Financial Ombudsman Service Employee Reviews about "investigators"

Updated 2 Dec 2020

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2.6
34%
Recommend to a Friend
33%
Approve of CEO
Financial Ombudsman Service Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman  Caroline Wayman  (no image)
Caroline Wayman
418 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Also managers have no trust nor do they agree with senior management but do nothing to voice their opinions(in 99 reviews)

  • "Targets unrealistic for all investigators(in 83 reviews)

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Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "investigators"

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Quality suffers due to targets"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investigator in London, England

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Benefits and flexible working patterns

    Cons

    Targets unrealistic for all investigators

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  2. COVID-19
    Helpful (2)

    "Conveyor belt system"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - PPI Adjudicator 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Met some really nice colleagues, added additional skills to my cv

    Cons

    Management very unstable consistent changes in decisions Training poor - once they train you can still fail cases for something you've never been trained on or ever come across Towards the end of the contract days were reduced but workload was still pretty much the same which resulted in 3 days pay but you probably logging on 5-6 days a week still Contractors not valued Treating everyone fairly is not practiced across contractors. During lockdown individuals circumstances not taken into consideration and now contracts who worked previously in ppi not able and will not be taken into consideration for investigator roles???

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  3. Helpful (36)

    "Problems with culture, discrimination and inconsistent management"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I think they are good at recruiting - because they have better staff than they deserve. Most people at the lower levels are nice, and work hard. I don't think the work is too stressful. The pay and benefits are OK. The work they do (when it is done competently) is a good thing to do. I felt good about the difference I could make for people. I could sometimes feel very proud of my work (but not consistently).

    Cons

    I think the biggest problem may be that they just don't value management skills. They recruited internally for ombudsman managers, and went almost entirely for ombudsman. They believed that making a decision was something that couldn't be taught, but that people who had never been a manager could immediately be given staff to manage with minimal support. It's wildly inconsistent. Rules vary from team to team. It's not bad if you have a good manager, but managers change. I had 3 in 6 months at one point. If you get a bad manager then it can be terrible . The organisation cannot admit it is wrong. Which means that when you get a bad manager they will back them up however obviously there is a problem. It's a wider problem, they don't just change rules they deny they have changed them (because that would mean admitting they needed to be improved). Things change constantly but they then act as if they have always been that way - that even applies to guidance they give to financial businesses. You would follow guidance and tell a complainant something, then someone would complain about you and they'd undermine you, say something different and deny you were ever given the original guidance. This is particularly bad as they changed so much. Instead of listening to staff (who provided honest and constructive feedback year after year when surveyed, only to see the same mistakes again) they paid huge amounts to consultants who got them to buy whiteboards so teams could "huddle" round them.. Which no one liked or found helpful. They got rid of them as soon as they could. I thought their customer service was good. I was genuinely impressed with the thought they would put into, for example, accessibility for disabled consumers. But they never showed any of that compassion to staff. They allowed consumers to be abusive, and did not back staff up. They treated anyone with a disability or health problem terribly. (They are obsessed with standing meetings - I was once at a training even where a heavily pregnant woman and someone with severe back problems nearly got into a fight as they each insisted the other one should take the only chair). They were racist. The number of people taking time of with stress or other induced illness was very high. (The work is not stressful, but feeling undervalued, unsupported and being given no control is). You can wait for months for guidance. Their IT systems were so terrible that they were due to bring the new system online for over 1000 staff on a Monday, and at 5pm on the Friday they changed that to less than 10 staff. They paid for outside trainers to train for the new IT system, but did not explain our jobs so they did not know what we would need to do, and could not understand any of our questions. And got them to do it while the software was still in development so by the time it was due to be rolled out it had changed beyond all recognition. And there was no budget or time left to train us in it. Instead of sitting down with expensive trainers for 2 half day sessions in computer rooms we got a 1 hour talk from one of the 10 people who had tried it, talking at double speed to try and give us as much information as possible. Instead of having an actual good culture that treats staff with respect they treat people like they are at school. Decorating competitions for Christmas, Easter egg hunts, activities like a school sports day. I was once trying to get my work done while someone was sending out quizzes and activities every hour throughout the day. They lost post/cases and I believe they lied to an independent enquiry about this. HR is terrible. The move to the new investigator system was a disaster. They badly trained people in complicated things while removing specialists to do simple work. Then strangely enough had to move away from this. Having wasted months with the training, misrepresented the jobs, and held complaints up for months while consumers waited. Most of the people who work there at the lower level are nice and hardworking (see pros) but when things do go wrong no one steps in. I've seen people in teams just stop speaking to each other while management did nothing. They talk in baffling management speak. They train people to use plain English and avoid "jargon" but do not understand that their odd touchy feeling management speak is also a type of jargon. (Their appraisals required showing that you "communicated as a person". )They paid money to get stickers for their doors (in their font, and colours) saying things like "lets PULL together". When staff survey results showed people were feeling unmotivated one of my managers made the team have a meeting so we could come up with 5 things that would motivate us. And we couldn't leave until we did. They have an exceptionally high staff turnover. Some of that is not their fault - they recruited many young people who could get better jobs with a couple of years experience. But some of it is. I knew one small training intake (8 to 12 people) where none of them lasted a year because they had been recruited on a probationary salary for 6 months, but after 6 months not a single one was taken off probation, or sacked, they were all just kept working at the lower pay being told to meet targets they could not meet (because they had not been trained or supported). The last staff survey I saw (via another expensive outside consultancy) asked how well people understood what senior management did. The findings gave a whole page to the results of this, because it was "unusual", as it showed that the higher up in the organisation someone was the less they understood what the top staff did. I think this probably sums the place up more than any single other thing - the higher up people were the less they knew until you got people who didn't know what they themselves did.

