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Introduction to

TATA Housing
FOR OMBUDSMAN
SERVICES

CONSUMER
DISPUTES
IMPARTIAL. OMBUDSMAN
ACCESSIBLE. SERVICE
PROFESSIONAL.
One Purpose, One Mission - Resolve Disputes.
cdos service of -
TM
THE MEDIATION
AND CONCILIATION
NETWORK
A Whats good For consumers,
is good for Business.

Simple
Businesses flourish and grow faster when they
make their consumers feel good and empowered.

The real test of businesses and brands is after


sales satisfaction of consumers. Robust complaints

Fact
redressal system is one of the major key tools for
businesses to make their consumers feel good and
empowered.

Biggest reason for consumers to come to them


again and again.

One Purpose, One Mission - Resolve Disputes.


Having access to an ombudsman is good
for business and good for consumers.

As the first multi-sector Consumer Disputes


Ombudsman Service in India, were committed
to improving customer service processes for
both consumers and businesses.

We have no doubt that there will continue to be


an increased call for dispute resolution and
redress, but the sooner ombudsman services
are seen as the mainstream option, the faster
consumers and businesses will realize the
benefits.
Consumer
Complaints are
Business
Opportunity
In Indian Scenario, companies are still spending more money on
acquiring a new customer rather than keeping one. Although CMO's
are using all tricks of customer loyalty programs by way of offering
more incentives, but hardly do companies realize that after sales
services and robust complaint redressal system can go far to not just
keep the customers also add new.

Complaints dont have to be bad ...but a poorly handled complaint


for a brand... could be costly.
Most companies will experience discontented If a complaint is handled badly, many
customers at one time or another, but it is how consumers will mention this to friends and
they manage their complaints that most affects social media - so the overall negative impact
their brand and decides whether consumers will on the company might be greater than first
remain loyal or choose to go elsewhere. thought.

Consumers are often happy to forgive and Consumers take their business elsewhere due
forget as long as their complaint is resolved to to poor handling, while others make a
their satisfaction. conscious decision to spend less with a brand
in future - these decisions can be costly to
business.
Companies
must Empower
Consumers
It is crucial that consumers continue to feel empowered to raise complaints, that those
complaints are handled well by providers and that there is easy access to an ombudsman
where the customer remains dissatisfied. The dispute redressal system available for those
who take a complaint further do not provide binding resolutions or make the consumer feel
empowered. There needs to be a straightforward way to pass the balance of power back to
aggrieved consumer in a controlled environment.

Mostly consumers need Consumers mostly resign to Where people go to


Love not money poor service complain?

When our expectations of a product While the perceived hassle of Most consumers take their
or service are not met, the complaining is too much for many complaints directly to the company or
disappointment can lead to anger consumers, others are left feeling supplier behind the problem.
and frustration. resigned to poor service, with long- However, when this fails to reach a
term issues leading to high levels of resolution many choose to escalate
Financial compensation is often not disillusionment. their complaint to a third party.
the goal most consumers just want
to have their problem fixed, or to Poor experiences of complaining to a For the first time, social media has
know they will have a better company can leave many feeling become the most popular method of
experience in future. helpless, and puts them off raising airing grievances. Of those who went
issues in future. One in seven to a third party, two in five posted
It sounds simple, but more than half consumers feel disillusioned with about the issue to their followers. This
of customers would also like an business, and dont feel complaining makes good customer service vital for
apology when things go wrong. will have any real impact, while 17 per companies, as many people who
cent of those who had an issue did raised their complaint using more
What is the minimum reparation you nothing about it because they had official channels also posted on social
would expect if you received poor complained previously and nothing media.
service or a defective product? improved.
After social media, taking complaints
Disillusionment is rife in sectors to ombudsmen, which provide a free
where consumers have limited choice and impartial alternative to court
in supplier, or have been tied into action, becomes and obvious popular
lengthy contracts, such as Real choice.
estate, where people usually have
limited choice in provider.
The Consumer Disputes Ombudsman Service
provides impartial and neutral service for the
resolution of unresolved disputes between
consumers and businesses fairly,
reasonably, quickly and informally.

Consumer Disputes Ombudsman Service -


CDOS deals with complaints from consumers
about companies that have signed up to its
service. Its job is to investigate complaints and
resolve them as early as possible.

CDOS is entirely independent; it does not take


sides and it makes decisions based on the
facts. The service is absolutely FREE for
consumers.

One Purpose, One Mission - Resolve Disputes.


