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Property Ombudsman to introduce 24-hour web chat service

Monday 04 September 2017

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has announced plans to launch a 24-hour chat function, aimed at enhancing the way consumer complaints are handled online.

The online chat service, which will be available for customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, comes following a three-month pilot in which over 3,500 enquiries were handled by live chat provider, Yomdel.

TPO reports that it receives 14,000-16,000 complaint enquiries each year and that the number of enquiries increased by 27% in the first quarter of 2017 alone.

The partnering with Yomdel, who already work with over 1,400 estate and letting agents to provide live chat services, will offer an around the clock customer complaint service and allow consumers to seek independent dispute advice and resolution directly via the TPO website.

Ombudsman Katrine Sporle said:

“We’ve seen a rising level of complaints in recent times and currently receive between 14,000-16,000 enquiries every year, with around a quarter of these generating a serious complaint requiring formal review and judgment.

“This is a first-of-its-kind partnership which has supported us in managing a hidden demand from a difficult to reach group and has meant that we can now capture and service many more people than before.”

“Our decision to introduce an online help facility, and to partner with Yomdel in delivering this, has been hugely impactful – with customers able to obtain personal and expert advice and guidance quickly and efficiently.”

Andy Soloman, founder and CEO of Yomdel, commented:

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside TPO, and using highly skilled operators to bring human interaction online, to deliver a fantastic digital customer experience.

“This helps TPO open up its dispute resolution earlier and to many more people, resulting in issues being positively resolved before they have a chance to escalate. We’re passionate about supporting our clients throughout every step of their own customers’ journeys, and the dispute resolution field is a core area.

“We’re also working alongside TPO on other initiatives to improve the way complaints are handled, and are hugely excited about what this may mean for the wider property industry and ombudsman services.”