OwnCo Homes views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person that has made the complaint.
Our policy is:
- To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint
- To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint
- To make sure everyone at OwnCo Homes knows what to do if a complaint is received
- To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
- To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired
- To gather information which helps us to improve what we do.
When we get things wrong we will act to:
- Accept responsibility
- Explain what went wrong and why
- Put things right by making any changes required
We listen to every complaint, treat them seriously, and learn from them so that we can continuously improve our service.
Definition of a Complaint
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of OwnCo Homes. We treat as a complaint any expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for a response.
Unreasonable Behaviour and Unreasonably Persistent Complainants
We define unreasonably persistent complaints as those who, because of the frequency or nature of their contact with the organisation hinder our consideration of their or other people’s complaints.
Difficulties in handling such complaints can place strain on time and resources and can be stressful for staff who have to deal with these complex and challenging issues. In order to counter this, we will introduce a policy that deals with unreasonable behaviour and/or unreasonably persistent complainants.
Where Complaints Come From
Complaints may come from any person or organisation who has a legitimate interest in OwnCo Homes.
A complaint can be received verbally, by phone, by email or in writing. We provide a complaints form for convenience and to help in dealing with the complaint, but we will deal with complaints however they are received.
We will log all complaints we receive so that we can monitor the types of problems, the best way to sort them out and how long we are taking to deal with them. This also helps us to take a closer look at how we can improve our own service delivery.
However it is made, the details of the complaint will be recorded, either electronically (over the phone or internet connection), or in writing.
All complaint information will be handled sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.
Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with the Directors of OwnCo Homes.
This policy is reviewed regularly and updated as required.
Complaints Process – Guidance for Complainants
We want to help you resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.
We are committed to providing a high-quality service to everyone we deal with. In order to do this we need you to give us any comments about our service, and to tell us when we get things wrong. We want to help you resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.
We treat as a complaint any expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for a response. We listen to your complaints, treat them seriously, and learn from them so that we can continuously improve our service.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not.
Our policy covers complaints about:
- the standard of service we provide
- the behaviour of our staff
- any action or lack of action by staff affecting an individual or group
Our complaints policy does not cover:
- matters that have already been fully investigated through this complaints procedure
- anonymous complaints
- complaints about access to information where procedures and remedies are set out in legislation
Our standards for handling complaints
We treat all complaints seriously, whether they are made by letter or by email.
You will be treated with courtesy and fairness at all times – we would hope, too, that you will be courteous and fair in your dealings with our staff at all times.
We will treat your complaint in confidence within the department and in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.
We will deal with your complaint promptly – we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two working days and we will send you a full reply within ten working days of receipt.
If we cannot send a full reply within 10 working days of receipt we will tell you the reason why and let you know when we will be able to reply in full.
We will publish information on the numbers and categories of complaints we receive, and the percentage of complaints upheld.
How to Complain
Verbal complaints may be made by phone to 0333 2001554 or in person at our offices to a member of staff.
In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate.
Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to the Complaints Officer.
On receiving the complaint, the Complaints Officer records it in the complaints log. If it has not already been resolved, they delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take appropriate action.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond.
Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within two working days. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply. A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached.
Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within ten working days. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress update should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.
There is no further stage of review or appeal regarding the outcome of a complaint; the decision of OwnCo Homes’ Directors is final.
Monitoring and Learning from Complaints
Complaints are reviewed periodically to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.