Many consumers
don't complain
directly. They just
quit.
Barriers to complaining

High numbers of customers arent willing to put up Evidence from research reveals that consumers have
with poor service or poor quality goods, however particularly low levels of trust and confidence in
many people are still reluctant to take action. businesses that do not take their problems seriously,
and illustrates very clearly the benefit that a well-
Research shows that millions of problems are handled complaint can have for a company and its
ignored every year, with nearly half of people saying it brand.
was not worth the hassle. A third believe you can
only get a result from a complaint if you kick up a big 50% of consumers think more highly of a business
fuss, but many could be missing out as a result of that handles complaints efficiently. Many also see the
this perception. Apathy has struck others, with three benefits of companies offering a third party dispute
in 10 who had something to complain about saying resolution service to handle complaints. A third of
they could not be bothered to complain. consumers say they would be more likely to buy a
Misconceptions surrounding the complexity and cost product or service from such a company.
of the court system are also putting people off.
How
The Consumer Disputes Ombudsman
Service is a modern service with very
strong values and purpose. The
inclusion of this external independent
dispute redressal body forms an

Consumer
essential next step in the Complaint
Handling Process of any organization,
for complaints where resolution has
not been reached despite the best
efforts of the customer and Company.

Disputes More and more companies are


coming to realize that giving
consumers access to independent
dispute resolution helps build

Ombudsman
customer trust and loyalty. Our role
is to provide redress where required
and to help companies repair their
relationships with customers.

Service
We provide fast, efficient and low
cost processes as well as consistent
outcomes. We work constructively
with companies to help them to
improve their customer service and

Helps? complaints handling, based on


trends and information collected
from the disputes we handle. By
feeding back we assist companies to
get it right first time.
Resolving Ombudsmen, Commissioners, Examiners,
Complaints Reviewers and Handlers are part
of CDOS administrative justice, dispute

Consumer
resolution and redress.
We are the experts in dispute resolution; here to sort out
disputes about companies which participate in our
schemes and to the wider business world more

Disputes
generally. The Consumer Disputes Ombudsman
Services mark of quality shows your customers that you
take complaints seriously and is likely to lead to repeat
customer.

One Purpose, One Mission - Resolve Disputes.


Helping
CDOS work with the industry to improve
customer service and dispute handling. We
are happy to explain how we independently
assess the complaints we handle and why
we reach a particular resolution.

Companies We are not just in the business of complaint


handling, we are here to give feedback and,
where we can, improve the industry. We
have a duty to set the standards in dispute

Learn
handling and to pass on the lessons we
learn to participating companies.

Many disputes handled by Consumer


Disputes Ombudsman Services are not

From
about the alleged error made by a company
but about the way the company has dealt
with the error and subsequent complaint.

We often see simple issues that have been


allowed to escalate needlessly. If we can

Complaints help companies to identify where they are


going wrong, before the complaint comes
to us, it is better for the companies and their
customers.

One Purpose, One Mission - Resolve Disputes.


When can consumers take a complaint

How it works
to the ombudsman?

Before consumers can use an


ombudsman service they must go
through the companys formal complaints

for Consumers
process and get a letter of deadlock
confirming they've been unable to sort out
the problem. Consumers may not need a
letter of deadlock if its been longer than
cooling off period of eight weeks since
they made complaint to the company and
Complaining to an ombudsman about consumer issues it remains unresolved.

If consumers have made a complaint to a company about goods or How do consumers make their
services but are not happy with the outcome, they can make their complaint to the ombudsman?
complaint with an ombudsman to deal with it. An ombudsman is an
independent official appointed to make decisions in disputes between Consumers can make complaints onlin
individuals and companies. via CDOS website or can send am email.
They can send written evidence related to
Using the ombudsman is free for consumers but companies have to the case. Consumers can check the
pay. complaints handling process at CDOS
website.

