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information for businesses covered by the ombudsman service

This section answers a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:

how we handle cases

false claims

what is the ombudsman service doing to stop consumers making false claims?

If we decide not to uphold a consumer's complaint, that doesn't automatically mean the consumer behaved fraudulently in complaining - or was being frivolous and vexatious.

A large number of the complaints that we don't uphold might never have arisen if the business had simply made a better job of explaining why it felt it had treated the consumer fairly.

Many people complain because they feel disappointed and let down. Better communication all round would prevent simple misunderstandings escalating into full-blown disputes. We often have to explain to the consumer why the business was right, because the business itself did not explain this properly in the first place.

We know that some consumers may pursue their complaint in an unfocused and unbalanced manner that may make them look unreasonable to the business. But a consumer's failure to present a coherent and reasoned argument does not automatically mean that the case has no merit - or that complaint must be "frivolous and vexatious".