MSE News: MSE tells MPs of need for urgent reform to ombudsman ‘farce’

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Consumer Rights
33 replies 4.4K views
Former_MSE_Megan_FFormer_MSE_Megan_F Former MSE
418 Posts
Newshound!
✭✭
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Consumer Rights
MoneySavingExpert.com is calling on the Government to overhaul the 'farcical' ombudsman complaints route in a damning report, which found some consumers feel escalating concerns is a 'complete waste of time'...
Read the full story:
'MSE tells MPs of need for urgent reform to ombudsman ‘farce’'
OfficialStamp.gif
Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
Read the latest MSE News
Flag up a news story: [email protected]
Get the Free Martin's Money Tips E-mail
«134

Replies

  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
    7.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    I'd be very interested to learn a little more about the MSE survey - for example, which were the Ombudsmen that did well, and which did badly?

    I've used one or two over the years, and by and large I've considered them to deal with complaints fairly, whether or not they accepted the complaint.

    The one glaring exception was the Local Government Ombudsman, which I've referred cases to twice, and on each occasion felt that they were wholly biased in favour of the local authority.
  • edited 1 November 2017 at 10:33AM
    hollydayshollydays Forumite
    19.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 1 November 2017 at 10:33AM
    Interesting to read here that the so called “ Retail Ombudsman” TRO aka Dean Dunham resigned while the report was taking place.


    “In July 2017 The Retail Ombudsman resigned from the Ombudsman Association (OA), a trade association for ombudsmen in the UK, rather than complete the OA's revalidation process [7]. UK company law requires a company using the "Ombudsman" title to be a member of the Ombudsman Association.[8] The Retail Ombudsman therefore lost the right to use the privileged title and is no longer an ombudsman.”

    That wiki page seems to be being re written as we speak
  • edited 1 November 2017 at 10:51AM
    hollydayshollydays Forumite
    19.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 1 November 2017 at 10:51AM
    Also more quotes here
    http://www.thecomplainingcow.co.uk/the-retail-ombudsman-is-no-more/

    “Williamson – who co-authored the June 2016 report Ombudsman Omnishambles with
    Helen Dewdney – suggested that TRO’s management had made a number of fundamental
    errors of judgement in its 2 1/2 years of operation. This included, he noted,
    employing a convicted criminal as its communications director and having as
    ombudsman an individual who had breached the Companies Act on multiple occasions.
    Williamson believes that OA and CTSI should insist on a “fit and proper person”
    test prior to allowing any individual to take on an ombudsman role.


    “Neville Thurlbeck was given a six-month prison sentence in July 2014 for conspiracy to hack phone voicemails, including the voicemail of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler. He is described on the website of The Retail Ombudsman as being one of its “Executive Team” and as its “Director of Communications”:
  • edited 1 November 2017 at 12:09PM
    HellfireanddamnationHellfireanddamnation Forumite
    6 Posts
    edited 1 November 2017 at 12:09PM
    There are a lot more issues with ombudsmen than shown in this MSE report. Search on Google for another report from June 2016 called 'Ombudsman Omnishambles' that goes into more detail and offers possible solutions...
  • keirankeiran Forumite
    655 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    ✭✭
    I'm very surprised that the majority of respondents thought that the only ombudsman who was fair was the Energy Ombudsman. My experience has been that this is the most inept ombudsman, created by and entirely biased towards the power companies.
  • JuicyJesusJuicyJesus Forumite
    3.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    I'd be sceptical of the 61% who thought the Ombudsmen were "biased against them" - more likely, they just did not like the decision of the ombudsman service concerned. We've seen it plenty of times on this forum where people have complained to FOS or similar and considered a perfectly reasonable decision "biased", or misunderstand the point of an ombudsman entirely and think that it exists solely to represent consumers against businesses (rather than being an independent mediator).
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • martinsurreymartinsurrey Forumite
    3.4K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    JuicyJesus wrote: »
    I'd be sceptical of the 61% who thought the Ombudsmen were "biased against them" - more likely, they just did not like the decision of the ombudsman service concerned. We've seen it plenty of times on this forum where people have complained to FOS or similar and considered a perfectly reasonable decision "biased", or misunderstand the point of an ombudsman entirely and think that it exists solely to represent consumers against businesses (rather than being an independent mediator).

    yeah.

    In other news, 75% of people who were defendants in criminal cases thought the judge was clearly biased against them (strangely about 75% are found guilty...), so clearly we need to revamp the criminal justice system!

    MSE has used a poor survey to highlight a valid point.
  • Who are the government interested in helping, everyday consumers or big business? They're not going to do anything that impacts on their mates profits, or the value of their own investments.
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
    19.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    There are a lot more issues with ombudsmen than shown in this MSE report. Search on Google for another report from June 2016 called 'Ombudsman Omnishambles' that goes into more detail and offers possible solutions...

    There was a link and a direct reference to that in my above post
  • codgercodger Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    keiran wrote: »
    I'm very surprised that the majority of respondents thought that the only ombudsman who was fair was the Energy Ombudsman. My experience has been that this is the most inept ombudsman, created by and entirely biased towards the power companies.

    Our experience of The Energy Ombudsman Service is that either it was deliberately set up to be toothless or it tells porkies so as not to offend the energy supply companies.

    Having been harassed, threatened, and wilfully messed around by a supplier we were leaving, but who claimed we owed it a large sum of money (it actually owed us) the Energy Ombudsman advised us as follows:

    (1) We do not exist to consider harassment / threats / what might appear to be sustained and deliberate misconduct by a UK energy supplier;

    (2) We exist only to act as a fair-play adjudicator, keen to reach an amicable all-round resolution in which everybody's nice to each other;

    (c) We have no power to impose financial penalties consistent with the scale of the harassment / threats/ distress caused by a supplier because really, you need to go at your own expense to a civil court to seek that;

    (d) What we can do is require the supplier to put a situation to rights and if necessary, make what it will describe as "a goodwill payment". This will usually be not more than £30, whether your life has been made sheer hell by that supplier, or not;

    (e) If you do not accept the decision of the Energy Ombudsman and the 'goodwill payment' offered and go to civil court instead, your unco-operative decision will be taken into account by the court;

    (f) We have no authority to strip an energy supplier of its operating licence so please don't ask us to do that.

    In summary then: the Energy Ombudsman service exists to maintain a happy-clappy relationship with UK energy suppliers no matter how rogue those suppliers may be. Any censure it makes of a supplier will be polite, feeble, and -- as far as the supplier is concerned -- meaningless. The consumer must consider herself / himself very lucky to even get £30 in a goodwill payment.

    Basically, then: you're on your own, sunshine, if you're seriously stuffed by a bunch of energy supply fraudsters. We can't do anything about it and we don't intend to, either. Take the measly thirty quid, shut up, and go away.

    Don't suppose MSE submitted that to whichever meaningless bunch of MPs is involved here? :(
This discussion has been closed.
Latest News and Guides