Just asking as MSE's states:
    If a complainant does not agree with the ombudsman's decision, they can appeal the finding via the service's appeals process or they can choose to pursue the matter using the court system
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means - Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
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  • edited 2 January 2015 at 7:04PM
    wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    edited 2 January 2015 at 7:04PM
    I presume that doesnt come from MSE's article? Where was that from?

    Just asking as MSE's states:
    If a complainant does not agree with the ombudsman's decision, they can appeal the finding via the service's appeals process or they can choose to pursue the matter using the court system

    The Ombudsman's latest press release says:
    If the consumer doesn’t win, can they go to court afterwards?

    When the consumer lodges their complaint with The Retail Ombudsman they agree i) to be bound by the determination of the Ombudsman and ii) that it is a ‘final’ determination, meaning that they cannot then pursue the matter through the courts. However, there is an internal appeal system where either the retailer or consumer believes that Ombudsman decision is wrong in ‘law’ and in these circumstances the appeal would be dealt with on paper by an external barrister.
    Which does appear to be different to MSE's view.
  • edited 2 January 2015 at 7:18PM
    unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    edited 2 January 2015 at 7:18PM
    wealdroam wrote: »
    The Ombudsman's latest press release says:

    Which does appear to be different to MSE's view.

    What the heck is the point of them then. Regulators while familiar with the law are not usually versed in interpreting law like the courts are.

    I guess time will tell whether they work or not!

    I also wonder if it would hold up in court. Theres just something fundamentally wrong imo with a retailer funded ombudsman having the final say - over and above all courts.
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means - Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
  • edited 2 January 2015 at 7:32PM
    wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    edited 2 January 2015 at 7:32PM
    Interesting to see from that very same press release:
    The Retail Ombudsman is a trading name of Retail Arbitration Service Limited which is a limited by guarantee company. Company No. 09189773

    Now I don't pretend to understand all about ombudsmen, but it appears to me that anyone, say Dean Dunham, has set up a limited liability company to exploit a gap in the market.
    It appears that they are charging companies to be 'members', and also charging those same companies £45 for every complaint they investigate.

    I really thought this ombudsman craze was slightly more official than that, but perhaps I am too naive.

    Also surprised to see on their contact us page:
    Media enquiries:

    For all press and media enquiries, contact:

    Neville Thurlbeck - Director of Communications

    n.th****[email protected]
    Really?
    Their Director of Communications using a hotmail email address?

    On that same page they publish their phone number.
    Should this sort of organisation be using an 0845 phone number?
    I thought that recent legislation changes altered that, but I may be wrong.
  • I presume that doesnt come from MSE's article? Where was that from?

    Just asking as MSE's states:

    I copied and pasted directly from the MSE article.

    Just read the article again and it seems that it has been edited, and the exact opposite has been written.

    MSE Paloma - care to expand on this change to the article?
  • unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    I thought the same thing about the email address and phone number. Not very government official.

    If you want to go right to conspiracy theories, one could also suggest that perhaps more consumers are enforcing their rights which in turn is costing businesses more so some mogul has had the bright idea of setting up a "regulator" who will do it on the cheap for £45 and also try to bind consumers to not going to court - which is a sticking point for the government at the moment and the reason the tories want to leave the EU - because they want UK courts to have the final say on matters. The same EU that is largely responsible for the consumer rights we have - not to mention others.

    Okay sorry, I've been playing with the kids all day and still have my silly head on.

    But yes, I agree it doesnt look official.
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means - Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride
  • wealdroam wrote: »
    Really?
    Their Director of Communications using a hotmail email address?

    On that same page they publish their phone number.
    Should this sort of organisation be using an 0845 phone number?
    I thought that recent legislation changes altered that, but I may be wrong.

    The hotmail thing was funny, I have to admit. Stranger though was seeing the name Neville Thurlbeck - wasn't this the fella who went to jail in the Phone hacking scandal?

    Could be a different guy, but a very distinctive name to just be a coincidence.
  • wealdroamwealdroam Forumite
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    Stranger though was seeing the name Neville Thurlbeck - wasn't this the fella who went to jail in the Phone hacking scandal?

    Seems so:
    ;)
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