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[alac] The Ombudsman and the world

  • To: Interim ALAC <alac@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [alac] The Ombudsman and the world
  • From: Vittorio Bertola <vb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2005 16:43:16 +0100


I was browsing through the printed Ombudsman report that I grabbed in
Vancouver, and one thing struck me.

If you take the chart describing the geographical distribution of
complaints (page 6, top) you discover that 75% of the complaints for
which the location of the complainant is known come from just three
countries - USA, Canada and UK. In practice, the Ombudsman is almost
only being used by a few English speaking developed countries (you could
also add a further 3% from Australia and 2% from South Africa), where
people possibly know what the term means, are accustomed to the concept,
and can manage a transaction in English.

On the other hand, there were only six complaints in the overall from
the Spanish speaking world; only four from Central Europe; not even one
from Southern or Eastern Europe, just one from Russia, and not even one
from China, Japan or Korea.

I don't know whether figures are changing in the present year, but it
seems to me that we could ask Frank and ICANN to raise the level of
attention on how to offer an ombudsman service to the rest of the world
as well. Possibly there are cultural barriers to be overcome, and
outreach to be done - in Italy, the very term "ombudsman" is a total
mystery, they tried to introduce it in the financial world, for consumer
protection towards banks, and had to reconsider the idea because no one
was able to write or read the word correctly, not even the very people
appointed to the role - but definitely something should be done.
vb.             [Vittorio Bertola - v.bertola [a] bertola.eu.org]<-----
http://bertola.eu.org/  <- Prima o poi...

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