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

MSE_WillMSE_Will MSE Staff
87 Posts
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MSE Staff
In a major new report, MoneySavingExpert.com is calling on the Government to overhaul the "farcical" ombudsman complaints system. The report was presented to the APPG on Consumer Protection by Martin, on 1 November 2017.

As part of our research, we asked over 1400 people about their experiences using ombudsmen. Thank you to all who took part - your comments and feedback brought to life some of the real issues with the system.

The report, Sharper teeth: the consumer need for ombudsman reform, shows that the ombudsman system is vastly over-complicated, and often leaves consumers thinking using it was a waste of time.

We therefore think key changes are needed to improve the system:
  • All ombudsmen need a statutory basis as a foundation (at the moment, many don't have this)
  • Oversight of ombudsmen must be boosted to make them easier to complain to, quicker at processing complaints, and that work is done to make sure the outcome feels fairer
  • Consumers need to be able to take their complaint to an ombudsman sooner - currently they often need to wait 8 weeks or longer

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Replies

  • Regulators, Government ministers and senior civil servants have encouraged the development of a Brave New World of ombudsmen who, without proper Parliamentary scrutiny or accountability, have decided what, "civil justice" should look like and what, "compensation" should amount to.
    They seem to be guided in all of this by a philosophy of, "light-touch" "self-regulation" which is, unsurprisingly, proving a disaster for consumers but remarkably good for poorly regulated and inefficient businesses.
    Business - thanks to, "arms-length" regulation - is simply passing the cost of their inefficiencies and sharp practices onto the consumer who in desperation turns to ombudsmen only to find they have no teeth and would rather bite them then their business "members."
    Its a rigged market out there in regulation and reform.
    And a perfect example of this is The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
    Rather than enforce their Rules and Regulations, RICS prefer instead to send their self-regulating surveyors to their very own, "appointed" company - Ombudsman Services:Property and their, "appointed" Ombudsman we now know (thanks to Sharper Teeth: The Consumer Need For Ombudsman Reform) leaves 80% of complainants worse off than if they'd never taken their complaint to the Ombudsman in the first place.
    This figure is up from 64% in 2010.
    We hope Martin Lewis' Report will in due course lead to a public inquiry into this particular unaccountable and non-transparent ADR scheme.
    Scheming ombudsmen and the scheming schemes they are left free to run.
  • MSE_WillMSE_Will MSE Staff
    87 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Posts I've been Money Tipped! Newshound!
    MSE Staff
    Thanks for your thoughts ombudsmans61percent and taking the time to read the report. We are campaigning to see the recommendations in the report put into action. It might take a while, but keep an eye on the site and we'll update when there's news.

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