It is often difficult to get your voice heard when you are treated poorly by a large organisation. After complaining directly and failing to get a result there are a number of different places you can go to where you can get help. The details of these are listed below.
If you feel you have still been left out in the cold or if you feel you are due remuneration for your losses but do not wish to go to court you may wish to seek alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This is the practice of hiring a solicitor to negotiate an out of court settlement and may be faster than going through court.
Choose Your Ombudsman
If your complaint is about something managed by the council you can complain to the “local government ombudsman”. The local government ombudsman will take complaints regarding education, housing benefit, antisocial behaviour, and any other council related issues.
Police complaints are dealt with by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The IPCC will hear serious allegations, such as allegations of corruption or racism involving their officers.
If your complaint is about the press you can contact the Press Complaints Commission. The PCC handle issues including breaches of the editor’s code of practice. The code is available on full on the PCC website. The press complaints commission can help you to have an article retracted and an apology published.
If your complaint is about legal services you can contact the Legal Ombudsman, who will handle complaints about a number of different legal professionals in various areas of the law, from licensed conveyancers and legal executives to barristers and solicitors.
About Solicitor Complaints
With the wide range of services available, help is never far away. However, the process can be lengthy and confusing, and it can help to have the assistance of someone who understands the system and is able to broker a deal on your behalf directly with the other party involved.
If you are having trouble then it may be advisable to find a solicitor to help you. This will likely involve some level of mediation since it is cheaper for all concerned if the matter can be settled out of court if at all possible.
Other Complaint Institutions
There are a number of other complaint institutions in the UK, set up to help you make a complaint and deal with issues in more specific areas that might be bringing you dissatisfaction.
If your complaint is about financial services you can contact the Financial Ombudsman who will handle complaints about your bank or insurance firm.
If you need to complain about gas or electric services you can contact the Energy Ombudsman.
If you need to complain about telephone services you can contact Ofcom, if you are getting unwanted calls you can sign up for the Telephone Preference Service.
If you need to complain about water or sewage problems you should contact Ofwat.
If you have a consumer complaint or you feel your consumer rights have been violated, you should contact the Office For Trading Standards.
If you have a complaint about advertising you can speak to the Advertising Standards Authority.
If you have a complaint about schools you should contact Ofsted.
Complaining is often seen as a very “British” thing to do, but when you have been wronged as a consumer or as a person, you shouldn’t hesitate to make a complaint to the relevant authority.