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Home Services (Boilers & Maintenance)

We can:

· Direct the retailer/trader to take, or desist from taking, certain steps – such as providing a refund or exchange or issuing a formal apology.

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

If the retailer/trader is a member of The Retail Ombudsman, they will be contractually obligated to implement our decision. However, if the retailer/trader is not a member it will be within their discretion, although in most circumstances we would expect non-member retailers 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...

Home Services

How to make a complaint about a home services provider?

If you’ve had a dispute with a home service provider and are looking to escalate a complaint for a swift resolution,  The Retail Ombudsman is here to help you get your dispute resolved.

You may have a problem or dispute with a product or service within the home service industry i.e. a faulty boiler or a central heating installation has been unsatisfactory. If this is the case, and you have already complained to the home service provider, you can use our ‘Home Services’ complaint form to get your complaint process started.

Before making a complaint

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

Which complaints does the home services sector cover?

The home services sector covers complaints against any boiler services, central heating installers, heating engineers etc. Below is a list of popular sources of complaints which The Retail Ombudsman handles within the home services sector:

  • Boiler services
  • Heating engineers
  • Heating installers
  • Electrical works
  • Gas engineers
  • Plumbing or Drainage services
  • Heat Network Operator or ESCo (Energy Services Companies)
  • District Heating Schemes
  • Combined Heat and Power
  • Renewable Energy Services such as Biomass, Geothermal, Solar systems and installations
  • Energy Efficiency Services
  • Liquid Propane Gas (LPG)
  • Home heating suppliers
  • Oil fuel distributors
  • Heating oil suppliers
  • TV, Radio or Video On Demand services
  • Mobile handsets and accessories or Mobile applications
  • Premium Rate services

Please note if you a have a complaint about a communication service such as landline, broadband or mobile phone and are a domestic user, then you would need to discuss your complaint with Ombudsman Services: Communications or CISAS, depending on which company your complaint is regarding.

If you’re a domestic user and you have a complaint with your gas or electricity supplier or the electricity or gas network distributor, you will need to contact Ombudsman Services: Energy

If you’re a domestic user and have a complaint with your water provider you will need to contact the Consumer Council for Water.

If you’re a domestic customer and have a complaint about an intermediary service such as a comparison or switching service for transferring your utility services, then please see our Utilities Switching Services Division.

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