Having taken the legal advice, and given up on this, we have questions for the ombudsman. I cannot see how asking such questions, as a customer and member, cannot be valid or how they could in any way backfire or cost us.

So we have asked them:-

We have asked some questions, and most were not answered.

Now that the case we were dealing with is over, we are, of course,
trying to make changes to our business processes. Almost all of these
changes are bad for our customers, which is a shame, but we have no choice.

We do, however, have a very loyal customer base, and after news of this
case came out we have a lot of customers stating on their enquiries
words to the effect of "we promise not to take you to ADR".

I am trying to find out if such a promise is valid - if someone says
that, and then they do later take us to ADR, will you still accept the case?

I hope you can find the time to answer us, as your customer, and a member.


And also:-

Another question which I do not believe was answered...

If we have a dispute where a customer owes us money, it is clear that
the customer could refuse to pay and take the matter to ADR.

It is clear that even if we have started proceedings in the small claims
court, you will still accept a case.

What we want to know is: at what point you will not take a case?

If we have issued a county court claim and have a judgement against the
customer for non payment, is it then a "resolved dispute" and so not
acceptable as an ADR case.

Is there some point earlier, such as if we have a hearing date, i.e.
where the customer has clearly accepted the jurisdiction of the courts
by filing a defence?

We need to know exactly when, and if, a cause via the county courts is
no longer eligible for ADR.

This is highly relevant to the timescales under which we issue county
court proceedings where customers refuse to pay. 8 weeks is a very small
time scale for such things, but just about possible.

I look forward to your reply on this matter.


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