The Complaints/ Resolution Process What will the CDOS ombudsman do


with consumer complaint?
1. Raise your complaints
The CDOS ombudsman will look at
If you are unhappy with a product or service you should tell the
consumers complaint and decide what
company that provided it and explain what you would like as a
the outcome should be. They're
resolution. Escalate your complaint if necessary. independent and impartial which means
they dont take sides.The ombudsman
2. Gather evidence looks at the evidence sent in by both
Make a note of any contact you have with the company and save any sides and decides what should happen.
emails or letters. This will be used as evidence to support your case if it Consumers don't have to meet the
is brought to us. ombudsman so they can avoid the stress
of presenting their evidence face to face.
3. Give the company a chance to fix it
The company must have a reasonable opportunity to resolve your What will the outcome be?
complaint. It is better for you and the company if the dispute can be
resolved quickly and without our intervention. The ombudsman can make decisions that
consumers wouldn't necessarily get if
4. Still unhappy? Contact designated Ombudsman they went to court. For example, if theyve
If you remain dissatisfied with the company you can register your lost money because of something the
complaint with us, providing the company is signed up to our scheme. companys done, for example, they've
We will contact the company and attempt to reach a resolution that you given bad advice or there's been poor
are both satisfied with. We may ask you to provide evidence to support administration, they can order the
your case and we will keep you informed of our progress. company to award you compensation or
to ask the company to apologize to you.
5. Reaching a resolution
If a company is willing to work with us to resolve your complaint we will What if consumers are not happy with
aim to reach a resolution within 90 working days of receiving a the CDOS ombudsman's decision?
complete complaint file. We will keep you informed of our progress. If a
company is unwilling to work with us - or we cannot reach a resolution Consumers can still take court action if
they're not happy with the decision but
that you are both satisfied with - we will give advice about your options.
the court may take the CDOS
This may be contacting an organisation like Citizens Advice or Trading
ombudsman's decision into account if the
Standards, or taking your complaint to a small claims court.
company presents it when they make a
decision.
What makes
CDOS
Ombudsman
Independent?
We operate as a Non Profit Company, registered in terms of the Companies Act.

Our board of independent executive and non executive directors are well-respected proponents of
consumer law and Alternative Dispute Resolution processes.

Our executive reports to the independent board and advisory council members .

In terms of the Code of Conduct:

The CDOS is controlled by the Board. The Board is appointed in accordance with the provisions of
the bylaws of MCN (The Mediation and Conciliation Network) and the composition of the board
shall be done in terms of the MCN and CDOS bylaws.

The Ombudsman acts independently and objectively in resolving Disputes and is not influenced by
anybody in making his or her decisions as they are absolutely independent of CDOS, MCN or any
affiliated bodies. The Ombudsman enjoys security of tenure and can only be dismissed in
accordance with fair administrative procedures provided for by the governing and dispute
resolution bylaws of MCN on the grounds of incompetence, gross misconduct, or inability to
effectively carry out his or her duties.

The independence of the CDOS and the Ombudsman is further assured by the fact that the CDOS
Ombudsman and employees of CDOS are:

entirely responsible for the handling and determination of complaints;


accountable only to the Board; and adequately resourced to carry out their respective functions.
Where
WE FIT IN?
If consumers have an unresolved complaint against a supplier, they may first attempt to have it resolved
directly with the company. If he case is not resolved within a stipulated period of time ( Normally Eight
Weeks), the consumers can then make a complaint to the CDOS.

CDOA gives the company the opportunity to resolve the complaint, failing which CDOS helps the parties to
reach an agreed settlement.

In the relatively few cases that the company refuses to cooperate or CDOS is also unable to resolve the
matter, consumers may refer it to the relevant courts under jurisdiction.

Our
STANDARDS
The CDOS Ombudsman shall:

Act honestly, independently and objectively


Have regard to fairness, justice, equity and the provisions of its Code of Conduct and bylaws
Balance the rights of consumers on the one hand and the rights of the Participant and Industry on the other
hand
Avoid discriminating against anyone on the grounds
Our logo is a seal of approval, for building
consumer confidence. Our services can
reassure potential customers that a dispute
will be resolved.

CONSUMER
DISPUTES
OMBUDSMAN
SERVICE

cdos service of -
TM
THE MEDIATION
AND CONCILIATION
NETWORK

Our Dispute Resolution service is useful for trend spotting; we use complaint
based insight to make recommendations to improve procedures and
customer service standards, and to prevent similar complaints in the future.

Our solutions are tailored to work with your own complaints process, offering
an extension to your existing procedures. We can provide advice and
information to signpost your complainant in the event of a dispute.

Our team of highly skilled, informed and motivated complaint handlers work
with the parties to ensure that the business can maintain and build on its
relationship with the complainant, allowing you to continue to work together
once the issue is resolved.

One Purpose, One Mission - Resolve Disputes.


Our
POWERS
Sometimes we decide that a remedy is appropriate, we can require:

an apology;
an explanation as to what went wrong;
a practical action to correct the problem; or
a financial award. (subject to a limit)

A remedy usually includes more than one of these factors.

We also make recommendations to your company so that you can


avoid similar problems happening again.

