The Retail Ombudsman (TRO) to appoint Independent Assessor
As part of its 2017 strategy and due to the rapid growth of the scheme, TRO has announced that it is to appoint an Independent Assessor to adjudicate over service complaints. This means that if consumers are unhappy with the way in which TRO handled their complaint, they will be able to ask the Independent Assessor to investigate what happened. The Independent Assessor will review the circumstances of service complaints and, if necessary, make recommendations.
The Independent Assessor will not review the use of judgment by an adjudicator or ombudsman on what evidence is needed, what weight is placed upon the evidence, or whether a complaint should be upheld. The Independent Assessor will also not comment on the outcome of a case – just how it was handled.
The Independent Assessor will not be accountable to the chief executive/chief ombudsman or the Board of TRO and will also be free from influence, guidance and control in respect of reviews, opinions and recommendations.
TRO’s Chief Ombudsman, Dean Dunham, commented “Independence is at the heart of all that we do at TRO. To this end, it is important that users of TRO’s scheme have access to an independent assessor if they feel the need to complain about the service they have received. This is the first of a number of new initiatives to implement greater accountability, independence and consumer confidence at TRO.”