What if things go wrong?

Nobody's Perfect

Even the strongest vetting process has its limitations and we can't guarantee that you will always be happy with the service your receive. Over the past +/- 20 years, we have found that roughly 2% of reviews are complaints. Most firms will admit to the occasional mistake but they also face difficult customers, with unreasonable demands that can't be resolved. So if you read a complaint about a firm that has otherwise impressed you, get in touch and ask them for their side of the story.

Independent Dispute Resolution

Independent Dispute Resolution

We can't take side in disputes, but we want to make sure that consumer have somewhere to go for a listening ear. We are equally concerned that businesses may suffer from an unfair review which might have a permanent impact on their reputation. Businesses that display our independent dispute resolution logo are subject to the service explained below. Our memberships page for each business will show you if they are a member of another organisation and if this also offers dispute resolution, then that process will take precedence.

Speak to the firm

If you have a concern or complaint, make sure you contact the business as soon as possible and before you tell us - it's only fair to them. The sooner you speak to them, the more likely it is that they can do something to help. Confirm your questions in writing and keep a copy of their replies.

If the firm is a member of a professional body

Follow the link from their memberships page to see if they can help - especially on technical matters. Many organisations have a formal process to handle consumer complaints.

Contact Citizens Advice

Independent Dispute Resolution

The Citizens Advice service helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice. Every Citizens Advice Bureau is a registered charity reliant on trained volunteers and funds to provide these vital services for local communities. Call them on 03454 040506 or visit Citizens Advice Bureau

Tell Referenceline

We will show them your response and we usually allow 10 days for you to try to resolve any issues.

If you're still unhappy

If your complaint is still unresolved after 8 weeks, or if the business makes a final offer which you don't accept, please contact Referenceline. We will advise on the process for contacting the independent Dispute Resolution Service.

If the service is able to consider the matter, then Referenceline will publish the adjudicator's decision as well as the customer's review and the business's response. Read more about the dispute resolution process.

Ratings Moderation

If the adjudicator finds in favour of the business, then Referenceline will publish the review but may exclude that customer's ratings from the total for that business, if this will help consumers make a more informed choice.

The service is free to consumers

It is also free to businesses if the adjudicator finds in favour of the business.

Useful links

BBC Watchdog
This includes a number of sample letters which you can tailor to your complaint.