The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Because the model under which an ombudsman works is broadly this, that the business is able to say to the dissatisfied citizen, look, we've told you we don't think your complaint is justified. But if you're not happy, you don't need to go to the newspapers or to your MP or whatever about it. You can go to the ombudsman it's free the ombudsman will investigate it, and look at it, and express his opinion, and if you don't accept the ombudsman's opinion, then at the end of the day you are still free to go to court.

Now, that's a strength and a weakness of the system. The cards are stacked to a certain extent in favour of the consumer, but this is a model that was invented by the industry voluntarily originally. But because it is in that way, then it's very easy for the industry to bring complaints to a suitable close.

The reality is that once the consumer gets to the end of the process, and has the ombudsman's decision, and given the risk of an adverse costs order, it would be a very brave consumer who then went off to court and it's not something that one normally hears of.

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