Compliments & Complaints
What to do if you have any complaints about Tees Valley Housing
At Tees Valley Housing, we are committed to providing excellent services for our customers.
Whilst we make every effort to ensure that we provide you with the services you need and ensure you are satisfied, unfortunately on occasions things can go wrong. It is important that you tell us so that we have the opportunity to put things right and improve for the future.
Compliments and suggestions are just as important to us as they show where we are getting things right and where we may need to review the services we provide.
We want to ensure that we receive as much feedback as possible, whether it is a complaint, compliment or a suggestion as we see this as a way of learning from what we do and continually improving our services.
Where feedback is received we aim to let you know how we have listened, learned and acted upon it through the tenants’ newsletter, Voice.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is where a customer expresses dissatisfaction with the way we have acted, particularly where an initial response to the problem has not proved to be satisfactory.
For example a complaint could be where:
- You feel that we have not followed a published policy or procedure
- You feel that we have failed to deliver or meet an expected standard of service
- You feel that our staff or contractors have been unhelpful or acted in an inappropriate manner
As a guide, a complaint should be made within 28 days of the reason for the complaint occurring.
What is not included?
There are certain issues that cannot be dealt with through our complaints procedure although we will always listen and provide you with a response. For example, if you have a complaint about your neighbour this would be dealt through our anti social behaviour procedure. However, if you were unhappy about how we dealt with the situation with your neighbour, this would be dealt with through the complaints process.
If you are unhappy about a policy or procedure and feel that we should be doing things a different way, for example the way in which we set our rents, we would see this as a suggestion. We value this type of suggestion and any feedback is taken into consideration when reviewing policies and procedures. Where we are unable to change our policies, for example because certain laws mean we are obliged to do things a certain way, we will explain this to you.
How to make a complaint
If you feel you need to make a complaint, it is important you contact us and tell us:
- What the complaint is
- When the issue(s) arose
- Whether you have already contacted us to try and get the issue(s) resolved and what we have done to assist
- Who you reported it to and who has been involved
- How you feel we could resolve your complaint
Complaints can be made:
- In person at the office
- To any member of staff when they are on the estate
- By telephone
- By completing our online complaints form
- In writing
- By email to Contact.Team@fabrickgroup.co.uk
We would encourage you to let us know your complaint as soon as possible as this will help in the matter being investigated quickly.
- Take complaints seriously
- Treat you fairly and with respect
- Use complaints and customer feedback to help improve our service and learn from our mistakes
- Be open and honest and provide explanations for decisions, especially where we are unable to change things
- Treat any information you provide as confidential unless you agree to it being shared, for example where you have asked someone to act on your behalf
Our complaints procedure
We asked our customers what mattered to them when making a complaint and based on this information we changed our complaints policy and procedure.
We understand that it is important for you to have your complaint dealt with quickly as possible. The majority of complaints can be sorted out by discussing the issues with the relevant members of staff and that is why our procedure encourages this.
We encourage customers to work with our front line staff to resolve any problems at the first point of contact and our employees will help you as much as possible in resolving any issues you may have.
If you feel that a manager should deal with the issues you raise, a more detailed investigation is needed or the complaint is about a member of staff, the details will be taken and it will be passed to the senior manager responsible for the service you have complained about to deal with.
The senior manager will contact you, investigate the issues you have raised and confirm the outcome of the complaint, giving you a full explanation of the reason for the decision reached.
If the complaint you make is about one of our managers, their director will investigate the matter.
Tees Valley Housing is committed to improving the service it delivers to customers and tenants. Every complaint that is received is carefully considered to see how we can try to prevent a similar situation happening again.
We recently developed a new housing management IT system which allows us to collate information on any compliments or complaints we receive.
Click here for our most recent complaints summary.
Click here for our complaints analysis 2010/11
Click here for our complaints analysis 2009/10.
Is there anyone else I can turn to if I am still not happy?
Unfortunately, there are occasions when you might not be satisfied with the outcome of a complaint. If this is the case, you can contact a designated person which is any MP, your local councillor or a tenant panel where one exists.
Following this if the designated person is unable to help you they can refer the matter to the Ombudsman.
If you prefer not to contact a designated person you can still refer your complaint to the Ombudsman but at least eight weeks must have passed from the final decision on your complaint before they will consider your case.
The Independent Housing Ombudsman
The independent Housing Ombudsman provides a free and independent service.
You can telephone the Ombudsman for a free complaint form on 0300 111 3000, or visit the website at www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk for further information on the designated person role and the ombudsman service.
Alternatively you can email the ombudsman at email@example.com if your complaint is being referred by a designated person or eight weeks have passed since the receipt of the final decision about your complaint or complete complaints form available from the ombudsman website www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk.
Unreasonable and persistent complaints?
Although these cases are rare, there are occasions where we have fully investigated a complaint, all the options to resolve it have been looked into and a customer continues to complain about the same issue or the complaint may even be malicious.
Where this happens we may decide that we are unable to assist any further and view the case as closed and no further action will be taken on complaints about the same issue.
The decision on whether a complaint is to be treated in this manner will be made by a director and the person making the complaint will be advised of the reasons for any decision.
What about unacceptable behaviour?
Our employees will make every effort to help you; however we do not expect them to put up with abusive, insulting or threatening behaviour. Employees will record any of these incidents. A decision will then be made by a senior manager about whether we will limit our contact with you.
If you have behaved in this way, we will tell you the restrictions and the reasons why.
Compliments are important to us as they show where we are getting things right and recognise the hard work of staff members working to provide services for you.
How do you deal with compliments?
Any compliment is shared with the staff members or teams that have received it, as well as their manager or director.
If we can use a compliment to benefit the company, we will make sure it is shared across the business.
If you feel that we should be doing things a different way, please tell us.
Any suggestions we receive will be sent to a senior manager who will make sure we use the suggestions when we study our services, policies and procedures.