Avon Navigation Trust appoints waterways Ombudsman to handle complaints

Published: Thursday, 02 January 2020

THE Avon Navigation Trust (ANT) has joined the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme to give its river users an independent final third level for complaints.

KevinFitsgeraldThe scheme will provide independent dispute resolution for customers from 1st January 2020, on top of the Trust’s current in-house complaints procedure.  The move replaces the previous arrangement where an Independent Trustee/Director was the final escalation point for complaints.

Demonstrating its commitment

Commenting on the news, Kevin Fitzgerald, Chair of the Waterways Ombudsman Committee, which oversees the independence and accessibility of the Ombudsman, explained:

"The Avon Navigation Trust is demonstrating its commitment to its customers with the appointment of the Waterways Ombudsman. Investing in complaints handling is a clear sign that they want to provide the level of service that their customers expect.”

Clive MatthewsEncourage feedback

The Avon Navigation Trust Chief Executive, Clive Matthews, commented:

“We actively encourage feedback and make it as easy as possible for people to have their say.  We get very few complaints but the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme provides a valued, independent system of adjudication if customers are not satisfied with the outcome of our own investigation.”

Independent and impartial

The Waterways Ombudsman Scheme provides an independent and impartial means of resolving disputes outside the courts at no cost to the complainant .

Sahah DanielIt can investigate disputes between complainants and ANT that have been progressed through ANT’s internal complaint handling procedure, or those that have reached a deadlock stage.  Complainants must contact ANT directly to seek a resolution to their complaint before they can escalate the complaint to the ombudsman.

Impressed with the commitment

Sarah Daniel, the Waterways Ombudsman, remarked:

“I am delighted that Avon Navigation Trust has joined the scheme.  When I visited the office at Mill Wharf I was impressed with the commitment to providing a personal, effective and efficient service to customers.”

More details about the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme can be found at www.waterways-ombudsman.org