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  4. Helpful (20)

    "Sadly, not a great place to work anymore"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investigator 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Training received in customer services.

    Cons

    There is high turnover of staff-your managers change all the time and the support and guidance from knowledge experts are inconsistent. You will always be made responsible for something another investigator has done wrong. Some managers are great, some are very controlling. They will not help support you. They say you're doing well but then follow this up with how you're not meeting targets. They threaten you with performance reviews. And when you're are on one, they give you nothing but negative feedback. This makes you doubt yourself but if you know the guidance and have sought expert advice from elsewhere, then you're safe because you can stand your ground. Managers do nothing but support you - I echo most of the bad reviews on Glassdoor-if you're liked, then you will go very far. If you're not, then opportunities are taken away from you and you are left unsupported. Managers will tell you one thing, then having sought advice from senior management, will tell you something else afterwards. Targets are unrealistic. Senior management just want figures to make themselves look good. No support for the actual hardworkers. There are some lovely and fantastic people that the organisation has lost, and this is down to lack of progression, no clear advice and poor support. I would avoid this place. So many investigators are leaving because they're so unhappy. No support whatsoever.

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  5. COVID-19
    Helpful (43)

    "Horrific"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people, nothing else really

    Cons

    I recently had my contract terminated during the Covid 19 pandemic for not meeting the requirements of my plan whilst I was working from home. They still expected BAU and couldn’t provide me with enough cases but the rules of the plan were still the same as they are in the office. I asked what they are comparing this to and do they have any statistics of pass rate (80%) for people in this situation and of course they responded no. I made it clear to my manager in week 2 of the plan that I wasn’t in the right headspace and I wasn’t coping mentally with having to isolate on my own and get used to being in lockdown alone. My concerns were just brushed under the carpet and ignored. My manager explained that she would ‘never’ be an investigator and she would rather be an associate ombudsman (who doesn’t manage people) so that was always reassuring. Targets are a joke and the checking system is ridiculous. You are made to feel stupid and pathetic. All round a negative place to work and it does bring you down over time dealing with complaints week in week out with no recognition, just criticism on what you have done wrong - you are never recognised for what you do right. Absolutely no prospects for contractors - you are just an investigator and there is no jobs to promote to.

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  6. Helpful (16)

    "Still waiting for redundancy..."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Adjudicator (Permanent) in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Benefits (non-contrib. pension, medical ins., dental ins., sick pay etc Location Nice premises Great people Sports & social committee Networks (e.g. BAME Network, Sikh Network, Hindu Network, LGBTQ Network etc) Flexible working (e.g. remote working, flexible start/end time) 25 days paid annual leave plus bank holidays

    Cons

    Launching a new case management system (Phoenix) before sufficient preparation, pointless restructure (there's no difference between the current investigator role and the now defunct general casework adjudicator role), increased backlog of cases, unachievable targets for investigators, lack of experience due to high turnover since approx. 2015/2016 when restructure was implemented (getting rid of the original customer contact division was a massive loss of knowledge), tarnished reputation due to televised Dispatches investigation and poor Treasury Select Committee reviews.

