What Happens Next?

Step 1: Complaint Assessment

Once we receive your complaint, we’ll review it and get in touch with you to establish the best way to help you.

If the Ombudsman doesn’t have jurisdiction, we will provide referral information and appeal options. We will also give you information and advice on how to address the concerns.

If the Ombudsman has jurisdiction, we will determine whether the issue can be resolved using various dispute resolution techniques.

Step 2: Complaint Review and Resolution

The Ombudsman’s office will try to resolve a complaint without a formal investigation using a variety of dispute resolution techniques when the following criteria are met:

  • The complainant has provided enough details and relevant information to make inquiries
  • The complaint is straightforward
  • The situation is urgent (e.g., the complainant is at risk of losing power or a serious economic situation)
  • The complainant and decision-maker are receptive to the approach
  • There is no impact on the long-term implementation of the service and the resolution fits within the existing policies and procedures of Hydro One
  • There is a reasonable chance of resolution within a timely framework

Early resolution techniques—shuttle diplomacy, mediation, negotiation, and facilitation—provide the complainant with an opportunity to be heard and to identify and clarify issues. In most cases, the process allows the parties, both the complainant and Hydro One, to reach satisfactory conclusions including a better understanding of the issue from each other’s perspective.

Step 3: Formal Investigation

A formal investigation may be started when the following criteria are met:

  • The complaint is complex
  • The complaint involves multiple issues
  • The issues are systemic or system wide
  • The Ombudsman decides to initiate an investigation to examine root causes
  • The Ombudsman will notify the CEO in writing that an investigation is being started.

If at any time during the investigation the complaint can be resolved, either because the complaint is not disputed or information can be provided that will resolve it, the complaint may be resolved and closed with the Ombudsman’s agreement.

When an investigation is started, the Ombudsman has no opinion about its outcome and remains impartial throughout the process.  At the end of a formal investigation, the Ombudsman will write a report outlining the outcome, the reasons for the conclusions and/or any recommendations, as required.

 Flow chart showing the Ombudsman Office complaint resolution process. The office receives and assesses the complaint, then determines whether or not the complaint is within the Ombudsman's mandate. If the complaint is within the mandate, it is reviewed and either resolved, escalated to an investigation or it is determined that no further action is required. If the complaint is either premature or outside of the Ombudsman's mandate, it is referred to the appropriate office or designate.