How will we assess your complaint?
Our job is to collect information and evidence. We will contact the business and ask them to respond to your complaint – giving their side of the story.
We will then weigh up the evidence provided, taking into consideration the rights and duties set out in law and what is fair, reasonable and practical. We may need more information either from you or the business or both of you; and we’ll ask for that.
We aim to keep you regularly updated on how things are going. If there are delays – we will let you know (for example, some information is proving difficult to get, or a person we need to speak to is on leave).
The outcome of our investigation will depend on the evidence and information that has been provided. To allow us to fully investigate your complaint, we ask that you provide evidence to support your case.
We will take account of relevant consumer legislation, together with the requirements of our Code of Practice for businesses registered with the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman. Like the courts, we will award compensation where appropriate. However, unlike the courts of law, we have no power to cross-examine witnesses under oath. We will always ensure we arrive at a decision based on what appears to be fair and reasonable in the circumstances. Our remedies may be different to those determined by the courts applying legal rules.
The Ombudsman is entitled but not obliged to disclose to either party such information, documents and other materials as shall have been obtained from the other. We won’t disclose information if a valid reason to not make such a disclosure is known (such as sensitive information or where disclosure would be in breach of the law). We will always make such a disclosure where we are required to do so by law.
Parties wishing to see information, documents and other materials obtained from the other party should make their request known to the Ombudsman who will respond as appropriate on a case by case basis giving the parties a reasonable chance to respond to this. If a request for information is directly relevant to or advances a case it is our policy to share this information as a matter of course.