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Ex-BT Man Becomes Regulatory Director for Ombudsman Services

Friday, December 6th, 2019 (11:36 am) - Score 1,251
complaint UK consumer broadband isp and phone gripes

The Ofcom approved consumer complaints handler firm Ombudsman Services, which is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider for broadband ISPs and mobile operators, has hired a former head of commercial and regulatory strategy at BT’s consumer business – Ed Dodman – to be their Director of Regulatory Affairs.

At present the regulator requires all ISPs to become members of an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme – CISAS or Ombudsman Services. The schemes are free for consumers to access and designed to supplement (not replace) an ISPs own internal complaints procedure(s), although providers often have to pay sizeable costs regardless of whether they win or lose a case.

The ADR process is often seen as a last line of defence for consumers – before taking court action – and such schemes are generally only used after a dispute has gone unresolved for 8 weeks (i.e. the “Deadlock Letter” stage). Please see our ISP Complaints and Advice section for more information.

Ombudsman Services hasn’t actually had a Director of Regulatory Affairs before (it’s a new position) and thus the decision to hire somebody with industry experience to fill the role is a wise one. Prior to this, Ed also held operational and regulatory roles at the UK’s largest water supplier, Thames Water.

NOTE: OS also acts as the complaints handler for the energy sector and administers the Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service for the British Parking Association.

Matthew Vickers, CEO of Ombudsman Services, said:

“Ed brings with him a wealth of experience from two of the largest regulated companies in the essential services space.

His appointment forms part of the wider transformation of our business and strengthening of our senior leadership team.

We are delighted to welcome Ed to Ombudsman Services, where he will play a defining role in shaping and leading our regulatory strategy.”

Meanwhile Ed said that his job “will be to continue to strengthen our voice in conversations around regulation and to ensure that our internal operations inform and adapt to the changing regulatory landscape.” Ombudsman Services itself was founded in 2002 and currently employs more than 400 people at its offices in Cheshire.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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24 Responses
  1. Mike says:

    Almost like it’s a revolving door…

  2. Brian says:

    Difficult to have any confidence in Ofcom, when they have an advertising campaign with misleading adverts.

  3. beany says:

    So short story is both the Ombudsman Services and Ofcom will be doing less (if that is even possible) with complaints about BT than they do already.

    1. dave says:

      It’s absolutely shocking that I agree with you for once.

    2. The Facts says:

      Why should that be? You don’t understand that people change jobs and it makes no difference to how they work regarding previous employers.

    3. beany says:

      Yes i do and as i said “will be doing less (if that is even possible)”.

      So i take it that you believe he will be doing more about complaints regarding BT than what is currently done. Did he hate working for them that much?

    4. The Facts says:

      Why should previous employment matter?

    5. GNewton says:

      “Why should previous employment matter?”

      Your question shows that you just genuinely don’t understand the issue or concerns others have expressed here on this forum.

    6. The Facts says:

      Because they can’t explain exactly what the problem might be. People move around industries.

    7. GNewton says:

      The Facts, you are either very naive, or you genuinely don’t understand other poster’s concerns here.

    8. beany says:

      “Why should previous employment matter?”

      Please have the respect to answer my queries as i answered yours rather than deflect with another question.

      Did he enjoy working for BT or not? Will he be doing more or less about about complaints than currently gets done?

      2 simple questions.

  4. S White says:

    Conflict of Interest!

    1. dave says:

      I agree. Since BT uses the Ombudsman Services ADR scheme, this is potentially a conflict of interest.

    2. TheFacts says:


    3. dave says:

      Gee, I wonder why that could be?

    4. GNewton says:

      Indeed. Something the BT advocates won’t admit.

    5. The Facts says:

      Please explain the issue.

    6. GN says:

      The issue is highlighted in headline:

      “Ex-BT Man Becomes Regulatory Director for Ombudsman Services”

      This is something a hardcore BT-fan might not worry about.

    7. The Facts says:

      Indeed, BT might worry he knows how they work. Or are you implying that BT have set him up to get the job?

    8. beany says:

      If he does know how BT works he must also know thousands complaain about them to the ombudsman he is joining and Ofcom on a monthly basis.

      I wonder what with his insight from previously working at BT he will do to ensure complaint levels about the organisation are reduced?

      I suspect with your internal BT foresight you can shed light on the issues within it and the steps he will now take in his new roll to prevent them, can you?

  5. chris conder says:

    You couldn’t make all this stuff up. What a superfarce.

  6. FibreBubble says:

    Ombudsman Services are an approved ADR. One that much hyped B4RN belong to.

    Incidently, I noticed reseller UNO are also a member of Ombudsman Services and curiously a negative review of UNO was swiftly removed from ISPReview recently.

    Sometimes people have to go to ADR.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      A review was moderated, not yet removed, because the person who made the review was not in fact a customer of the provider (i.e. they never got a connection from them – as clear from the review content itself).

      The same person has posted before and we did remind them that, as a basic rule of the site, you have to of been an active paying customer at some point in order to justifiably review and rate the intended ISP. Clearly they didn’t listen and we don’t tolerate abuse of the system.

    2. beany says:

      Oh i wonder what ISP they did belong to.

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