Gas, electricity and postal complaintsIf you need to complain the system's changing

01 October 2008

A blue flame from a gas hob

Although there is no 'green gas', you can still switch your energy supplier to a green tariff

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.

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