The General Optical Council (GOC) has issued a tender for a consumer complaints service to resolve complaints about optical goods or services.

The three-year contract will begin in April 2014. The GOC is retendering because its current contract with the Optical Consumer Complaints Service (OCCS) runs until March 2014. The consumer complaints service does not have enforcement powers but acts as a mediator in disputes.

GOC Chief Executive and Registrar Samantha Peters said,

“We are continuing to fund this service in the interests of the public, registrants and optical businesses. We are looking for someone to produce independent, fair and unbiased resolutions to consumer complaints. We look forward to working with the successful candidate.”

The types of complaint that the service deals with are those that would not typically call a registrant’s fitness to practise into question. For example, the service may help consumers resolve customer service issues, such as obtaining refunds for faulty glasses. It can be of particular benefit to vulnerable consumers who would find it hard to deal with problems on their own.

The deadline for responses is 31 October. The GOC will then hear presentations from shortlisted candidates and expects to announce the successful candidate in January.