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Consumers fight for their rights

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale

CONSUMERS in Dumfries and Galloway were the biggest - and most successful - complainers in Scotland last year.

According to new information from the Ombudsman Services, people from this region made 228 complaints about energy and communications issues during 2017 and claimed back £66,316 for bad service.
What’s more, nationally Dumfries and Galloway consumers were the most awarded on average, claiming approximately £291 per complaint – more than £100 more than the regional average.
However, the Ombudsman Services, which handle disputes that have been ongoing for at least eight weeks, say many more are still missing out.
They estimate about eight million issues are ignored annually because people don’t want to make a fuss or think it’s too much hassle to complain.
Chief ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said: “It’s important that residents in South Scotland know their consumer rights and don’t put up with bad service. 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.”
Ombudsmen are providers of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and review both sides of a case before passing down a legally binding remedy, which is designed to put a problem right. For more information go to www.ombudsman-services.org.

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