Put simply, a final response letter is your response to the complaint, but it needs to include key components in order to be considered a Final Response Letter. You can’t just write to the consumer saying that you disagree, it needs to explain why in detail.
The Final Response Letter also has to be issued within eight weeks (for businesses that aren’t payment services providers), so you have strict rules around when this needs to be issued by and what it includes.
It’s important that you know what needs to be included in the letter. Not only does it include the outcome of your investigation and any award that you might be making, it also needs to include other information otherwise, it’s not a Final Response Letter in the eyes of the DISP rules.
So, make sure you include a copy of the Ombudsman’s consumer leaflet and the website address for the Ombudsman Service.
You also need to make sure that the consumer is aware that they have six months from the date of your letter to refer the matter to the ombudsman and also whether you’re waiving any time rules relating to timebarring.
We have seen some truly shocking examples where businesses have put no thought into the letter or have simply not carried out a thorough investigation.
This letter is so important to you, the business, because it represents your opportunity to try and win back that consumer. It represents the sum total of your investigation into their complaint and it also gives you the chance to show that you have taken what they’ve said seriously.
All this in one letter I hear you ask? Yes, which is why it’s so important that you nail the letter and show all of the investigation that’s gone into it. It essentially showcases you’re working out.
As we say we’ve seen some shocking examples of Final Response Letters, but we’ve also seen some amazing ones too. For us the difference comes down to showing that you’ve listened and taken on-board the consumer’s complaint.
What does that mean? It means that you’ve not paid lip service to what they have said, you’ve gone away and looked at the concerns they have raised. You’ve investigated whether they hold any water and if they don’t you’ve explained in a way that the consumer understands. In other words you’ve put the customer at the centre of your complaints handling.
During the one day workshop we cover everything you need to know about Final Response Letters including: