This section answers a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:
how does the ombudsman service know what's going on in the real world?
Every year we handle complaints from consumers about thousands of businesses - from the largest financial services groups to small partnerships and sole traders. This gives us a unique insight into the commercial realities facing businesses of all sizes and profiles.
Our practical experience of tens of thousands of individual disputes gives us an unparalleled insight into what really goes on between businesses and their clients - in all manner of situations and in relation to all types of products and transactions. Situations which may seem unique to an individual business are generally very familiar to us. We will usually have seen the same issue similarly affecting businesses right across the UK.
Of course, the individual details of each case are always "one-off" - which is why we decide each case on its own particular facts and merits. But because we have such a broad picture of what is really going on at grass roots, we are able to see the wider context of issues that you may believe to be specific only to you and your business.
Our technical advice desk (phone 020 7964 1400) takes thousands of calls each year from businesses wanting to discuss a wide variety of complaints-related issues with us - on an informal basis.
We are always keen to meet as many of our customers and stakeholders as possible, and we regularly travel around the UK taking part in trade and industry events. These events - from roadshows and seminars to conferences and exhibitions - enable to us to meet a wide variety of people face-to-face listen to their views and answer their questions.