What is a complaint?
A complaint is when you tell us that you are dissatisfied with our service. It may relate to:
- the quality or standard of service
- failure to provide a service
- how long we took to deal with your case
- conduct or attitude of a member of staff
- failure to follow our process.
What is not covered in the service complaint process:
- an expression of disagreement about our decision on a complaint or evidence taken into account in reaching a decision; this is dealt with through our review process
- an attempt to re-open a previously concluded service complaint
- a request for information
- issues that are going through a legal process or already have been heard by a court or tribunal.
Who can make a service complaint?
Anyone can make a complaint to us including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service or the service you have received from us.
When can a service complaint be made?
A complaint should be made as soon as possible and at the latest within four weeks of the issue arising or three months of the final decision in a case so that we can consider and resolve it promptly.
Information to include in your service complaint
It helps us if you can state clearly what happened, why you are making a complaint and what you would like us to do.
Please include the following:
- your title and full name
- your email address
- your full postal address
- preferred method of communication
- if you need someone to act on your behalf, please make sure they provide evidence of your authority to do so.
How we deal with a customer service complaint
We have a two-stage service complaint process.
We will let you know within three working days that we have received your service complaint and if we are considering it.
Your service complaint will usually be dealt with by the manager of the person you have been dealing with.
There are three key questions we consider:
- what are the specific issues complained about?
- what is your expected outcome?
- is your expected outcome reasonable or achievable?
We will establish the facts to ensure a full and objective response. We may:
- talk to staff
- review evidence already available or provided by you.
Time frame to deal with your service complaint
The length of time it takes to resolve your complaint about the service depends on the complexity of your complaint and what it involves. For example:
- your complaint is about several issues
- your complaint is about an incident we don’t already have the information about
- your complaint is complex and we need longer to investigate.
We aim to give you a full response within 20 working days.
Remedies to resolve a service complaint
To resolve your complaint, we will consider remedies so that, as far as is reasonably possible, we can put you back in the position you would have been in had we done things correctly.
We have a variety of remedies available to resolve your complaint including:
- an apology
- provide an explanation if something has clearly gone wrong
- correct an error or take other remedial action
- undertake to improve procedures or systems
Stage 2 - If you are not satisfied with the response at Stage 1
If you are not satisfied with the response to your service complaint at stage 1 you may wish to contact us again. Please do so within four weeks of our stage 1 response.
We will acknowledge your request within three working days.
Please tell us why you are still dissatisfied with our Stage 1 response, for example:
- we did not cover all of your main points in our response
- if you do not agree with our decision at Stage 1 of your service complaint, together with your reasons for disagreement.
A senior member of staff will consider your service complaint and aim to provide you with a response within 20 working days.
The decision at Stage 2 is the end of our complaints about the service procedure.
How to contact us to make a service complaint
Call 0300 111 3000. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:15 am to 5:15 pm (except public holidays).
When you call us our reception service will put you through to the relevant member of staff who can take down your complaint over the telephone. A manager will provide a written response.
- send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- send a letter to:
Housing Ombudsman Service
PO Box 152
Liverpool L33 7WQ
Should you submit a service complaint by Twitter we will refer you to the relevant team for a response.