An ombudsman is an organisation to independently assess and resolve issues between consumers and their services, generally appointed by the government or the industry. The ombudsman is responsible for protecting the rights of consumers in a particular sector or industry.
Industry ombudsman schemes
Different industries can have different ways of dealing with complaints. Many industries have their own ombudsman scheme or other complaint-handling body. These offer an independent and impartial means of resolving disputes outside the courts.
Each ombudsman scheme runs under slightly different rules. Generally, an ombudsman will not consider a complaint unless the organisation concerned has first been given a reasonable opportunity to deal with it.
The British and Irish Ombudsman Association has a list of each of these complaint-handling bodies and their contact details.