How long do I have to complain?

If you are unhappy with the way in which your complaint has been dealt with by you supplier you can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman, within 12 months of the date you first gave notice to your supplier of your complaint.

A Deadlock letter is written communication from your supplier setting out their final position on a Complaint.

If you have not been issued with a Deadlock Letter within 8 weeks of initially registering your complaint with your supplier, you can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman. Referrals to the Ombudsman should be made within 12 months of the date you first gave notice to your supplier of your complaint.

The Ombudsman has discretion, however, to accept a complaint made outside of these time limits if satisfied that there are exceptional reasons to justify the delay.

How do I complain to the Ombudsman?

To complain to the Ombudsman you must contact them directly

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 0330 440 1624
Fax: 0330 440 1625
Textphone: 0330 440 1600

Website : www.ombudsman-services.org/complain-now-energy.html

Ombudsman Services: Energy
PO Box 966
Warrington
WA4 9DF

You will be asked to provide details of your complaint and they will determine whether or not your complaint is ready to be investigated.

What complaints can be investigated by the Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman has the power to investigate complaints where the supplier has

  • failed to comply with their obligations under Heat Trust for example billing errors;
  • treated you unfairly in relation to other customers in similar circumstances;
  • been discourteous or unprofessional towards you;
  • unreasonably delayed or failed to take action in its dealings with you;
  • given you wrong or misleading information.

In order to be eligible to bring a complaint against a supplier you must have been, at the time the subject matter of the Complaint arose

  • a heat customer with a valid and effective supply agreement with the supplier,
  • connected to the Heat Network of the supplier (or would have been so but for an act or omission of the supplier)

For further information please review the Ombudsman Terms of Reference available here

What complaints cannot be investigated by the Ombudsman?

The Ombudsman will not investigate complaints which relate to

  • commercial decisions made by an energy company about whether to provide a product or service or the terms under which they may be provided. For example, the Ombudsman cannot help with price increases;
  • issues which are considered to be malicious or unjustified;
  • problems that are being dealt with by the courts;
  • historic problems which are outside of the Ombudsman time limits. These include complaints about matters which you were aware of before the date when you supplier joined Heat Trust.

For further information please review the Ombudsman Terms of Reference available here

How much does it cost?

You will not be charged for this service. All costs will be recovered from your supplier.

How long will it take to come to a conclusion?

Some cases are complex and the investigation may be lengthy, whilst others are simple and are dealt with quickly. As a guide, the average complaint takes about 6 to 8 weeks to be resolved.

Can someone else complain on my behalf?

Yes. Someone else can complain as long you send written authorisation to the Ombudsman. Anyone may act on your behalf, for example it may be a member of your family, a friend, a solicitor or a volunteer from a body like the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Where a representative is nominated the Ombudsman will communicate with the representative as if they were they were you.

What happens when the Ombudsman makes his decision?

The Ombudsman will make a decision he believes to be just and fair, taking all the circumstances into consideration. The Ombudsman will then write to all parties concerned with their decision and any award/remedy. The Ombudsman will explain their reasons for making the decision and set out timescales within which a remedy/award is due.

Once you accept the Ombudsman’s decision it will become binding on your supplier. If you do not reply to the decision within the specified period or choose not to accept the Ombudsman’s decision then the decision will not be binding on your supplier.

For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Scheme shall limit your right to take proceedings against you supplier in the courts of England and Wales, should the Ombudsman’s Decision not be binding on the supplier.

Remedies and awards

If it is determined that your supplier has made a mistake or treated you unfairly, a remedy or award will be made. The award or remedy will seek to put you to the position you would have been in had the mistake not occurred.

Ombudsman Services may undertake one or more of the following resolutions

  1. an apology;
  2. an explanation of what went wrong;
  3. a practical action to correct the problem; or
  4. a financial award of up to £10,000 (inclusive of VAT).

No award or remedy will be made against you.

Can an appeal be made against the Ombudsman’s decision?

The Ombudsman will always try to achieve a resolution which is acceptable to both sides, taking account of all available evidence. If after a resolution is proposed either party feels that there is an error in fact or has new evidence which was not previously available it may be submitted to the Ombudsman for review. The Ombudsman will then check to see if the outcome is affected by this new information. A final binding decision will then be issued.

Ombudsman Contact Details

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 0330 440 1624
Fax: 0330 440 1625
Textphone: 0330 440 1600

Website : www.ombudsman-services.org/complain-now-energy.html

Ombudsman Services: Energy
PO Box 966
Warrington
WA4 9DF