We will make sure it is easy to let us know about any service problem by:
- Ensuring our service users can make complaints /give feedback in a variety of ways including on the telephone, in person, by email, in writing and via our website;
- Making complaints information available in alternative languages and formats upon request.
What is a complaint
We encourage our staff to be open to complaints. Our definition of ‘a complaint’ is 'Any formal expression of dissatisfaction with a policy, procedure or our performance of a service or contractual duty.' However, we are always keen to hear if customers or other service users are unhappy for any reason
Our objectives are simple:
- To make it easy for customers or their representatives to complain if they are unhappy with the service that they receive
- To ensure complaints are dealt with in a courteous and efficient way and are resolved without avoidable delay
- To maintain records of complaints received for internal monitoring and learning
What is not covered by this Policy?
CDS will not address the following under this complaints policy:
- First notifications of problems or issues which are requests for service (eg. A repair notification or request for help with a noise problem)
- Issues that the complainant knew about more than three months before they complained and did not alert us to,
- Issues that have been responded to as a complaint and where no further complaint is made within one calendar month of response
- Any issue which is subject to another resolution process (for example, by legal action or by a tribunal).
- Complaints relating to the policies and procedures or actions of an independent client co-operative. We do not have any authority in these matters but we will make sure that complaints are to the Client Co-op for their action and will let you know who the issue has been referred to
- Complaints relating to Government Policy
Client Co-operatives – ‘Business to Business’
If a client co-operative is unhappy with the quality of service provided by CDS under the terms of the management (or other written) agreement, the Chair or Secretary should address their concerns directly with the Client Relationship Manager (CRM)
The CRM will investigate and seek to resolve any service issue and will provide a full written response within 20 working days. If the Client Co-operative remains unhappy with the response, they should then address their concerns through the disputes process set out in the management agreement.
Receiving a complaint
We want to know if customers or other service users are unhappy and we positively encourage staff to “hear” and capture complaints whether or not a formal complaint is made. Staff will actively log dissatisfaction as a complaint so that it can be formally responded to in a timely way.
We aim to resolve all informal complaints fairly, consistently and promptly at the first point of contact and within one working day. Where it is not possible to achieve this aim for any given reason we will then treat it as a formal complaint and it will be passed to the relevant service manager to respond.
|Stage||Next Steps / Task||Target Time for Response||Lead Officer|
|1.||Acknowledgement letter sent following receipt of the formal complaint||2 working days||Service Centre Officer|
Full response provided –Service UsersFull response provided – Client Co-operatives
10 working days20 working days
Housing Service ManagerClient Relationship Manager
|2.||If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome from Stage 1 then they can make a Stage 2 complaint within 1 calendar month of the Stage 1 outcome. Acknowledgement letter will be sent.||2 working days||Service Centre Officer|
|Full response provided||10 working days||Director / Board Member|
Throughout each stage of the informal / formal complaints process staff will speak to the complainant within one working day to:
- Ascertain why they are unhappy?
- Find out what outcome they are looking for
During the investigation of the issues raised, staff will be honest and open about what we can/cannot do to meet the expectations of the person who has complained. They will provide a full written response to formal complaints within 10 working days and this will set out specifically:
- Whether the complaint has been upheld fully, partially or not upheld
- What action will be taken
- When this will be done
- The name of a lead officer to fulfil this promise (where action is proposed)
If for any reason a full response cannot be provided within this timeframe the service manager will write to the complainant to advise them when they can expect the full response to the issues that have been raised.
Designated Person / Housing Ombudsman Service
If at the end of the internal complaints process the customer remains dissatisfied they can:
- Refer their complaint to a ‘Designated Person’ as laid down in the Localism Act 2011 to assist in the resolution of the complaint at a local level, or
- give authority to the ‘designated person’ to refer their complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service immediately; or
- Wait 8 weeks following completion of CDS’s internal complaints process and refer their case themselves to the Housing Ombudsman Service.
For more information about ‘Designated Persons’ please visit the following websites: www.cds.coop or http://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/ Email : firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Housing Ombudsman Service on 0300 111 3000.
You should not use the complaints procedure to complain about antisocial behaviour by other residents unless you have already reported the problem to CDS and you feel that we have failed to take appropriate action to tackle it.
Repairs and maintenance
If your complaint is about a repair or about the condition of your home, please make sure that you have reported the problem to our Customer Service Centre or the maintenance inspector and allowed us a reasonable period to inspect your home or complete the repair before you make a formal complaint.
Complaints about co-op management committees and services provided by independent co-operatives
We regret that we can only consider complaints about services provided by CDS Co-operatives.We cannot look into complaints about services provided by independent co-operatives or about the actions or decisions of their management committees.Every co-operative should have its own complaints procedure and should deal with complaints fairly and impartially.
Learning from complaints
We believe that complaints can help us to continually improve our services. We will aim to capture the lessons that we learn and identify the improvements that we make as a result of this feedback.
We will contact our customers after their complaint is resolved or closed to find out how helpful and effective they thought we were. We will carry out regular complaints reviews and publish an annual report to share information about complaints causes, outcomes and learning.