How we handle your enquiry:
We can provide free legal and practical advice if you contact us regarding a problem with a purchase if the following applies:
- You live in the UK
- You are a consumer (a private individual, rather than a business)
- You have an issue with a business outside of the UK
If in doubt, contact us and we will let you know if we are able to help. If we are not able to advise or assist directly, we can usually point you in the right direction.
If the advice we provide does not resolve your case, we may be able to contact the company on your behalf. This is known as mediation. Although this does not guarantee a successful outcome, we will always try our best to resolve your case.
We have mutual agreements in place with consumer organisations in many other countries to work together to handle cases. This means that if the company that you have a complaint against is based in one of the countries where we have a partnership, we will be able to pass on your case to our partner organisations for them to make contact with the company on your behalf. Further information on our process and the countries we partner with are included below.
1. First legal assessment - Our advisors will use the information prodvided to give you the relevant legal advice and inform you of what steps you can take to resolve the problem. In most cases, the advice we give will help you to resolve the problem, but if this is not the case, we can advise you of your next steps.
2. Creating a case - If we have enough information to help us identify a breach in the law, will ask for documents to support your claim. This can include emails, letters, order confirmations, bills, statements, etc.
3. Full assessment - we then assess these in full and prepare the case to be sent to our partner organisation.
4. Case shared - If the company is based in one of the 34 countries that we partner with, we can send your case over to our partner organisation. They will assess the case again using their knowledge of the law in that country.
5. Contacting the company - if the organisation are satisfied that there has been a breach of law, they will make contact with the company and inform them of your case. The company will also be avised of their legal obligations and asked to provide a resolution to your complaint.
6. Resolution - In most cases, we are able to acheive a positive outcome through our mediation service. If this is the case, we will advise you of the outcome and close the case once we have received confirmation that this has been fulfilled.
7. No response or no agreement - Our partners will often make 2 attempts to contact the company, and will close the case if they do not receive a response. Sometimes, a company will respond and disagree with our legal assessment. We will still try to come to an agreement which suits both you and the company, but we cannot make any company agree with us.
8. Next steps - In some cases it is not possible to reach a resolution. If this is the case, we will advise you on your next steps. This may include court action.
Countries we have partner organisations in:
- The 27 Member states of the EU
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- We can offer advice and medation only. We are not an authority body.
- We cannot offer an opinion on how a case may fare in a court situation. We are only able to provide advice on the law as it is.
- We cannot force a company to abide by the law, but we do share information with organisations who do have the power to take action against companies for breaching the law, e.g. trading standards. Please note, we do not have control over how these organisations use the information that we provide.
- If an enquiry falls outside of our scope, we may need to signpost you to another organisation in order to help you resolve your complaint.