If you provide enough information and evidence for us to fully accept your case, your permission is needed for us to look into the dispute and contact your provider directly. At this point your provider will know you have raised a dispute with us.
Yes. If the provider has not resolved the dispute to your satisfaction, if the issue re-occurs, or if new issues arise, we can still look into your dispute, however any resolution from your provider will be taken in to consideration.
Let your provider know of any problems as soon as possible. The sooner you tell them, the sooner they have the opportunity to put things right. It may also help any further issues from escalating. If after 8 weeks your issue is still unresolved, we can then investigate.
We would not recommend cancelling any direct debits or refusing to pay bills whilst the dispute is under investigation. This is to avoid any further issues developing. For example, default on your credit file.
Our service offers a free alternative to going to court and you do not need to involve a lawyer or legal advisor when bringing your case to us. You are, however, entitled to seek independent advice or be represented or helped by a third party at any stage of the process.
When you accept a resolution we have decided, your provider is obliged to implement it within 28 days. Within that time your Dispute Resolution Executive (DRE) will track progress on the resolution. If it remains outstanding after 28 days, we will contact the provider to understand why and will keep you informed until it has been completed.
We're impartial, so we don't help either side to build their case. However, we can support you through the process if you’re unable or unconfident that you can complete the necessary forms. Contact us and one of our team will be on hand to support you. We encourage consumers to provide as much information (or evidence) as soon as possible, as this will help us to reach a fair decision as quickly as possible.
No. If you don’t receive the outcome you are looking for you can reject our decision and pursue your dispute through other methods, such as through the courts. In a limited number of circumstances you may be able to appeal our decision, if new evidence has come to light since you submitted your dispute or if a material error has been made.
If 28 days have gone by and the resolutions are still outstanding, you need to contact your Dispute Resolution Executive (DRE) and let them know. Your DRE will contact the provider and ensure the resolutions are fully completed. Sign In to your account here.
If your provider can’t do anything else to resolve with your dispute, you may receive a letter or email from them stating this. This is called a ‘deadlock letter’. The letter will tell you that you can now contact the Communications Ombudsman and will include our contact details. You must escalate your dispute within 12 months of receiving the letter.
We only accept disputes about Electronic Communications Services (ECS) and handsets are not considered an ECS. However, some providers have allowed us to look at their disputes about handsets. It depends on who your provider is as to whether we can accept your dispute.
We can’t look at any disputes relating to Netflix, Amazon Prime or any other streaming TV services. Television is not an electronic communications service and so we only deal with TV disputes for those companies who have allowed us to look at these.
When your case was created during the call to our dispute support team, you were provided with a passcode to access your account. As an example, it should look like the following: CM123456-22
Passcodes are typically only required for cases when our dispute support team created the account for you. If you created the account yourself through the website, you shouldn't require a passcode. Passcodes needed for account verification are not provided by email.
The Communications Ombudsman is committed to making our services accessible to everyone. We have a variety of options available, including documents in alternative formats such as large print, coloured paper, audio and Braille. We also facilitate sign language interpretation. Read more about Accessibility.
If you’d like to complain on behalf of someone else, this option is available by continuing through our online process as expected.
If you're not able to access certain areas of your online account or are unable to complete required actions, such as uploading evidence, please contact us by phone, or you can send any copies of evidence by post. You can find our contact details and report a System Issue here.
An ombudsman is someone who investigates and aims to resolve disputes between customers and businesses. They typically work with these businesses to help improve the way their services are delivered, and future issues are handled - to improve long term customer service.
Ombudsman Services were a not-for-profit organisation established in 2002. They provided independent dispute resolution across the Energy, Communications and Private Parking sectors in the UK. In 2022, they branched into The Energy Ombudsman, The Communications Ombudsman and POPLA, as part of the Trust Alliance Group.
We are funded by the providers signed up to our scheme. They pay us a fee for each case we review regardless of the outcome or decision we make. This means that the more issues providers resolve in-house, the less they have to pay to us, which is an incentive to improve their customer service.
We are governed by a number of main bodies who oversee our work to ensure we remain impartial and everything we do complies with the latest standards. Click here to find out who approves and appoints our scheme.
We resolve disputes between consumers or small businesses and communications providers that are signed up to our scheme. We are here to give free, independent and impartial decisions and resolutions on disputes based on the information provided.