Our aim is to ensure that you receive a high standard of service from us at all times. However, sometimes things do go wrong or we make mistakes, or our services, or the work of our contractors, isn't up to an acceptable standard - and you may wish to make a complaint.
We really want to hear from you and encourage all feedback and to help with this we've developed a complaints policy and procedure to ensure that we deal with any complaints we receive effectively and fairly.
If you'd like to make a complaint you won't receive any discrimination or a lesser service as a result.
Here is some more information about our complaints procedure and how you can make a complaint if you feel you'd like to.
What is a complaint? - A complaint is when one of our customers states that something is unsatisfactory or unacceptable due to something that we've done, which we are responsible for and the matter requires a response.
Who is a customer? - A customer is anyone who contacts us to request a service, or is in receipt a service provided by Independence Trust.
Our promise and aim is to resolve complaints quickly, fairly and effectively. We will:
- Allow complaints in any format about issues that have occurred within the last 3 months
- View complaints positively
- Aim to put things right quickly for you when they go wrong
- Clearly explain the reasons for any decisions we make
- Provide opportunities for you to appeal decisions
- Seek to learn from any complaints and to improve future performance
- Ensure that complainants are not discriminated in future dealings with us as a result of their complaint
- Direct the complaint to the appropriate organisation if the complaint relates to matters not within the responsibility of Independence Trust
We hope that most issues can be settled quickly and as close to the source of the problem as possible. Should you be dissatisfied, you should contact us to discuss and allow us to try and resolve the matter immediately through our feedback process. Should you remain unhappy with our response, we have a three stage process, these being:
On occasion we may immediately escalate your concerns directly to our complaint stage and/or conclude our internal complaint process. We will agree this directly with you and explain why.
Feedback - Initial Stage
When you contact us we will try and resolve the issue there and then. If this isn’t possible; we’ll tell you who is responsible for handling your feedback and will aim to make contact to discuss the issue with you by the end of the following day. If your feedback will take longer to resolve, we’ll let you know and promise to keep you up to date. We will log your concerns on our complaints and feedback database so it is recorded properly.
If you’re not happy with the outcome of your feedback at this stage, you’re able to progress your concerns to the complaint stage of our process.
Complaint - Stage 1
A manager will deal with your complaint and we’ll advise you of this in writing or via email if you request it. One of our managers will then review all of the information gathered and provide you with an outcome within 10 working days. If you’d like us to put the outcome into writing or into an email we’re happy to do this for you. We’ll update our actions on our complaints and feedback database.
If you’re really not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you’re able to progress your concerns to the review stage of our process.
Review - Stage 2
At this stage, one of our Senior Managers will review your complaint and we’ll advise you who this will be and we’ll confirm this in writing or e-mail. This manager will review all of the information gathered and provide you with an outcome within 10 working days. It’s likely that the senior manager may want to visit or contact you. We’ll provide you with written confirmation of the outcome. We’ll update our actions on our complaints and feedback database.
If you’re really not happy with the outcome of your review, you’re able to progress your concerns to the appeal stage of our process.
Appeal - Stage 3
The appeal stage is the final stage of our complaints procedure and it enables you to have your complaint heard by an independent panel. The panel is made up of three individuals, at least two of which will be independent board members and the other an independent director. We’ll convene this meeting within 5 working days and advise all parties of a suitable date, time and venue. We’d really like you to attend the appeal meeting, however, if you’re unable to, or really don’t want to, our panel may hear the appeal without you being there. Should this be the case you can provide a further written statement if you’d like.
You’ll be advised of the outcome of the appeal meeting in writing within 10 working days of the hearing. We’ll update our actions on our complaints and feedback database. The correspondence will also provide details of the right to refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service or your Local Authority should you still remain dissatisfied with the outcome we’ve given you.
The Housing Ombudsman Service
You can contact the Housing Ombudsman directly, using the details below. You must complain to the Ombudsman within six months of reaching the end of our complaints process. The Ombudsman will check that you’ve taken your complaint through our procedure before considering your case. If the Ombudsman feels we’ve done something wrong, they will decide what needs to be done to put things right. Once a complaint has been looked into by the Ombudsman we will not take any further action to resolve your complaint unless the Ombudsman asks us to.
You can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service by post at PO Box 152, Liverpool L33 7WQ, by telephone on 0300 111 3000, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk to complete their online form.
Designated persons are local councillors or members of parliament. Information can be found on your local Council's website. You can contact a designed person to review your complaint. Usually this will be once you have exhausted our complaints process or you are still unhappy with the decision made by the complaints panel.