Comments, compliments and complaints policy

Corporate complaints

A complaint, for the purpose of this policy, is defined as:

“an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standards of service, actions or lack of actions by the council, their staff or contractors, affecting an individual customer, group of customers or business.”

For example, an individual customer might complain about an unreasonable delay by the council in completing a service request, whereas a business might complain that an officer visiting the business lacked courtesy or professionalism, or that there was an unreasonable delay in dealing with an application, such as licensing.

It is important to remember that reporting a fault or a problem is not usually a complaint, but may be simply a request for service. An example of this would be reporting an overflowing public bin. In most cases, the customer will accept that a public bin will become full and would only be dissatisfied if the bin was not emptied after being reported, or if it had been overflowing for a long time with no action.

Complaints may be made by visiting the council’s website, by email, in person, by telephone, in writing or via a councillor. Obstacles should not be put in the way of a potential complainant by insisting that the complaint be put in writing, or that a particular form be used.

Lack of action might include the council failing to do something which it has a duty to do or the Council failing to do something which the customer thinks it should have reasonably done.

The council must be given a reasonable opportunity to put things right before a customer’s complaint is formally recorded under this procedure.