Frequently asked questions

Useful documentation

Video guides

How we can help you make a complaint

How we can help you make a complaint

How do we do it

Once a case has been registered, CISAS will do an initial review to assess whether the claim is eligible in line with the CISAS Rules. If a case is eligible, the complaint will be sent to your communications provider to provide a response to your claim. You will be able to see and comment on this response. If the communications provider offers you a settlement and you accept this, the case is then closed as resolved. If there is no settlement offer, after receiving the communications provider’s response and your comments, the matter is assigned to a CISAS adjudicator. All CISAS adjudicators have a legal background and carefully review and assess all of the information provided by both parties before reaching a final decision. If you accept the final decision, your communications provider will have to comply with any directions made.

 

More information about the process is available in the Scheme Rules and our Guidance Notes in the ‘Useful Documentation’ section above.  

 

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

How long does it take?

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

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

Ofcom information

Below are some useful links to Ofcom pages for consumers and companies.

Useful links

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 advice line is 03444 111 444 and their website is https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

 

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 and 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/ 

Useful numbers

Please find below some useful numbers:

  • Sky- 0333 7591 018
  • Vodafone- 0333 304 0191
  • TalkTalk- 0345 172 0088
  • Now- 0330 332 3050

About CISAS

About CISAS

Who approves CISAS?

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.

Is CISAS independent?

Yes, the operation of CISAS is overseen by Ofcom, the government-appointed Competent Authority and regulator of the communications industry in the UK.

Would the communications provider have to commit to use CISAS?

As long as you want to use CISAS, and your case falls within the scope of what we can deal with, then your communications provider must cooperate with CISAS.

 

If you accept a settlement offer or an adjudicator’s decision, then your communications provider must comply within 20 working days of your acceptance. Any instances of non-compliance will be reported to Ofcom on a regular basis.

Where can I find information about CISAS customer satisfaction?

To view the latest Customer Satisfaction figures please visit our Reports. 

Guidance

Guidance

How can I complain to CISAS?

To register a case with CISAS please use the 'New case' 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 Online Form

 

You can also register a new case by printing and posting the completed Application Form found in the ‘Useful Documentation’ section on this page. We do also accept the completed Application Form via email to cisas@cedr.com.

 

If you prefer to register your case over the phone, you can contact the Enquiries & Administration Team on Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on 020 7520 3814.

How much can I claim?

The maximum sum which an adjudicator may award you is £10,000.00. This sum includes compensation, refunds, credits and waivers.

What is deadlock?

If your communications provider is unable to agree with you on a mutually acceptable resolution to your complaint, and no further proposals are forthcoming, you may receive a letter or email from them with the title ‘deadlock letter’ or ‘final response’. This will tell you that they will not be able to put forward any further proposals and will tell you that you can apply to CISAS if you wish.

Can I withhold payment to the company for its services pending the outcome?

No, referring a dispute to CISAS does not remove your duty to pay the company any bills that are not part of your dispute. Please note that the company may continue with debt collection activity whilst your case is open with CISAS. If you are contacted by the company or a third party debt collection agency, you can inform them that you have raised an escalated complaint, but they are not obliged to stop debt collection activity and it is suggested you pay all amounts that are not disputed.

Can I complain to CISAS without complaining to my communications provider first?

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. However, if you have received a deadlock letter or 8 weeks have lapsed since you initially raised your complaint, then you can come to CISAS

Cost

Cost

Do I pay to use CISAS?

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

Can I recover the costs of preparing my CISAS case?

No, you must pay for any costs in preparing and submitting your case to CISAS. This includes any third party costs.

Auto-Comp payments

If your service provider has agreed to take part in the Scheme, the updated amounts from 1 April 2022 are applicable.

 

Problem

A landline or broadband customer would be entitled to compensation if…

Amount of compensation

Delayed repair following loss of service

Their service has stopped working and it is not fully fixed after two full working days.

£8.40 for each calendar day that the service is not repaired

Missed appointments

An engineer does not turn up for a scheduled appointment, or it is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice.

£26.24 per missed appointment

Delays with the start of a new service

Their provider promises to start a new service on a particular date, but fails to do so.

£5.25 for each calendar day of delay, including the missed start date.

Application process

Application process

What evidence should I provide?

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.

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.

Can I withdraw my case at any point?

Yes, you are able to withdraw your case at any point and take the matter to another forum. However, once an adjudicator’s final decision is issued, you are only able to accept or reject the decision.

What file types can I submit?

