Complaint handling code self-assessment
How a complaint is defined
|Code requirement (from the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code)
|Evidence, commentary and any explanations
A complaint must be defined as:
'an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf,affecting an individual resident or group of residents'.
Corporate Complaints and Compliments Policy:
A complaint is defined as the concern or dissatisfaction of a customer regarding the service, action or lack of action taken by the Council. Customers are not necessarily required to quote the words complain or complaint in order for the Council to recognise their dissatisfaction as a complaint. A complaint is not a request for service, information or an explanation of Council policy or practice. Complaints will also not be accepted about formal decisions taken by committees or those delegated to staff, where there is an existing right of appeal or where there is active or pending legal action. A customer is able to complain if they believe the Council has not followed its process correctly, these are complaints regarding the process the Council has undertaken and are not about a decision that it has made.
|The resident does not have to use the word 'complaint' for it to be treated as such. A complaint that is submitted via a third party or representative must still be handled in line with the landlord's complaints policy.
|The policy includes clear reference to accepting complaints from third parties that are authorised to act on the customer's behalf. Responses to these complaints will be issued directly to the authorised party. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.
|Landlords should recognise the difference between a service request, where a resident may be unhappy with a situation that they wish to have rectified, and a complaint about the service they have/have not received.
|Detailed in the policy.
|Survey feedback may not necessarily need to be treated as a complaint, though, where possible, the person completing the survey should be made aware of how they can pursue their dissatisfaction as a complaint if they wish to.
|Insight surveys where carried out are reviewed monthly and respondents contacted where feedback is negative or where dissatisfaction/comments made.
|...if further enquiries are needed to resolve the matter, or if the resident requests it, the issue must be logged as a complaint.
|Detailed in the policy.
|A landlord must accept a complaint unless there is a valid reason not to do so.
The policy outlines that a complaint is not a request for service, information or an explanation of Council policy or practice. Complaints will also not be accepted about formal decisions taken by committees or those delegated to staff, where there is an existing right of appeal or where there is active or pending legal action.
|A complaints policy must clearly set out the circumstances in which a matter will not be considered, and these circumstances should be fair and reasonable to residents.
|See above other than where complaint made anonymously.
If a landlord decides not to accept a complaint, a detailed explanation must be provided to the resident setting out the reasons why the matter is not suitable for the complaints process and the right to take that decision to the Ombudsman.
|The policy outlines where it is a service request and that contact is logged and recorded as such and request actioned.