Complaints Handling: Statement of Results and Final Determination

On June 6, 2012, the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) released its Statement of Results and Final Determination on the regulator’s public consultation for licensee handling of consumer complaints.The principal objective of the consultation (launched December 2011) has been to establish minimum standards by which URCA licensees, providing services to the public for commercial gain, will be required to set out their own complaints handling practices and procedures.

Requirements include but are not limited to:

  • Licensees must advise consumers of their right to complain and of the existence of a mechanism to do so, which must be reasonably accessible to the consumer.
  • The licensee must also clearly indicate the means by which complaints may be made.
  • Licensees must formally acknowledge to consumers that their complaint has been received and must do so within no more than five business days of such receipt.

The Final Determination also establishes standards for retaining records, internal escalation processes for resolving complaints, the communication of decisions regarding complaints and the closing of complaint cases. Licensees are additionally encouraged to establish provisions for complainants that may have “special needs”, particularly in instances where such persons may require third party assistance and/or representation on their behalf.

These guidelines became effective with the June 6, 2012 issue of the Statement of Results and Final Determination, which may be downloaded via the below noted link. The full press statement of this release may also be likewise accessed.