Have you ever been given the run around regarding a complaint, and then, in sheer desperation contacted the relevant Ombudsman, only to be told that its not within their jurisdiction? If you have, then you are not alone!
Ombudsmans although useful on occasions have strict guidelines as to what they can and cannot follow up with. This is often confusing, because the Ombudsman’s title makes it sound like they cover all complaints within that topic area.
Take for example the Postal Industry Ombudsman – based on its title alone, one would presume that this covers all postal issues (including courier, express and ordinary post). However, you may remember the complaint we had before Christmas with Fastway Couriers. Well, after the issue with the item not being delivered on time and the lack of communication received, we followed up with the Ombudsman only to find out that Fastway Couriers is outside their jurisdiction.
Another example, is from a frustrated Victorian citizen who has had an ongoing dispute with EnergySafe Victoria (ESV) which has been going on for over 2 years. To quote the consumer “ESV simply do not answer my complaint.I took the matter up with the Victorian Ombudsman recently,but was advised that ESV’s decisions and how it arrives at decisions is not within the jurisdiction of the Vic Ombudsmn. I complained to the Vic Ombudsman that ESV is fully aware of LPG “non-compliances” in a brand of Motorhome but it refuses to alert the public to such faults. I say this is criminal or gross negligence for ESV to be aware of dangerous potential risks with such a product as LPG but allow such foreseeable dangers to continue unchecked and unrectified”.
So after this response, you may think that you are out of options and that it’s time to give up. Wrong! There are still plenty of avenues you can take to resolve your complaint. These include:
1. Venting about it on Vent2Me‘s forum (hey, a little bit of self promotion doesn’t hurt anyone!)
2. Venting it about through social media (free and very satisfying, you will often be surprised by how many people will respond/add to your complaint)
3. Contacting the relevant consumer affairs agency for your state
4. Contacting news outlets (again you’ll be surprised by the response from the local media outlets, often they will run the story if it’s a slow news week)
In all instances DO NOT GIVE UP! Some companies make the complaint process hard, so that consumers will give up. The more you persit the greater the outcome! Such as the time we persisted so much with Honda, that we finally got our complaint resolved after speaking with their head office in Japan!
Remember a win is a win…
Until next time,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.