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More consumers protected by The Furniture Ombudsman

The Furniture Ombudsman’s pool of retail members grew by 13.5% in 2015, according to the latest figures.

The Furniture Ombudsman managed a total of 3,968 disputes in 2015.

Some of the product categories disputes were filed under include upholstery (56%), cabinetry and beds (21%), and kitchens (products and installations) (16%).

The scheme’s other division, Dispute Resolution Ombudsman, managed disputes for non-furniture related goods and services including clothing, electricals and jewellery.

Furniture items were in the home of consumers for on average of 329 days before a dispute was filed. This figure was calculated using data from 2014 and 2015.

97.8% of cases were resolved or closed as a result of the conciliation process. In 2.2% of the cases the Ombudsman team had to make a decision.

Out of the 2.2%:

- 43% of cases were found in favour of the consumer and an award was made;
- 30% were found in favour of the trader;
- 27% were split decisions. In these cases some of the consumer’s claims were upheld and some were not.

Even the most complex cases took on average 77 days to complete.

The Furniture Ombudsman’s pool of members extends to over 8,000 stores across the UK.

Kevin Grix, CEO and Chief Ombudsman of The Furniture Ombudsman, says: “Our Annual Review presents a good opportunity to thank and praise our members, who voluntarily join our scheme and trust us with their most priced asset – their customers. Although we saw an increase in furniture complaints in 2015, the number of retailers that joined our scheme went up as well. We also rolled out more accredited training in 2015 than the previous year, so we are confident that we are supporting our members to raise standards and better serve consumers.”


For more information, a copy of the report, or to speak to Kevin Grix, please contact Alexandra Dobocan at or call 07557447295

Note to the Editor

Abut The Furniture Ombudsman
We are a not for profit, government approved ombudsman scheme that offers services under two trading names, The Furniture Ombudsman and Dispute Resolution Ombudsman. We provide a range of services including alternative dispute resolution, training and advice to the furniture, home improvement and the retail sectors.

Traders join the scheme on a voluntary basis. Please see a full list of our members here.

Set up by The Office of Fair Trading in 1992 and overseen by a Standards Board, we work with the industry to raise standards and inspire consumer confidence. Over the years, we grew more passionate to support the industry and have worked hard to go beyond our initial remit.

Today, we offer City & Guilds accredited training to traders and support our members with a dedicated advice line to ensure they meet their obligations and are better equipped to service their customers.

Every year, we bring the industry together through the members’ workshops we organise. This is not just an opportunity to get an update on consumer law, but also to spot trends and share good practice, so consumers benefit from an enhanced experience when shopping with our traders.

Our pool of members extends to approximately 8,000 retail, furniture and home improvement outlets in the United Kingdom. All of our Full Members pledge to abide by a Code of Practice which bestows additional rights on the consumers who shop with them.

We recognise that traders in these sectors are diverse and face different challenges. Because we want to understand these challenges and be prepared to support businesses in tackling them, we have been creating alliances and non-commercial partnerships with relevant industry bodies and organisations.