British Association of Removers Alternative Dispute Resolution service
Advice & support
From 1st April 2018, all customer complaints made against a BAR Member will be handled exclusively by the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman (FHIO), who is a qualified, independent and approved Consumer ADR body under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015. BAR continues to regulate its Members in line with its Membership Criteria and CTSI Approved Code of Practice.
When can we help
FHIO can only consider a dispute with a BAR member if you have already been through the trader's internal complaints procedure, and they were a BAR member at the time when the service was delivered. You must refer the matter to the BAR 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 viewpoint letter, 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. You can check if your removals and storage company is a BAR member here. 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.
Telling the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman about your dispute
You can ring FHIO’s friendly Consumer and Member Services team on 0333 241 3209 to find out how our process works. Alternatively, you can fill out an application form and send it back directly to FHIO (you can do this by post or e-mail). If you would prefer to choose a friend or relative to handle your complaint for you, we are happy to make the appropriate arrangements, and you can tell us about this in your application form.
What can you expect from the Furniture & 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 the Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman’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 FHIOand BAR.
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. You can read the Ombudsman's full consumer guide for customer of BAR members here.
For immediate urgent advice, or if you have any queries regarding this process, please call the BAR Consumer Affairs Team on 01923 699 486 or by filling out the contact form on our page.