Customer Feedback Service Guarantee
We want to ensure the services we provide meet both our published standards and the needs of our customers. All customer feedback is important to us.
Comments and Compliments
We welcome your comments and compliments about our services, and will use these to improve our services further.
If you are pleased with a service, please tell us so that we can thank the member of staff or team and make sure that we use this positive feedback to improve other services.
We aim to deliver the best service possible, however, we recognise we don’t always get things right. We use complaints to learn how things might have been done better, to help improve the services we provide and to work with our customers to reach a fair resolution.
In line with the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code definition - we consider a complaint to be “an expression of dissatisfaction’ with the standard of service or with an action or lack of action by our staff or contractors. We accept feedback by all channels, telephone, email, web form, social media and letter. Due to the current COVID restrictions, we are not able to meet customers face to face but our Customer Relations Team are available to provide support and guidance on the complaint process and can be contacted on 0300 304 5000 – please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How We Will Deal With Your Complaint
If the issue is straightforward and can easily be resolved, this will be dealt with in an informal way. We will log and assign to a front-line member of staff as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction’. You can expect a response, usually by telephone, within 48 working hours of receipt
If the issue is more serious, requires a full investigation, relates to staff or contractor behaviour, or you request it to be considered formally, the matter will be logged as a formal complaint (Stage 1). All formal complaints will be acknowledgment in writing within 2 working days of receipt and a complaint case reference number will be provided. The complaint will be assigned to an appropriate manager or senior member of their staff. They will investigate the matter and provide a formal, written response within 10 working days of receipt. Sometimes in order to provide you with a full response, we may need more time to complete our investigation. In such cases we will write to let you know.
We aim to respond to all Stage 1 complaints within 20 days of receipt
Should you remain dissatisfied with the outcome– you can request to escalate your complaint to Stage 2 of our internal process. You must contact us within 4 weeks from the date of our response letter explaining the reasons for your dissatisfaction and your preferred outcome.
Stage 2 complaints are assigned to a senior member of staff, in most cases the Director for the relevant service. As with a Stage 1 formal complaint, your complaint will be formally acknowledged within 2 working days and responded to, in writing within 10 working days of receipt. As above the response date may be extended should further time be needed to complete our investigations. You will be notified in writing if additional time is needed.
We aim to respond to all Stage 2 complaints within 30 days of receipt
If You Remain Dissatisfied
If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, following the conclusion of our internal process, you can contact a ‘designated person’
Designated persons were introduced in April 2013 as part of the Localism Act. A designated person is your local Councillor or MP.
The role of a ‘designated person’ is to facilitate resolution of complaints, which may involve them providing advice to complainants; advocating on their behalf; discussing matters with the landlord; engaging with other designated persons or carrying out other actions.
They may also refer complaints to the Housing Ombudsman where they consider that they are unable to resolve a complaint locally and if a complainant authorises them to do so.
Social Housing Tenants, Leaseholders, Market Rent Tenants and Care and Support (in relation to occupation and tenancy management), may complain directly to the Housing Ombudsman. Complaints to the Housing Ombudsman do not have to be referred by a designated person, but if they are not, the Housing Ombudsman requests that you wait at least 8 weeks from the end of our internal complaint process before you contact them.
The Housing Ombudsman will only consider your complaint once you have completed our internal process.
However, you can contact the Housing Ombudsman at any point during the complaints process for their guidance and advice:
Housing Ombudsman Service
PO Box 152
Liverpool L33 7WQ
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
Fax 020 7831 1942
We will co-operate with the Housing Ombudsman in accordance with their Complaint Handling Code
Estuary Housing Association – Self Assessment With The Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code.
As a member of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme, we must comply with the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code. As required, we have reviewed our complaint handling processes to ensure that they align with the requirements of the code – you can read our Housing_Ombudsman_Self_Assessment_November_2020.pdf [pdf] 109KB