What is CISAS?

CISAS (Communications & Internet Services Adjudication Scheme) is an Ofcom approved alternative dispute resolution provider.  CISAS is designed to adjudicate disputes that have not been resolved through the communication provider’s own internal complaints procedure. The service is free, independent and impartial.

Please refer to our Guidance Notes in our Downloads section (to the left) for information on how we help resolve your dispute. 

We accept our application form in other languages, however, please note that the process and final decision is all in English.

As per Ofcom’s requirements, more than 90% of cases need to have a decision issued within six weeks of being accepted.

When it comes to the evidence, you will need to provide things like:

  • Dates you first  became aware of the issue or issues
  • Confirmation of the date that you first raised the issue with the company
  • Any copies of correspondence between you and the company. This can include emails, letters, webchat and SMS.
  • Any details of telephone calls you have had with the company. This can include, the names, dates and time of the people you spoke to
  • Any other relevant information that you consider will assist in your complaint.

Please note that it is the customer’s responsibility to provide as much information as possible to assist with their claim. Please note that if you are waiting on information from the company, to hold off registering a complaint until you have received that information. If you have only had verbal discussions with the company, please ensure a summary of those calls is provided with your application.

Submitting call recordings as evidence
Many companies routinely record the telephone conversations they have with customers for training and quality assurance purposes and sometimes these recordings can provide useful information for the adjudicator to consider.

Whose job is it to make sure the recordings are provided to the adjudicator?
It is your responsibility to collect and submit the evidence you would like the adjudicator to consider. This includes any call recordings that you would like adjudicator to listen to.

While companies may include call recordings as part of their response in a case, they may not do so. Therefore, you should not assume that the company will provide any of the call recordings in your case.

You can ask the company to send any call recordings that they had with you, but in most cases, you will need to submit a subject access request in order to obtain them.

What is a subject access request?
You have a legal right to access and receive a copy of your personal data, which includes call recordings, correspondence, account notes and other relevant information from any company who may have it. This is commonly referred to as a subject access request or ‘SAR’.

  • You can make an SAR verbally or in writing, including via social media. Check with the company for details of the ways in which they will accept a SAR (some companies have a specific process that must be followed).
  • Someone can also make a SAR on your behalf if you can prove that you have given your consent for them to do that.
  • In most circumstances, the company will provide the information to you free of charge.
  • Companies are required to provide the information within one month of your request, although this can be extended by the company for a further two months if your request is complex or if you submit multiple requests.

Will CISAS obtain the evidence/call recordings on my behalf?
No, CISAS will not obtain any evidence on your behalf. It is your responsibility to provide the evidence that you want the adjudicator to consider as part of your case.

In some circumstances, the appointed adjudicator may ask the company for a specific call recording or other piece of evidence. However, the adjudicator cannot force the company to provide it.

Does the company need to keep all of my call recordings?
No. Not every call to a company is recorded, and sometimes calls may have taken place so long ago that the company no longer has a recording available. Companies aren’t required to record every call and they often have data retention policies that mean call recordings are deleted after a certain period of time.

Should I submit my claim before I receive the recordings from the company?
No, you should submit your claim only once you have all of the information and evidence that you would like the adjudicator to consider. Also, once a claim has been made, we cannot put it on hold while you gather evidence. As companies can take up to three months to respond to a SAR, you should wait for their response before starting your case.

CISAS is managed independently by Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), an Alternative Dispute Resolution Provider, approved by Ofcom, to resolve disputes related to communication and internet services. The service is free of charge to customers as required by the Communications Act 2003.

No. You must give your communications provider the opportunity to address your concerns first. In many cases they will be able to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction.

No, CISAS is a free service as per the Communications Act 2003.

To register a case with CISAS please use the Complain Now button. This will take you to our case management system where you can start the process. This is the fastest way to register a new complaint.

Alternatively, you may wish to complete and submit an application via our web form, that is accessible here

You can also register a new case by printing and posting the completed Application Form found in the Downloads section.

If you require a reasonable adjustment, you can contact the Enquiries & Administration Team on Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and you can ask for an over the phone application to occur.

The data below is taken from our CEDR Customer Satisfaction Survey for Consumer Adjudication and Arbitration, specifically in relation to our CISAS Scheme. These figures are updated monthly.

To view the survey results please click here

You may wish to contact the following organisations:

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB):
If you need assistance with any legal aspects of the service/complaint. Their website is https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ and their advice line is 03444 111 444.

Ofcom
If you wish to contact the regulator for communication services their website is https://www.ofcom.org.uk/

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)
If you seek advice regarding a discrimination complaint, the EASS may be able to assist you. They can be contacted on 0808 800 0082 and their website is accessible at www.equalityadvisoryservice.com.

Samaritans
If you are having a difficult time or experiencing stressful situations, you may wish to contact the Samaritans. They be contacted on free call 116 123 Their website is https://www.samaritans.org/

Equality and Human Rights Commission
0808 800 0082
https://equalityhumanrights.com/en

Ombudsman Services
If the company is not a member of CISAS, they may be a member of Ombudsman Services: Communication. They can be contacted 0330 440 1614 on and their website is accessible at
https://www.ombudsman-services.org/ 

Companies covered

The steps you must take before submitting a claim

Step 1.

Raise your complaint with the company in the first instance

Step 2.

If the company is not able to resolve your dispute to your satisfaction within 8 weeks or is the dispute has reached ‘deadlock’ you can come to CISAS.

Step 3.

CISAS will adjudicate the dispute and an adjudicator will issue a final decision. You are free to either accept or reject this decision.

Things we cannot assist with

  • The location of telegraph poles/mobile phone masts
  • Damage to property
  • Cable and wiring inside your property
  • The creative content and messaging of websites, advertisements, calls, emails, SMS or messages
  • Employment and staff issues in communications companies
  • Commercial decisions made by companies about whether to provide a product or service
  • Fraud or other criminal matters
  • Data protection issues
  • Personal injury claims
  • Discrimination

Important Notice:
The role of reviewing complaints related to Virgin Media is changing. Please note that the last day to register a new complaint against Virgin Media will be on Saturday 31 December 2022. After this date, you are free to register a new complaint against Virgin Media with Ombudsman Services.

What does this mean for you?
If you have registered a case with CISAS by 31 December 2022, the case will be completed by CISAS to a conclusion. If you wish to register a new case after this date, you would need to contact Ombudsman Services, even if you have been signposted to CISAS.
 
Ombudsman Services contact details are listed below:
Telephone: 0330 440 1614
Website: www.ombudsman-services.org
Email: [email protected]

Ready to submit a complaint?

Complain now

Ofcom note
Ofcom recently closed an investigation into two providers for breaching their obligations under General Condition (GC) C7 of the
General Conditions of Entitlement, which sets out Ofcom’s regulations in relation to switching, including slamming, an extreme form of mis-selling. It is essential that providers within the scope of GC C7 are aware of and understand the full requirements set out in the regulations, seeking legal advice where necessary. In light of this investigation, Ofcom has published an open letter reminding providers of some of the key switching requirements. We encourage providers to read the letter, which can be found on Ofcom’s website – Compliance with switching regulations: an open letter to communications providers (ofcom.org.uk).

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