This is what happens to your complaint when you decide to bring it to our office. If you have any questions about any part of this process, or if you’re not sure whether we can look at your complaint, please feel free to contact us.
Step 1 You complain to us
Once you have gone through the organisation's complaints procedure you can then ask us if we can look at your complaint. You can do this by filling out our complaints form. Please also send us copies of any relevant paperwork, in particular the final response you received from the organisation.
Step 2 First checks
When we get your complaint we will make some checks to confirm:
- it is about a subject and organisation we can look at
- it has gone through the right complaints procedure
- it has arrived at our office within 12 months of when the issues in your complaint happened
- it has enough detail and paperwork for us to get to work on it
Step 3 Complaint investigation
If we think we can look at your complaint, one of our complaints reviewers will then contact you. They will talk to you about the wording of your complaint, and will you will both agree on the issues that will be looked into. They will collect information from both yourself and the organisation you have complained about in order to reach their final decision on the complaint. They will keep your complaint private and will only tell the people who need to know about it.
Step 4 Decision
Before we make our final decision on your complaint, we will either send you and the organisation our provisional decision or share a draft of our public investigation report. This is your opportunity to tell us if we have relied on inaccurate information, or if you have new information that you think changes our provisional views. We will make a final decision taking into account any comments. We're likely to publish information about it, but this won't include your name.
If you are unhappy with our decision there are very specific circumstances where you can request a review. The Ombudsman generally looks at all review requests. She will only change a decision if you:
• send new information, and/or
• demonstrate information we used was wrong, and/or
• demonstrate we made a mistake
• it has an impact on the original decision.
She will not change a decision simply because you disagree with it.