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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Paloma
    • By Former MSE Paloma 2nd Jan 15, 4:03 PM
    • 526Posts
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    Former MSE Paloma
    MSE News: Retail ombudsman service launches today
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 15, 4:03 PM
    MSE News: Retail ombudsman service launches today 2nd Jan 15 at 4:03 PM
    "The Retail Ombudsman scheme has launched today that aims to settle unresolved disputes between shoppers and retailers ..."

    Read the full story:

    Retail ombudsman service launches today




    Click reply below to discuss. If you havenít already, join the forum to reply. If you arenít sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

Page 1
    • ConsumerGuy0016
    • By ConsumerGuy0016 2nd Jan 15, 4:17 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    ConsumerGuy0016
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 15, 4:17 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 15, 4:17 PM
    "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).
    Last edited by ConsumerGuy0016; 02-01-2015 at 11:58 PM.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 2nd Jan 15, 5:38 PM
    • 14,345 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 15, 5:38 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 15, 5:38 PM
    "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."
    Originally posted by ConsumerGuy0016
    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
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Crabman
    • By Crabman 2nd Jan 15, 5:51 PM
    • 9,741 Posts
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    Crabman
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 15, 5:51 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 15, 5:51 PM
    Their online complaints form is not encrypted...
    I'm a Board Guide on the Savings & Investments, ISAs & Tax-free Savings, Public Transport & Cycling, Motoring and Parking Fines, Tickets & Parking Boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board Guides are not moderators & don't read every post. If you spot a contentious or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com

    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 2nd Jan 15, 5:54 PM
    • 18,664 Posts
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    wealdroam
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 15, 5:54 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 15, 5:54 PM
    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
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    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.
    Last edited by wealdroam; 02-01-2015 at 6:04 PM.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 2nd Jan 15, 6:14 PM
    • 14,345 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 15, 6:14 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 15, 6:14 PM
    The Ombudsman's latest press release says:

    Which does appear to be different to MSE's view.
    Originally posted by wealdroam
    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.
    Last edited by unholyangel; 02-01-2015 at 6:18 PM.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 2nd Jan 15, 6:28 PM
    • 18,664 Posts
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    wealdroam
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 15, 6:28 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 15, 6:28 PM
    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****eck@hotmail.com
    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.
    Last edited by wealdroam; 02-01-2015 at 6:32 PM.
    • ConsumerGuy0016
    • By ConsumerGuy0016 2nd Jan 15, 6:32 PM
    • 226 Posts
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    ConsumerGuy0016
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 15, 6:32 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 15, 6:32 PM
    I presume that doesnt come from MSE's article? Where was that from?

    Just asking as MSE's states:
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    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?
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 2nd Jan 15, 6:36 PM
    • 14,345 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #9
    • 2nd Jan 15, 6:36 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Jan 15, 6:36 PM
    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.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • ConsumerGuy0016
    • By ConsumerGuy0016 2nd Jan 15, 6:38 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    ConsumerGuy0016
    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.
    Originally posted by wealdroam
    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.
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 2nd Jan 15, 6:45 PM
    • 18,664 Posts
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    wealdroam
    Stranger though was seeing the name Neville Thurlbeck - wasn't this the fella who went to jail in the Phone hacking scandal?
    Originally posted by ConsumerGuy0016
    Seems so:

    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 2nd Jan 15, 6:52 PM
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    unholyangel
    Ah you've got me digging now.

    The registered director of Retail ADR LTD (who own the website) has been director of 17 companies - 7 of which he has resigned from and 10 are current/dissolved.

    Including, homepride ltd, q day nursersies ltd, debello law ltd, kinderstart day nurseries ltd, touchstone sports management ltd.....in fact on looking at the list, theres too many to type. A quick look suggests 5 are still active.

    He is a solicitor....registered at (address might be familiar):
    Debello Law Limited
    33rd Floor Euston Tower,
    286 Euston Road,
    London,
    NW1 3DP
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 2nd Jan 15, 7:01 PM
    • 18,664 Posts
    • 15,599 Thanks
    wealdroam
    He is a solicitor...
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    He is a barrister now:

    According to N Thurlbeck
    • ConsumerGuy0016
    • By ConsumerGuy0016 2nd Jan 15, 7:10 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    ConsumerGuy0016
    He is a barrister now:

    According to N Thurlbeck
    Originally posted by wealdroam
    And a tweet from them https://twitter.com/RetailOmbudsman/status/551069320579936256 stating

    Another highly informative piece on the new Retail Ombudsman by @MoneySavingExp http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/shopping/2015/01/retail-ombudsman-service-launches-today

    - from 2 hours ago.

    So basically they got into touch with MSE so the latter could write them an article. As soon as I posted my first post on the thread, MSE Paloma subsequently completely changed the wording of the article so it appeared more favourable for the Retail Ombudsman.

    Something fishy going on here.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 2nd Jan 15, 7:27 PM
    • 14,345 Posts
    • 11,479 Thanks
    unholyangel
    I'm curious why a supposedly pro consumer guy would want to bind the consumer to a decision made by a body who's sole existence/usefulness relies on retailers signing up.

    Unless they're hoping that ADR becomes mandatory
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • ConsumerGuy0016
    • By ConsumerGuy0016 2nd Jan 15, 7:43 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 110 Thanks
    ConsumerGuy0016
    On the website, under the heading of 'Benefits to Joining'

    "Customers who will not take no for an answer

    Many people turn to the Internet in times of dispute to find out what their rights are. This poses a significant problem for the retail sector as a large proportion of these consumers find the wrong answer online. Armed with this information, they pursue their complaint via your customer services team and refuse to accept that they are wrong.

    In these circumstances, TRO can be a valuable ally to retailers. Consumers are therefore far more likely to accept that they are wrong if they are informed of this by an independent ombudsman scheme."

    Probably a direct reference to MSE, especially given that The Retail Ombudsman have made 12 tweets since they created a twitter account and one of those tweets is to MSE.

    Wonder if MSE and TRO have partnered in this venture?
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 2nd Jan 15, 11:06 PM
    • 17,905 Posts
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    hollydays
    One of the companies they list- is " mamma and papas".
    Do they mean mammas and pappas ?!
    Amateurish much..
    Last edited by hollydays; 02-01-2015 at 11:18 PM.
    • mije1983
    • By mije1983 2nd Jan 15, 11:26 PM
    • 3,576 Posts
    • 20,325 Thanks
    mije1983
    One of the companies they list- is " mamma and papas".
    Do they mean mammas and pappas ?!
    Amateurish much..
    Originally posted by hollydays
    Or even 'Mamas & Papas'

    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 2nd Jan 15, 11:33 PM
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    • 14,020 Thanks
    hollydays
    Or even 'Mamas & Papas'
    Originally posted by mije1983
    Thanks😄 I re edited that the wrong way round
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 2nd Jan 15, 11:33 PM
    • 17,905 Posts
    • 14,020 Thanks
    hollydays
    Mse paloma has worked for david rice media and mirror trinity group
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