The Ombudsman shall only consider, or continue to consider, a complaint if he is satisfied that:
- a. the complaint is made against a Member or an entity that agrees to be bound by TRO’s Terms of Reference and Rules in relation to the particular complaint;
- b. the complaint is made to him by or on behalf of the living persons who is or may be entitled to make a complaint;
- c. the Internal Complaints Procedure of the Member has been exhausted, but the Complainant remains dissatisfied with any observations made, or conditions of full and final settlement offered by such Member; or more than eight weeks have elapsed since the Complainant first made the complaint to the Member in writing. If the Member ignores the complaint made or persistently fails to address the complaint, the Complainant may ask the Ombudsman to intervene even if eight weeks have not elapsed;
- d. the subject matter of the complaint was not contained in a complaint form, or on behalf of, the same Complainant previously considered by the Ombudsman. However the Ombudsman may reconsider complaints previously considered if relevant new evidence is available and no Award has been accepted and paid in full and final settlement;
- e. the Ombudsman may, in the instances set out in Paragraph 13 of the Membership Rules, not investigate a complaint or may discontinue an investigation. Notwithstanding these instances he may still consider any complaint put to him provided that:
- there is no other relevant independent body for the conciliation, arbitration or adjudication of complaints in relation to the matter; and
- he feels that it is in his competence to do so; and
- both the Complainant and the Member so agree;
- where the amount claimed by the Complainant exceeds the monetary limit defined in b above the Ombudsman will advise the Complainant of that limit to his jurisdiction and provide the option of discontinuing his consideration or proceeding by agreement to restrict the claim to the award limit.
The Ombudsman shall not investigate a complaint (or any part of a complaint), or shall discontinue his investigation of a complaint (or any part), if:
- a. at any time it appears to the Ombudsman that it is more appropriate for the complaint to be dealt with by a Court or under another independent complaints, conciliation or arbitration procedure;
- b. at any time that the Ombudsman finds out the complaint is already being or has been considered by a Court, or under another independent complaints, conciliation or arbitration procedure, he should discontinue his investigation. If that other body is not considering all aspects of the complaint or if that body is not designed to offer financial compensation to the Complainant, the Ombudsman may then resume his consideration of the complaint;
- c. in the Ombudsman’s opinion he considers the matter to be frivolous or vexatious.
1. Use of The Retail Ombudsman scheme is FREE to consumers
2. Neither consumers nor retailers are obliged to obtain independent advice or representation before or during the complaint process, although either party may choose to do so.