Responding to The Domino Effect - a report from Citizens Advice
exposing the knock-on effects of consumer problems, Lewis Shand Smith, Chief Ombudsman at Ombudsman Services, said:
"Unfortunately, problems with products and services are a part of everyday life, and today's report from Citizen's Advice highlights the extent that the knock-on effects of these issues can have on consumers, particularly those who are more vulnerable.
"With consumer problems leading to severe financial impact and increased anxiety, it is crucial that business leaders and government act to strengthen consumer protection and ensure that consumers are not left out of pocket.
"Redress should be an essential part of the customer experience, protecting consumers when things go wrong, but unfortunately it's not mandated in all sectors. We'd like to see strong regulation for redress in every sector, backed up with a single ombudsman and consumer advocacy, to simplify the complaints process and reduce confusion.
"With oversight of all complaints, a single ombudsman can identify issues affecting customer experiences for specific groups of consumers within individual companies and in a sector as a whole - taking a 360 degree view of processes and problems.
"By highlighting these issues and helping to overcome any systemic problems that are increasing consumer detriment, as well as finding ways to identify individual consumers who are struggling, an ombudsman’s preventative approach can tackle these problems at the root."