When to refer a service complaint to my office

Before I can review any concerns you have with the Ombudsman Service, you’ll have to first complete their internal complaints process. The Ombudsman Service will give you referral rights to contact my office, after it has reviewed your service complaint.

Once you have received a senior manager’s response, you’ll have three months to bring it to my attention. This time limit cannot, under any circumstances, be extended as per my Terms of Reference.

In most cases I carry out my investigation after a case has been concluded and closed. This is because a service complaint and the case against the financial business are two separates processes. And I believe it is more efficient to review a service complaint once the case is closed, so that I can look at the entire case journey. However, customers should still get in touch with my office within the three months of the senior manager’s response to make us aware of their intention to complain.

Once your case is closed, I aim to review service complaints as quickly as possible. I expect you to be able to tell us your complaint in full at this point.

There are occasions when I may need to share some of the information about your service complaint with the Service. This is so they can provide me with an accurate response to the points you raise or status of your case, leaving no margin for errors or assumption.

How to set out your service complaint

Service complaints should be made in writing only.

You can simply explain what you’re unhappy with and how you’d like me to resolve it. If you prefer, you can list your concerns in bullet points. My caseworkers will let you know if there’s anything that falls outside my remit or may be inappropriate for me to review.

When writing to me please remember:

  • To include your Ombudsman Service’s case reference number
  • You do not need to provide any evidence or additional paperwork. I will go through the whole case file and all the Ombudsman Service's records to investigate your complaint.
        • If I find that I need any further information from you, my office will be in touch.
        • My office will be returning any large bundles of information that we don’t see necessary for my investigation.