Comparison & Switching Services

We can:

· Direct the utility switching Service to take, or desist from taking, certain steps – such as providing a refund or exchange or issuing a formal apology.

· Direct the utility switching Service to pay you a financial award by way of compensation (up to £25,000) for proven financial loss – where appropriate and applicable.

If the utility switching Service is a member of The Retail Ombudsman, they will be contractually obligated to implement our decision. However, if the utility switching Service is not a member it will be within their discretion, although in most circumstances we would expect non-member utility switching Services to reconsider their position.
There are two ways to bring your complaint to The Retail Ombudsman;

1. By post – if you do not have access to the Internet you can telephone 0203 540 8063 and ask one of our team members to post a complaint form to you. Send your completed form to: The Retail Ombudsman, 12 Walker Avenue, Stratford Office Village, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes MK12 5TW

2. Online – if you have access to the Internet you can file your complaint via our online portal. To access this simply go to the home page of the website and click on ‘File your complaint‘. As soon as you have filed your complaint you will be taken to your own personal portal page. This page provides you with live information about your claim so that you can check the progress at any time of day.

Note: Upon submission of your complaint one of our complaint handlers will firstly determine whether your complaint falls within The Retail Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. If it does not we will not be able to deal with your complaint and we will notify you in writing, by no later than 21 days, of the reasons why.

Once accepted, your complaint will go through a 5-step procedure as shown below. You will be kept up-to-date with the progress of your complaint either via your personal online portal (if you have Internet access) or via post.

Once we have all of the relevant information and supporting documentation from yourself and the retailer/trader (which we call a 'complete complaint file'), your complaint handler will initially attempt to make a recommendation to resolve the dispute informally. If this proves unsuccessful we will issue a final determination. If you are not happy with the final determination you will be free to take your complaint to court.

We aim to process all complaints within 60 days from when we receive a complete complaint file.
Consumers are not bound by our recommendations or determination unless you agree to be bound. If you do not agree to be bound and you are unhappy with the outcome, you can still take your complaint elsewhere (such as to court).
It's vitally important that you complete the complaint form as thoroughly as possible. We need to know precisely what you complaint is and how it has arisen.

We base our determinations on the information and evidence provided to us. Where we have to decide on a matter of fact we do so on the balance of probabilities (that is which version of events is more likely to be accurate).

We, therefore, advise that both consumers and retailers provide as much supporting evidence as possible, such as:

- receipts
- photographs
- etc...

Utilities Switching Services

How to make a consumer complaint with a Utilities Switching Services?

If you are a consumer or business and have a dispute with a Utility Switching Service in regards to your electricity, gas, water or communications transfer of supply or service(s) and are looking to escalate your complaint The Retail Ombudsman – Utilities Switching Services Division is here to help you get your dispute resolved.

You may have a problem or dispute with a product or service from your Utilities Switching Services i.e. a dispute regarding the contractual terms, you consider a switching or comparison website miss-led you, you deem a broker misrepresented the transfer options or rates for the supply or services have been miss-sold. If this is the case, and you have already complained to the Utilities Switching Services you can use our ‘Utilities Switching Services’ complaint form to get your complaint process started or check to see if an organisation is a member.

Before making a complaint

Please note that to be eligible to make a complaint against a Utilities Switching Services, you must have already complained to the Utilities Switching Services directly in writing and either received a final written response (sometimes referred to as a ‘deadlock letter’) or given the Utilities Switching Services eight (8) weeks to respond to your dispute. The Retail Ombudsman can only deal with unresolved complaints.

Which complaints does the Utilities Switching Services Division cover?

The Business Utilities sector covers business complaints against any utility provider for electricity, gas, water and communications supply or services. Below is a list of popular sources of complaints which The Retail Ombudsman handles within the Business Utilities sector:

  • Comparison Websites
  • Switching Service
  • Utility Contract Dispute
  • Miss-selling
  • Miss-representation
  • Unit rates dispute
  • Costs dispute
  • Communication package miss-information
  • Miss-leading advertisement
  • Cold calling
  • Unwanted sales calls
  • Unsolicited marketing
  • Miss-advice
  • Data protection issues
  • Customer services
  • Electricity contract disputes
  • Gas contract disputes
  • Water contract disputes
  • Mobile contract disputes
  • Landline contract disputes
  • Broadband contract disputes

Choose Another Sector