What does “all reasonable steps” mean?

What does “all reasonable steps” mean?

We are likely to be satisfied that the service provider took ‘all reasonable steps’ under their own complaints procedure if the provider dealt with the complaint ‘fairly’.

This means:

  • The provider’s in-house complaints procedure adhered to accepted best practice in complaints handling (it is useful here to examine the extent to which the service provider complied with the guidance issued by their own Approved Regulator or broader Ombudsman guidance);
  • there were no unreasonable delays on the part of the provider in dealing with the complaint;
  • the complainant was kept informed;
  • the provider gathered and considered relevant information;
  • the provider made their client aware that in the event that they remained unsatisfied the Legal Ombudsman was available to resolve the matter;
  • the provider ‘s response to the complaint was clear, understandable and sought to address the complainant’s individual situation. It should also adopt an objective and appropriate tone no matter the manner of the complaint;
  • the provider openly accepted any failure in their service and offered a reasonable remedy for any disadvantage caused to the complainant. So, for example, we may also consider the tone in which any apology was framed or the level of compensation offered.