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A new report highlighting a number of issues regarding the certification and ongoing monitoring of ADR providers has been released.

The report, Ombudsman Omnishambles: Serious unresolved issues affecting the operation of the ombudsman ADR system in the UK, outlines the current state of ADR provision in the unregulated sectors within the UK, including details of the current providers and their areas of operation, with particular emphasis on the use of ombudsmen.

Authored by Helen Dewdney, the Complaining Cow blogger, and Marcus Williamson, the report finds that The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) does not carry out basic “fit and proper” person tests before approving ombudsmen, their staff and contractors, as well as details of one ombudsman breaching Ombudsman Association rules on independence, openness & transparency.

Within the furniture industry, The Furniture Ombudsman, now incorporating The Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, was set up by the Office of Fair Trading and has 25 years of experience in the retail sector dealing with complaints around furniture, home improvement and general retail goods.

The independent, thorough investigation process frequently involving expert reports ensures a fair resolution for both parties, that consumers can trust. Kevin Grix, CEO of The Furniture Ombudsman and The Dispute Resolution Ombudsman advises consumers to become more aware of ombudsman schemes and protect themselves more form the outset, stating: “Before you shop, make sure your trader of choice offers ADR and if you find yourself in a dispute, you can ensure you contact the right ADR scheme for the trader you have a contract with.”

Helen added: “Frequently I hear from people who are at the end of their tether with traders and although may be aware of an ombudsman for regulated sectors such as Finance, Energy and Telecoms they are less aware of other sectors such as property, vehicles and furniture.”

For more information or to view the investigative report, see the link - Ombudsman Omnishambles: Serious unresolved issues affecting the operation of the ombudsman ADR system in the UK