I am really pleased at how much support I am getting on this whole ADR thing. Even people who have used ADR and won awards are giving sympathy and advice.
I do not know how it will end. It is causing more stress than anything before because it so fundamentally upsets my view of the world. I really thought I had a handle on contracts and liabilities.
I really hope the outcome is a change in the way ADR works. If we cannot win this argument we need to go higher - writing to MPs, complaining to OFCOM, judicial reviews, whatever. It simply cannot be allowed.
I really hope this does not change the way we work with our customers.
To be clear - this is a business that wanted to be a cheapskate and stream live video commercially on ADSL lines for the Royal Wedding. We provided the service they wanted in time for the event they wanted for the price they expected (well, according to them within £6.94, and we credited more than that). We bent over backwards to get the service installed and working in time even though we faced huge obstacles. The ombudsman agree we were not in breach of contract.
There is no way that any sane legal framework allows us to be penalised for that.
For journalistic purposes, criticism and review, I am quoting one paragraph from the initial decision. I believe this is valid under copyright law. It is the final paragraph addressed to the claimant.
"You complain that you have incurred direct losses as a result of the delays AAISP demonstrated. You have not provided me with any evidence of this, and in any event it is not appropriate to recommend that AAISP make any such payment to you because it has not breached its terms of contract, which also preclude such claims being made. However, I am mindful of the multiple shortfalls in AAISP’s service, and the likely additional problems that they have caused you. I am satisfied that warrant a fairly substantial goodwill award, of £500 in addition to the £200 referred to above."
In this one paragraph we see the contradiction. The fact we are not in breach of contract. The fact it would be inappropriate to award losses as we are not in breach of contract. Then the award for loss of convenience with some magic sum that they do not explain and call "goodwill".
That should simply not be valid.