Consumer complaints about public communications services have risen from around 500 complaints to over 10,000 over the past ten years.
Ombudsman Services, the Ofcom-approved company that handles consumer complaints about public communications companies, resolved 10,331 complaints last year compared to around 500 complaints 10 years ago when the service launched.
The figures are published in the Ombudsman Services’ annual report this week and reveal increasing demand for the independent dispute resolution service.
The service handles complaints for about 650 communications companies and received over 71,000 new contacts during the year from consumers looking for advice on where or how to complain about public communications companies in the first instance. Customer service is the most common cause of a complaint.
The service has introduced new systems to handle an average of 284 new contacts each working day. Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand-Smith said: ‘We have streamlined processes, introducing new ways of working and investing in leading-edge technology to speed up the time it takes to respond to consumer complaints.
‘We resolved 31% of complaints using early resolution and mutually acceptable settlement; this is where the resolution is obvious to us from the beginning and we encourage both sides to accept it – we aim to do this within five days, but often succeed within a few hours.
‘There’s more work coming through, and 90% of complaints are resolved within six weeks.’