- Ombudsman Services received 619 energy complaints from residents of Cardiff last year
- 385 complaints about telecoms also received
Residents in Cardiff made 335,000 complaints about products and services last year1, but more than 515,000 issues were ignored.
According to data compiled by Ombudsman Services, the sole provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for the energy industry, residents made over 619 complaints about their energy suppliers alone, up 7 per cent from 2014. The company also recorded a further 385 complaints about communications firms.
Ombudsman Services’ third annual Consumer Action Monitor recently revealed that there were 52 million complaints in the UK last year, but there were still 66 million issues that were not acted on. In Wales, there were more than 2.4 million complaints, but 3.7 million issues were brushed under the carpet.
Worryingly, two in five (42%) residents in Wales believe you can only get a result from a complaint if you kick up a big fuss. Disillusionment with business is high, with over a quarter (27%) saying that businesses no longer do the right thing.
Commenting on the findings, Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said:
“We’re still seeing consumers ignore millions of problems each year because they’d rather suffer in silence than go through the perceived hassle of complaining – but it’s not as complex and time-consuming as they might think.
“At a time when it is becoming more expensive to take court action, alternative dispute resolution, including ombudsmen, is an important and growing part of the civil justice system as a whole.
“Those that live in Cardiff are actively standing up for their consumer rights, but there’s still more that can be done by businesses to make ADR more accessible. Complaining doesn’t have to mean making a fuss – there’s help out there and we would encourage anyone with an issue to come forward.”
Ombudsman Services provides an independent, impartial and cost effective means of resolving disputes outside the courts. It can investigate disputes between customers and suppliers that have been ongoing for eight weeks or more, or those that have reached a deadlock stage. Consumers must contact their supplier directly in the first instance before they can escalate the complaint to the ombudsman.