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  7. Helpful (60)

    "Time for the Phoenix to combust...."

    4.0
    Current Employee - Ombudsman Manager 

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time

    Pros

    There are a huge amount of positive things about working at FOS. I've chosen to stay for the culture; the people; the variety of work; the job satisfaction; the challenges; the work/life balance, and so on. But my review today is with the sole purpose of highlighting one huge con.

    Cons

    Phoenix. Phoenix, the new operating system that has been years in the making, is simply ruining any enjoyment anyone (who works live cases) had for their job. It was delayed repeatedly because it wasn't fit for purpose. And I just don't think it's fit for purpose now. Taking aside those that have been tasked with Phoenix propaganda, you'd be hard pushed to find someone who thinks their working life has been improved by its arrival. Businesses are finding us to be slower (and are actually asking us if we're alright); consumers are telling us they don't have time to set up cases because it takes so long; our investigators are doing anything they can to avoid having to set up new cases; people are refusing overtime that involves Phoenix because it's just too painful to contend with. It's hugely counterintuitive and we're going to miss really important things; like spotting when something has gone wrong on a case. We're also seemingly sending emails into a black hole. And the issues aren't being publicised because there's only so much negative internal press Phoenix can take. The list goes on and on. There's support, there's training, there are floor-walkers.... everyone is doing their best to force this bird-shaped peg into a Clipper-shaped hole. Our organisation has had an issue with morale... let's not pretend the reviews for the past two years haven't happened. Do you know what would be the biggest morale boost right now? Binning Phoenix. We talk about how it's our prerogative to change our minds right up until a final decision goes out. Well.... no final decision has gone out here. We can unwind this. I really debated whether there was a better forum for voicing this. But, given the amount of money that's been spent, I don't think the organisation would take too kindly to little old me voicing my opinions in a polite email. If there are benefits that I haven't seen yet, fine. I'll keep trying to use it anyway and maybe they'll one day become apparent. But your best people aren't happy. The most positive and hardworking investigators aren't happy. The money has been spent but don't make it cost even more by losing them.

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  8. Helpful (7)

    "FOS IN MELTDOWN"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Investigator in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service for more than a year

    Pros

    The FOS have no Pro’s other than good working hours (if you are superhuman and can hit their unreasonable targets within good time).

    Cons

    Hiring new applicants who require training only to realise they have over hired and now need to actively place as many existing staff on reviews of assignment - to make space for new candidates following a change in buildings being available. (As confirmed by an Ombudsman Manager in Managed Investigations) Investigators are dealing with complaints that they have no specialist knowledge in - worked in a bank previously....great we’ve got some pet insurance complaints waiting for you! I have never worked for a company where so many members of staff looked and were so unhappy.

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  9. Helpful (9)

    "Not so bad Could be worse"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investigator 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time

    Pros

    Benefits package Challenging work Location

    Cons

    Investigator pay scale should be considerably higher and closer to the ombudsman manager pay considering the volume of work expected Flexible working can be better especially working from home. Demanding that parents must have childcare in place before working from home defeats the whole point of requesting to work remotely. Other organizations allow staff to work from home as it helps with the extortionate costs. So far as the job is done well you that all Very slow career progression and development

  10. Helpful (31)

    ""The Answers In The Room"...... "Then Everyone Left The Room""

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lovely colleagues, and decent offices.

    Cons

    CW has destroyed, what once used to be a wonderful organisation to work for. Surrounded by horrible Senior Managers who have done more to demoralise staff and increase the attrition of highly skilled employee’s. (That’s when everyone left the room) Then there are Ombudsman Managers, who know nothing about financial products, in my team the OM didn’t have a clue. I was put in a team that dealt with a complex Insurance product and it required a depth of industry knowledge. Most of us came from banking and consumer credit so we’d just put the insurance cases to the back of the queue. That way we could close the easier cases, and meet the ridiculous targets. I echo everything other reviewers have said, the place is just a glorified call centre, with target boards. All that's missing is Investigators being asked to push the sale of double glazed windows. This crooked culture is a direct result of the managements changes, if consumers are losing out then she is to blame. The new case management system....."From the ashes the phoenix will rise" hmmm.... phoenix didn't make it to the runway. We were spending more time setting up cases on a system that's useless and not fit for purpose. DO NOT TAKE A JOB AT FOS, IT’S THE BUILDING WHERE DREAMS DIE!!!!! AND YOU’RE MENTAL HEALTH WILL SUFFER.

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