The watchdogs for UK energy and postal services – energywatch and postwatch – today cease to exist. They’re joining with the National Consumer Council to form Consumer Focus, which will campaign on a range of consumer issues.
Making a complaint
From today it is also compulsory for energy companies and Royal Mail to be part of a redress scheme – the Energy Ombudsman or the Postal Redress Scheme. Their decisions will be binding and they can award compensation to consumers if necessary. However, you must give the company a chance to sort out the problem first. If you live in Northern Ireland the system’s different for energy. You should contact the Northern Ireland Consumer Council for advice.
Help and Advice
If you want advice about how to make a complaint, contact Government-funded advice service Consumer Direct. And if you’re eligible for extra help – because of your personal circumstances, or the problem’s complicated or urgent – they’ll refer you to Consumer Focus.
A spokesperson for Consumer Focus said: ‘The new framework will motivate service providers to up their game, ensure consumers have a more powerful organisation fighting their corner, and will provide dedicated assistance to those who need it most.’
If you want more advice on using Ombudsmen, see the Which? guide to complaining to an ombudsman.
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml . Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.