Definition of the week: OMBUDSMAN The Ombudsman is a representative of the people, and it does not necessarily refer to one person. In fact, there are various types of Ombudsman, including the Ombudsman for: Short Term Insurance, Long Term Insurance, Motor Industry, Online, Independent Media Group, Financial Services, and Press.
The Ombudsman for Credit is relevant to our series of Knowing Credit courses. The Ombudsman for Credit acts as an agent of negotiation between you and the credit provider, when a query or dispute cannot be resolved. If you have all your information ready, as discussed in our previous lesson, you need to follow a certain procedure to make a query or log a dispute. Step 1
- Contact your credit provider as soon as you realise the issue, so that you can convey the query or dispute.
- Make sure you have all your information ready, and describe your query or dispute as clearly as possible.
- Ask for a reference number for your query or dispute.
- Ask the credit provider when they will get back to you (the turnaround time).
- Give the credit provider the time agreed on to respond, and move to Step 2 if the turnaround time has passed and your issue is not resolved.
- Go to your credit provider’s branch or website, and look for information about what the escalation process is when an issue is not resolved within the turnaround time.
- If you have still not received feedback about your query or dispute, escalate the issue to the relevant person listed by your credit provider.
- Make sure you keep a record of your query or dispute, including: reference number, dates, and people you spoke to.
- After you have escalated the process to the relevant person and you find that you have still not received feedback about your query or dispute, you should lodge a complaint with the National Credit Regulator (NCR), or to the relevant Ombudsman in your area.
- The NCR or the Ombudsman will investigate your query or dispute, and will try to find a resolution.