Sometimes we decide that no further action is required. We include


examples of these complaints in the anonymised case summaries we
publish on the site (in Our services, sector pages under advice and
stories)and in our annual reports, particularly when we can highlight
examples of good practice.

The case fee is our charge to consider a complaint and payment of the
fee is not dependent on outcome. This means that the more complaints
you resolve in-house, the less you pay to us; this provides an incentive
for your company to improve its customer service.

Carrying out our decision


If a consumer accepts our decision your company has 28 days to put in
place what we have asked for. In exceptional circumstances, if it is not
possible to complete what we've asked for within 28 days, you need to
let us know and we may allow more time.

We will continue to contact you until we are satisfied that the complaint
has been resolved. If you do not implement the proposed remedy the
consumer can take legal action.

If you take the action we require as soon as possible within 28 days,


your company is more likely to retain its customer.
Our
Lineage
We are Part of The Mediation and
Conciliation Network, MCN. Indias
Leading Dispute Resolution
Organization initiated by Lawrel
Winners Advisory Advocacy and Law
Network Pvt. Ltd. A Not-for-Profit
Company.

Conflict, whether with customers or with other


businesses, is quite simply an unavoidable fact of life.
Disputes happen and when they do they cost money,
take up valuable time, risk damaging important
relationships and can result in lost business.

We can help.

We help to improve the responsiveness of the redressal


system by providing a feedback loop to businesses
regarding complaint trends and areas where business
practice improvements are required. Crucially, this works to
improve business performance, reducing future cases and
thus lessening demands and pressures on the civil justice
system.

We focus on partnering with companies to develop a deep


understanding of their service requirement. We can provide
a range of dispute resolution services that are flexible to
suit different sectors, businesses and transactions and that
we are happy to talk more about these and what would
work for you.
- for the good of consumers and for the good of
business.

One Purpose, One Mission - Resolve Disputes.


Who handles
complaints
at CDOS?
The Disputes are handled by our Expert panel comprising of
Ombudsman having experties in various industry sectors including legal

Ex Judges and Chief Justices


Top Corporate CEOs
Ex IAS, IPS, Defense Services
Eminent Civil Society Members
Expert Qualified Mediators with

There will be one Chief Ombudsman is appointed for complex and high ticket cases.
For all regular and small value matters regional Ombudsman will be appointed.
We will also have a online disputes handling team which will assist the Ombudsman
in the entire dispute resolution process.
Guiding Principles
Independence

Ensuring and demonstrating the freedom of the office holder from interference in decision making. This happens because to multi
layers of hiring any ombudsman.

Freedom from interference in decision making on complaints


Appropriate and proportionate structure and financial arrangements
Appointment, re-appointment and remuneration of the office holder consistent with ensuring independence
Governance arrangements which ensure and safeguard the independence of the office holder and the scheme
Those involved in the governance of the scheme to conduct themselves at all times in the best interest of the scheme

Openness and transparency

Ensuring openness and transparency in order that stakeholders can have confidence in the decision-making and management
processes of the scheme

Clear explanation of legal constitution, governance and funding arrangements


Open and clear policies and procedures, and clear criteria for decision making
Clear and proper recording of decisions and actions
Free availably of information and publication of decisions, consistent with statute, contract and good practice
Clear delegation arrangements, including levels of authority
Register of interests, to apply to the office holder, appropriate staff members and members of any governing body

Accountability

Ensuring that all members of the scheme, including the office holder, staff members and members of any governing body, are seen to
be responsible and accountable for their decisions and actions, including the stewardship of funds (with due regard to the
independence of the office holder)

Subject to appropriate public or external scrutiny


Accountable to stakeholders for operation of scheme
Financial accountability, and appropriate internal controls to demonstrate the highest standards of financial probity
Robust mechanism for review of service quality
Clear whistle-blowing policy

Integrity

Ensuring straightforward dealing and completeness, based on honesty, selflessness and objectivity, and ensuring high standards of
probity and propriety in the conduct of the schemes affairs and complaint decision making.

