Our Recommendations will depend on the circumstances of each case, which might include whether:
- The provider has taken steps to try to address or reduce any actual or potential distress and inconvenience.
- The provider’s handling of the complaint or appeal has caused distress and inconvenience beyond what we would normally expect.
- The student told the provider that the complaint or appeal was causing distress and inconvenience during the internal procedures.
- The student has provided evidence supporting the severity of the distress and inconvenience experienced.
- The student has experienced distress and inconvenience over a long period of time.
- The student has provided evidence of being a vulnerable person.
- The number and nature of the provider’s acts or omissions that led to a Justified or Partly Justified complaint.
- The provider is likely to have breached other laws, such as the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
- The person or persons who caused the student distress and inconvenience had high status at the provider.
- The provider had an opportunity to resolve a complaint but failed to take it.
- The student has lost time, experienced trouble, or incurred minor costs while pursuing the complaint.
We will also consider the impact of the student’s own actions, conduct or behaviour in assessing compensation for distress and inconvenience. We may consider whether the student:
- contributed to the issues that gave rise to the complaint or to the duration of the complaint.
- unreasonably refused or rejected an option that was available or offered by the provider.
- contributed to the delays in resolving the complaint.
Although we may recommend compensation for the time, trouble and minor costs experienced during the handling of a complaint or appeal this type of compensation is only recommended if what the student experienced was more than what is routinely experienced. For example, we may recommend compensation for time and trouble where information is disclosed during our review that was not made available to the student earlier and which, if known, could have resolved the complaint sooner. In all but the most exceptional cases, our Recommendations for payments for time and trouble will fall within the “moderate” band.
It is sometimes appropriate to recommend a payment for distress and inconvenience where an appeal was wrongly considered, and the provider needs to reconsider it. However, this will depend on the circumstances of the case. For example, we consider the seriousness of any procedural irregularity, how likely it is that the student will succeed if their case is reconsidered, any delays on the part of the provider, and whether the provider missed an opportunity to reconsider the case at an earlier time.