An ombudsman takes a fresh look at the complaint in light of what the investigator recommends as a fair answer to the complaint and may reach a different view of what is appropriate to resolve the complaint.
If we think that the service was poor and something needs to be put right, the ombudsman can order the service provider to do any of the following things:
- Give back any documents that might be needed
- Put things right, if more work can correct what went wrong
- Refund or reduce the legal fees
- Pay compensation if someone has lost out or been badly treated (most of our orders for compensation are for less than £500 but we can order up to £50,000).
After an ombudsman has made a decision, we will ask if it is accepted. If it is accepted, then the service provider must do what it says, and the complaint is then treated as closed. This means the same complaint cannot be looked at again. Accepting an ombudsman’s decision also stops any other claim in relation to the complaint.
If the decision is rejected or we have no response, then the service provider is not obliged to comply with the decision. In these circumstances, the case will be closed without further action.
Once a final decision has been made our investigation of the complaint is over.