This section answers a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:
how do I complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service?
It's important that the business or company you think is responsible for a problem should have the chance to look into any complaint – before the ombudsman steps in. Many complaints are caused by misunderstandings that the business can quickly put right, once you explain the problem.
Monday to Friday – 8am to 8pm
Saturday – 9am to 1pm
we'll be happy to phone you back
It's frustrating when things go wrong in life – whether its deliveries that aren't made on time, the repairman not turning up, or a direct debit going wrong.
Consumer research shows that following these steps can help get problems sorted out more quickly:
If you're not sure who to complain to at the business or company involved, get in touch with us. We will contact the right person there for you, telling them that you have a complaint they need to look into.
No. By law, businesses covered by the ombudsman have to handle complaints according to rules set out by the regulator. So you shouldn't need any special help or support if you complain.
The ombudsman service is a free and informal alternative to going to court. We decide if the business has handled your complaint fairly by looking at the facts of the case – not at how well you present your complaint. And we prefer to hear from you in your own words.
But everyone has the right to appoint someone else to act on their behalf. Some consumers might ask their local Citizens Advice Bureau, or a friend, carer or relative, to help them with their complaint.
If, on the other hand, you decide to employ someone to present your case for you – for example, a lawyer or financial adviser – you will almost certainly have to pay their costs yourself. This could mean you have to pay them part of any compensation you get.
Some consumers choose to use commercial claims-management companies that charge for their services. Claims managers have to be authorised – so before you deal with any business offering to handle a complaint on your behalf, check them out on the official website.
There is no difference in the outcome of complaints – whether consumers bring them to us themselves, or pay a claims manager to complain on their behalf.
Stop nuisance calls and texts from companies trying to sell their services – by following the advice from consumer group Which?