Stephen has attended a parliamentary event hosted by Ombudsman Services, one of the leading providers of redress in the UK, to learn more about local consumer trends in the energy and communications sectors.
Designed to provide support for MPs helping residents in their local areas with consumer issues, the Ombudsman Services team were on hand to offer a tailored overview of specific energy and communications issues affecting those in each area.
Last year, in East Ham, residents made over 115 complaints about energy and communications issues, from billing issues to switching suppliers. In total, consumers were handed back £7,500 - the equivalent of £64 per case - as Ombudsman Services corrected the injustices they had experienced.
As well as hearing more about current consumer issues in his constituency, Ombudsman Services invited Stephen Timms to show they take consumer rights seriously, by pledging to 'stand up for consumer rights', along with 29 other MPs from across the UK.
The event forms part of a larger drive by Ombudsman Services to develop a more systematic and proactive approach to consumer redress, with a view to tackling issues at source, and enhancing consumer experiences for everyone.
Stephen is able to help residents with complaints, as well as many other issues, at his weekly surgeries at. For ongoing energy and consumer complaints, residents should get in touch with Ombudsman Services by visiting www.ombudsman-services.org.
At the event, Lewis Shand Smith, Chief Ombudsman at Ombudsman Services, said: “Knowing your consumer rights and the options available to you if you receive poor service is very important. We want to see a more proactive approach to consumer redress in the UK, so it’s great to see MP’s like Stephen Timms showing commitment to helping constituents, showing that this is not an issue to be taken lightly.
"Complaining should be an easy, hassle-free experience – if you’re still in a dispute with an energy or communications company after eight weeks, Ombudsman Services can look into the case for free and provide a resolution – it could be worth your while.”
Speaking afterwards, Stephen said: “I meet a lot of people in East Ham about consumer rights and complaints, and often they don't know how to take a complaint further, so I’m keen to raise awareness of how people can tackle bad service.
"Today was a good opportunity to discuss the barriers and issues for customers when it comes to complaining, and to learn more about the redress sector. If anyone has an issue that can’t be resolved with the company, I would encourage them to come to one of my clinics, or approach the relevant Ombudsman.’’