TPO creates new Deputy Ombudsman role and complaint teams to meet the needs of agents and consumers

Published on Monday, 09 January 2017.

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) has created a Deputy Ombudsman role and reorganised the way it reviews complaints to ensure agents and consumers receive an improved service and faster outcomes through new dedicated teams and technology.

TPO, which helps more than 16,000 consumers every year, has appointed Jane Erskine to the role of Deputy Ombudsman. Having started her career as a Solicitor in a private practice, a position held for over eight years, Jane joined TPO in 2007 as Case Officer, responsible for investigating complaints against property agents. Over the last ten years, Jane has become an integral part of TPO’s senior management team, most recently in her role as the scheme’s Casework Director.

In addition to her responsibilities with casework matters, Jane will continue her work with the Ombudsman Association and industry groups as a guest speaker and industry expert on case reviews, quality and standards.

Announcing Jane’s appointment and the new structure, Katrine Sporle, Property Ombudsman said:

“The Deputy Ombudsman will play a crucial part in the scheme’s future growth and development. Jane’s extensive experience and intimate knowledge of case law and the property sector has been a valued asset for many years and I look forward to working with her as we make improvements to enhance our service offering.

This new role is one of several key changes that will enable us to deliver a more streamlined service that puts the consumer at the heart of the process.”

Under the new structure, which came into effect from 3rd January 2017, the UK’s largest property dispute resolution service will now allocate each complaint to a multi-disciplinary case team consisting of Adjudicators, Dispute Resolution Advisors and Case Management Officers. This means that every new case will be assigned to a dedicated team that will manage the entire process from start to finish.

The changes are underpinned by the installation of a new telephone system, a new CRM system, and a new online portal that will transform the way the scheme reviews complaints by allowing agents and consumers to review live case updates, with additional functions for agents who will soon be able to renew their membership and update their contact systems at the click of a button.

Katrine added: “This is very much a work in progress that aims to provide modern services that are fit for purpose now and in the future, which have been designed to reflect the needs of both consumers and agents.”