Communications Ombudsman Complaints

Posted by Ben Ryland in Personal Finance on 2 December 2016 - Ben is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

Has your mobile provider ever cancelled your direct debit without you realising? Maybe you first find out when the demand for payment comes through the door.

So you get in touch, re-set up the direct debit and query why it had been cancelled in the first place. If you catch it early enough it may be a straightforward mishap which won’t cause any further issues, yet if you were on holiday and missed the letters for a week or two this could start to impact your credit file.

The reason for this is that if a lender does not receive a payment when it falls due, a late payment mark can be placed against the account on your credit file.

If the payment cancellation was the fault of the communications company they should agree to remove any such negative mark which could impact your credit score. Sadly, there are cases where the provider may not have amended the credit file, and if you do not check your credit file regularly this can be a shock if an application for credit is declined on the basis of these incorrect late payments. Getting in touch with the provider is a must in these circumstances, to resolve the issue and keep your credit file clear.

With many of the communications providers having a poor track record in good levels of customer service, raising complaints regarding the service and billing can be nightmarish.

As with many providers, if you have exhausted all available options regarding a complaint to a communications provider you may find yourself in the position of having to raise a complaint with the Ombudsman.

While the regulator of the communications industry is Ofcom, if you need to escalate a complaint against a mobile provider they may well direct you to the Ombudsman Services: Communications division. This Ombudsman can help to resolve complaints raised against telephone and internet providers who are registered with them, and have been approved by the regulator Ofcom. All the main providers who could appear on a credit file are registered with the Ombudsman.

If you have a complaint it is important to have exhausted all possible resolutions with the provider before contacting the Ombudsman. Many a customer has contacted the Ombudsman to help with a complaint which has not been escalated through the provider’s own complaints procedure and this is a crucial requirement before the Ombudsman can investigate. This is to allow the provider to resolve the complaint as the Ombudsman would normally become involved once a ‘deadlock’ has been reached between the customer and provider.

When checking your file, if you spot some payment history you believe is incorrect speak to the lender first. This applies for all credit accounts not only the communications’ providers. Trying to resolve issues directly with lenders is always the best approach before needing to escalate a complaint with the Ombudsman Services.

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