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UPD Ofcom UK ISP ADR Complaints Handler OTELO Rebrands to Ombudsman Services

Posted: 07th Apr, 2011 By: MarkJ
consumer isp complaintsOne of Ofcom UK's two Approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) consumer complaint handlers, OTELO (the other being CISAS), has rebranded itself under the umbrella of Ombudsman Services (OS). The communications regulator requires that all Internet Service Providers (ISP) be members of an approved ADR scheme. Likewise the ISPA also offers its members free membership of another ADR, CISAS.

Ofcom's approved ADR schemes are meant to supplement, not replace, a providers own internal complaints procedures and are only used after a dispute has gone unresolved for 8 weeks. An ADR is free and can order your broadband ISP to either fix the problem or pay compensation. Further details about this can be found under our 'ISP Complaints and Advice' section.

OS's Chief Ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith, commented (here):

"Previously each of our services had a distinct identity, but we decided to bring all our brands under one corporate umbrella. The new brand architecture incorporates our services into a ‘family’ of brands.

This approach supports our policy of being consumer focused and improving accessibility. The new branding is simple, clear and memorable and reflects the fact that each of our services is run to the same professional standards, while clearly identifying them as forming part of the Ombudsman Services offering. It also allows for expansion of our portfolio of services."

However, the move is about more than an amalgamation of services (note: 'Communications' is the new department for OS's ISP and telecoms problems) and also brings with it a revamped website. The new site is easier to understand and also has a revised online complaints process.

Ombudsman Services: Communications is a private company limited by guarantee. They investigate complaints with a view to reaching a speedy resolution and are also independent, meaning that they do not take sides and aim to focus only on the facts. A number of UK ISPs, including Sky Broadband (BSkyB), AOL , AAISP and many more are members of the scheme. Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting this.

UPDATE 12th April 2011

Small correction to the first paragraph about the ISPA's position.
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