Complaints, Compliments and Comments
Help us get it right
At CBH we aim to provide the best possible service to you, our customer. To do this, we need your help.
If you think we have done something particularly well (a compliment)
If you are dissatisfied with our services or staff (a complaint)
Your suggestions for improving our services (a comment)
A Guide to our Complaints process and policy
- How to complain
- The Housing Ombudsman Service
- How we deal with complaints
- What to do if you’re not satisfied
How to Complain
What is a complaint / What is not a complaint
The Housing Ombudsman defines a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.
We encourage our customers, staff and anyone affected by our actions to firstly approach the relevant service to express their dissatisfaction and give them the opportunity to put things right.
A complaint can relate to, but is not limited to:
- Failure to follow the agreed policy or procedure.
- The behaviour of a member of staff, board member or contractor.
- Harassment, bias or unfair discrimination.
- Unsatisfactory resolution of a claim for compensation.
- Services provided, or not provided, are not within an acceptable timescale or are not of an acceptable standard.
- Failure to properly take account of relevant matters when reaching a decision, apart from decisions made under Homeless legislation.
The following are NOT considered complaints and are not covered by the policy:
- Cases where appropriate timescales or policy guidance have not elapsed.
- These must be submitted in writing or emailed to CCC at email@example.com.
- Matters where legal proceedings have been commenced or indicated.
- Cases where there is a legal right to a review of the decision made such as homeless decisions and accommodation offers made under homeless duties.
- Banding awards made under the Gateway to Homechoice Allocations Policy where there is a right to a review.
- Cases regarding services not provided by Colchester Borough Homes.
If you remain dissatisfied, you can make a complaint.
How we handle complaints
There are two stages to the formal complaints procedure
Stage 1 – Investigation by team leader/service area manager
We aim to acknowledge complaints within 5 working days of receipt with details of the complaint, what will be investigated and by whom. We will also ask for any more information that may be required. Stage 1 complaints will be investigated by an officer or manager that deals with the service the complaint is about. We aim to provide a full response within ten working days of acknowledgement of your complaint. If further time is required to investigate, we will let you know and will aim to provide a full response within twenty working days from the day of receipt.
Stage 2 – Review by senior manager
If you feel that your complaint has not been resolved at Stage 1 you are able to appeal the outcome.
Stage 2 complaints will be investigated by a member of our Corporate Management Team. We aim to provide a full response within twenty working days and will let you know the outcome of your complaint. If further time is required to investigate, we will let you know and will aim to provide a full response within thirty working days from the day of receipt.
The Housing Ombudsman Service have introduced a new Complaints Handling Code. To ensure that CBH Comply with this Code, we have carried out a self-assessment of our policies. You can see this self-assessment here. Following this, and after consultation, we have made changes to our policy.
Compensation and Remedies
At Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) we are committed to providing a high-quality service to our customers at all times. We recognise however, that there are times when services do not meet those high standards and customers are inconvenienced as a result. Please view our Remedies Policy and if you feel you have a claim for compensation, please complete the Compensation Claim Form.
What to do next if you are still not satisfied – Ombudsman
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
In Writing: Housing Ombudsman Service PO Box 152
Liverpool L33 7WQ