Impartiality in all activities


Identify, declare and deal with conflicts of interest (including office holder, staff members and members of any governing body)
Compliance of all those involved in the governance or operation of the scheme with relevant principles of public conduct
Arrangements for dealing with conflicts about governance issues

Clarity of purpose

Ensuring that stakeholders know why the scheme exists and what it does, and what to expect from it

Explanation of the purpose of the scheme and who it serves


Clear status and mandate of the scheme
Clarity of extent of jurisdiction
Governance arrangements which are clear in relation to the office holders adjudication role

Effectiveness

Ensuring that the scheme delivers quality outcomes efficiently and represents good value for money

Leadership which defines and promotes the values of the scheme


Keeping to commitments
Good internal planning and review processes
Quality assurance and a process for review of service
Quality outcomes for complainant, organization complained about, scheme and all other stakeholders
Recommendations accepted by bodies in jurisdiction
Effective risk management controls
Cost effectiveness and value for money
About
The mediation
And conciliation
Network - MCN

TM
THE MEDIATION
AND CONCILIATION
TM
NETWORK

With our range of dispute resolution services for


businesses, we have a product offering for every
business need. From internal disputes to
commercial disputes of any kind, our services are
more cost-effective than litigation, our processes
are strictly private and confidential, and provide
parties greater control over the selection of the
individual(s) who will decide their dispute.

We provide access to thousands of expert


mediators. You have the option of selecting the
mediator ensuring they have the right skills and
experience, working in the right profession, based
in (or able to travel to) the right location, and
charging fees that suit your budget. Alternatively
you can ask us to appoint the mediator based on
our own experience.

One Purpose, One Mission - Resolve Disputes.


About
Services we can help with

We are approved to provide alternative dispute


resolution across a range of sectors including
energy, communications, and property. We are

CDOS also approved by the Chartered Trading


Standards Institute to provide redress in non-
regulated sectors such as retail and home
improvement. Read more about our credentials.

Governance
Consumer Disputes Ombudsman Service is a not
for profit, company. We are not driven by the need
Our governance, structure annd appointment of
to generate profits as we have no shareholders. Any
neutral ombudsman ensures that we are
surplus that is made is reinvested to ensure that we
independent. Our Chief Executive and Chief
remain as efficient as possible. We are governed by
Ombudsman is Mr Krishan Kakkar. We employ
a Board of independent directors with a specific
case handlers who assist ombudsman in
focus on public interest.
complex cases.
Our service is absolutely FREE for consumers. We
Not-for profit
are funded by those whose complaints we handle. A
case fee is our charge to consider a complaint its
The Ombudsman Service Ltd is a not for profit
payment is not dependent on outcome and charges
organizations. This means that we do not have
vary depending on the method of investigation
shareholders and do not pay dividends. We can
used. This means that the more complaints
make a surplus but with no dividends to
companies resolve in-house, the less they have to
distribute, this surplus is used for two specific
pay; this provides an incentive for them to improve
purposes: to provide sufficient reserves to
their customer services.
ensure the company can continue operating
against a background of variability of income;
and to invest back into the business to further
its aims of independent redress.

Funding

Our business model is responsive, sustainable


and provides value for money. There is no cost
to the public purse. We are funded by those
whose complaints we handle through a
combination of subscription and case fees. The
case fee is our charge to consider a complaint -
its payment is not dependent on outcome. This
means that the more complaints companies
resolve in-house, the less they pay; this
provides an incentive for them to improve their
customer service. Read more about our
funding. Information about our finances is also
published in our annual reports.
The Board
AND EXECUTIVE
The Consumer Disputes Ombudsman Services is governed by
a board of executive and non executive directors.

List of our governing council and advisory board members


http://mediationhub.in/governing-and-advisory-board/

List of our executive members


http://mediationhub.in/about-the-mediation-and-conciliation-network/executive-body-and-initiators/

List of our expert neutrals/ Ombudsmen


http://mediationhub.in/about-the-mediation-and-conciliation-network/our-expert-neutrals/

The list of the expert Ombudsmen is partial.


Clients have a larger choice to make if required.
Lets
Start
Resolving!
The cost of joining our service

CDOS is funded by the companies it handles


complaints about. We charge an annual
subscription fee and a case fee for each
complaint we accept.

The subscription fee-

We start with a min annual subscription fee of


INR 1 lac+ That will include upto 10 cases
resolved without meeting face-to-face. For
face-toface meetings INR 20,000for each
case.

The case fee

NR 5000 for disputes resolved without having


a face-to-face meetings.
INE 25000 for each case involving face-toface
meetings and primary investigations
INR 50,000 for complex case that take several
meetings
CONSUMER
DISPUTES
OMBUDSMAN
SERVICE

cdos service of -
TM
THE MEDIATION
AND CONCILIATION
NETWORK

W-122, Greater Kailash-II,


New Delhi 110048
Phones: 91 11 29223019, 17
www.ombudsman.mediationhub.in

Initiatives of Lawrel Winners Advisory Advocacy and Law Network Pvt. Ltd., A Not-for-Profit Company.