Resolving Any Disputes
MAPS has a comprehensive and impartial, three stage dispute resolution service. MAPS’ process includes:
- Working with our Customer Services Department to resolve any complaints informally;
- Providing a mediation service to help reach an agreement; and
- If not resolved at previous stages, access to an independent Ombudsman service to resolve any outstanding disputes and, if necessary, make awards which are deemed suitable and fair.
MAPS’ dispute resolution services are free of charge to consumers.
By being a member of MAPS, organisations demonstrate to their customers that they take complaints seriously – the MAPS brand is a mark of trust, confidence and peace of mind.
MAPS’ processes are designed to be high quality and effective. MAPS provides a speedy resolution of disputes in order to protect consumers. Most complaints are resolved within a few hours. More complex cases may take a little longer.
If the consumer chooses not to accept MAPS’ decision, the customers’ legal rights remain unaffected and they can take the matter to court – subject to any requirements set by the courts. However, this is a rare occurrence as the MAPS 3 stage Dispute Resolution process usually resolves all, but the most difficult cases, very quickly.
MAPS’ 3 stage dispute resolution process:
This process is an entirely free service for consumers and is in addition to all your other consumer rights:
- Access to Customer Services: MAPS’ Customer Services department will work with consumers and companies to come to a mutually acceptable agreement. The Customer Services department provide an unbiased view of the situation and liaises with consumers and companies with the aim of resolving complaints quickly, effectively and informally.
- Access to Mediation: If the complaint is not resolved through Customer Services, the case will be passed onto the Mediation Department. MAPS will provide professional mediators to the consumer and organisation. The mediator will request information from both parties, assess that information and try to bring the complaint to a speedy, fair and reasonable solution. The mediator has the authority, if deemed necessary by him/her, to instruct a specialist assessor/inspector to provide an independent forensic analysis report to help decide, if proof is needed, of any specific technical problems and what might be done to help resolve any issues.
- Access to an independent Ombudsman: If Mediation is unsuccessful, the consumer will have free access to an independent Ombudsman service which can resolve disputes without the need to go to court. The Ombudsman service provides an independent, impartial and completely free service to consumers to help resolve disputes between MAPS members and consumers who are interacting with them and will make a decision believed to be just and fair in the circumstances. The Ombudsman Service can make financial awards for loss, distress, inconvenience or breach of contract (the maximum amount that can be awarded is £100,000). The Ombudsman’s findings are binding on the company. However, nothing in the MAPS service restricts a consumer’s rights; on the contrary MAPS extends those rights. If a customer remains unsatisfied despite the mediation and the Ombudsman’s rulings then he or she can still seek legal advice with a view to taking the matter to court.