1 Complain to the company

Try to resolve the dispute by explaining your problem and what you want done about it. If your mobile phone provider has its own internal complaints procedure, follow it.

2 Get a letter of deadlock

If your mobile provider refuses to do what you ask to sort out the problem, ask for a ‘letter of deadlock’ to show you've done all you can to  resolve the complaint. 

If the mobile company fails to respond to this final letter within a reasonable period of time (say, 14 days), you can take your complaint to the ombudsman.

3 Find the correct ombudsman

There are two ombudsman services that deal with mobile phone complaints - Cisas and Ombudsman Services: Communications. 

Find out which one your mobile provider belongs to, as this will be the one you'll need to use to escalate your complaint. 

These ombudsman schemes only deal with complaints about mobile service providers, not about other mobile phone retailers such as third party sellers like the Carphone Warehouse, for example. 

4 Contact the ombudsman

Contact the ombudsman to find out how to submit a complaint. Different ombudsmen have different procedures – some may ask you to fill out a complaint form, while for others you need only write a letter outlining your problem. 

If it’s the latter make sure you include the following information:

  • Your name and address (or the name and address of the person making the complaint)
  • The name and address of the organisation the complaint is being made about
  • Details of what your complaint is about, including exactly what the company did that it shouldn’t have (or what it didn’t do that it should have done)
  • What you've lost in terms of personal injustice, financial loss, hardship or inconvenience
  • What you would like the organisation to do to put things right, and details of what you've done so far to try to resolve the complaint
  • Include copies of any relevant letters, emails, invoices or receipts

5 Await a decision in writing

The ombudsman will look at the evidence provided by both sides. 

They might contact you for more information, but there isn’t a hearing, as there is with a court case.

Once the ombudsman has made its decision it will write to you and the company with details of the ‘award’. 

If the award is in your favour (they agree with your complaint), this will include details of what the company must do to put things right.

Please tell us what you think of the Which? Consumer Rights website.

Your feedback is vital in helping us improve this site. All data will be treated confidentially. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Please take our survey so we can improve our website for you and others like you.