From 1st March 2020, all customer complaints made against an AIM Member will be handled exclusively by the Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman (FHIO).
FHIO is independent and an approved Consumer ADR body under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015. AIM continues to regulate its Members in line with its Membership Criteria.
When can we help
FHIO can only consider a dispute with a member of AIM if you have already been through the trader's internal complaints procedure. They also must have been an AIM Member at the time the service was delivered and must remain an AIM Member at the present time.
You must refer the matter to the AIM Member in the first instance and no later than 12 months after your move took place. If you are unable to agree a satisfactory resolution with the trader and they have issued their final response, or 8 weeks have elapsed since the date you raised your complaint with them (whichever is the sooner), you can bring a case to FHIO. Please note that we cannot consider a dispute if it has already been though court proceedings.
How to complain to your trader
Contact the business in writing, if possible, (recommend recorded delivery) or email, making clear the following:
- What you believe the trader has not done as per the contract/quote
- What you would like them to do to resolve the issue
- You can expect a reply from the business within three working days since receipt of your complaint.
Raising your dispute with the Furniture and Home Improvement Ombudsman
If you have your final response from the trader or 8 weeks have passed since your initial complaint, you can raise your dispute with FHIO.
The fastest and most efficient way of doing this is online, via our secure portal – Click Here
You can also ring FHIO’s Consumer and Member Services team on 0333 241 3209 to discuss alternative methods of raising your dispute and obtain further information about our service.
What can you expect from the Furniture Ombudsman and Home Improvement Ombudsman?
Your claim will be assessed on an impartial basis and the service is free of charge. Your claim will be investigated by one of FHIO’s team members who collectively hold legal and professional qualifications in Alternative Dispute Resolution and have between them amassed several years of experience in law and resolving complex consumer disputes. Independence and impartiality are at the heart of the scheme and the values to which the Ombudsman adheres are of utmost importance to everyone at FHIO and AIM.
Does the trader have to do what the Ombudsman says?
Yes. If the Ombudsman makes an award in the consumer's favour, it is binding on the trader. If the award is accepted by the consumer, it becomes a full and final settlement. You are therefore prevented from making any further claims for compensation against the trader in relation to this complaint.