Please be aware that if you are emailing in evidence or uploading directly to our online case management system, the permitted file types include docx, doc, pdf, png, jpg, jpeg, .msg with a file limit of 40mb. We are unable to accept any other file types. If you do send in evidence in a format we cannot accept, you will be required to resubmit in one of the above mentioned formats.

Making a decision

Making a decision

How will the adjudicator decide my case?

The adjudicator will consider the following:

  • The information you provide in your application along with any supporting evidence you submit;
  • The evidence submitted by the company in response to your claim;
  • All relevant law and any relevant terms and conditions;
  • What is most fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

Who makes the decision in relation to my case?

A legally-trained CISAS Adjudicator who will have no direct contact with you or your communications provider to ensure full independence and impartiality.

Can I talk directly to the CISAS Adjudicator?

No, the appointed adjudicator will have no direct contact with you or the company to ensure full independence and impartiality.

Who decides the outcome of the dispute?

A professional, legally trained adjudicator appointed by CEDR will decide each dispute by reference to the documentary evidence supplied by the parties, the CISAS Rules and the relevant law. The adjudicators are experienced in dealing with all types of communication and internet service disputes.

The outcome

The outcome

What will I receive from the adjudicator?

The adjudicator will produce a written decision, which will be sent to you and your communications provider. The adjudicator’s decision is confidential, and the communications provider must follow it if you choose to accept it. If you decide that you do not agree with the adjudicator’s decision, you are free to reject it and pursue your claim elsewhere if you wish. In this case, the adjudicator’s decision will not be binding on your communications provider.

If my claim is successful, when will I receive the remedy that the adjudicator has rewarded me?

Where the adjudicator decides in your favour, the communications provider is required to give you the remedy or remedies that the adjudicator has told them to give you within 20 working days of you telling CISAS that you accept the decision.

 

Please note that if the adjudicator directs the communications provider to pay you a sum of money, the communications provider may choose to apply this money to your existing account in the form of a credit.

If my claim is successful (in part or in full) can I accept the outcome but dispute the monetary amount awarded?

No, you are not able to accept the outcome but dispute the amount awarded under any circumstances. You can of course reject the decision and take the matter to another forum.

 

Where the adjudicator decides in your favour and you accept the decision, the communications provider is required to give you the remedy or remedies that the adjudicator has told them to give you within 20 working days of you telling CISAS that you accept the decision.

If the company offers to settle my complaint (in part), can I attach any conditions to the offer?

No, if the company wishes to settle your dispute by offering to resolve the matter in part, you are not able to attach any conditions to the offer. You are free to accept or reject the offer as it appears.  CISAS does not negotiate on your behalf or get involved in the settlement process.

Collecting data

Collecting data

Subject Access Request

The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) is registered under the Data Protection Act 2018. CEDR is covered under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

 

Under current data protection laws, you're entitled to ask us for a copy of all the personal data we hold about you. This is known as a subject access request. A subject access request doesn't give you the right to access specific documents or an entire file. Instead, it entitles you to your 'personal data' in a clear and permanent form, as well as other supplementary information.

 

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.

 

When you make a subject access request, please let us know exactly what information you're looking for to ensure we provide you with the relevant information. This request can be made in writing or verbally.

 

Please note that we have 30 days to comply with your request. 

Are calls with CISAS recorded?

Please note that all inbound and outbound calls are recorded for quality and training purposes. If you do not want your call recorded, please advise the call handler immediately and alternative methods of contact will be arranged.

 

We wish to also advise you that we only retain calls for a 12 month period. Any requests for calls after that date are no longer accessible.

Complaints about CEDR

Complaints about CEDR

What if I have a complaint about CEDR?

If you want to complain about CEDR please read our Complaints Procedure. Once you have read the Complaints Procedure and you want to submit your complaint, please use our Complaint Form below. Please note that adjudicator decisions are out of scope and are unable to be reviewed or appealed. Also, if a customer or subscribing company wish to bring a complaint about CEDR, they must pay their own costs of preparing the complaint.

Please note that if you require a reasonable adjustment, a member of the team can take your complaint over the phone.

Complaints Procedure

Complaint Form

Independent Reviewer's Terms of Reference

The steps you must take before submitting a complaint

1

Contact the company

Raise your complaint with the company in the first instance.
2

Get in touch with CISAS

If the company is not able to resolve your dispute to your satisfaction within 8 weeks or if the dispute has reached ‘deadlock’ you can come to CISAS.
3

Accept or reject the final decision

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