How we deal with feedback and complaints

Planned maintenance to payments system

We're making essential updates to our payments system from 1pm on Thurs 19 October to midday on Fri 20 October. We apologise that we won't be able to take online or telephone payments during this time

Your comments, compliments, complaints and suggestions are important to us because we use your feedback to help us plan improvements in the services we deliver for you.

To be able to clarify any details with you, you must supply contact details when you submit your feedback or complaint.

'How was it for you?'

'How was it for you?' is our procedure for dealing with your feedback. It helps to ensure all complaints are treated fairly and given equal importance.

We'll use this process for handling complaints about most services but some complaints must (by law) follow special rules and timescales set by central Government.

Download information about our complaints and customer feedback policy and procedures.

Our three stage complaints procedure

Our process has a maximum of three stages for dealing with a complaint:

Stage 1

  • your complaint is dealt with by 'front line staff' or manager of the service
  • you can expect a full response within five working days
  • if we aren't able to deal with your complaint in full within this time we will contact you to advise you of the delay and to let you know when you can expect a full response

Stage 2

  • your complaint is reviewed by an appropriate senior manager. If you're not happy with the outcome from stage 1, contact the customer feedback co-ordinator
  • the senior manager will arrange a review of your complaint. This review and response will not be by the same person who dealt with your complaint at stage 1
  • you can expect a full response within 15 working days or we will contact you to advise you of the delay and to let you know when you can expect a full response

Stage 3

  • your complaint is reviewed by the director or a member of staff independent of the service acting on the director's behalf. If you are not happy with the outcome from stage 2, contact the customer feedback co-ordinator. Our final review and response will be undertaken by the director or a member of staff acting on the director's behalf
  • as with the previous stages you can expect a full response within 20 working days or we will contact you to advise of the delay and to let you know when you can expect a full response
  • if the stage 3 review doesn't resolve your complaint and you want to take it further you will need to take it to the Local Government Ombudsman

Time limits

If after any stage you don't get back to us within four weeks of our response to you we will consider that you have been satisfied with the response you have received.

As part of our ongoing improvement activities we will write each quarter to randomly selected customers who have made a complaint and ask them how well they think we handled their complaint and whether they have any suggestions on how we could improve our complaints process.

Get help from others

When making a complaint you may wish to ask for help (at any stage) from friends or relatives, your local councillor or MP.

The Citizens' Advice Bureau website also have people who can help you make a complaint.

You may be able to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman, an independent organisation which looks at complaints about councils and some other authorities and organisations. It's a free service but you must have complained to us and progressed through each of our complaint stages before the Ombudsman will usually investigate.

Also see

Comment on this page
Feedback
Back to the top of the page