Select Page

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)

Complaints

We want to make sure we get things right, so find out how we handle our complaints.

Compliments

We love to hear when we get it right and deliver excellent service. Please tell us about your experience here.

Comments

If you’ve got a suggestion or comment about any of our services, give us your feedback here and we’ll share it with the relevant area.

Complaint Policy and Procedure

A guide to Colchester Borough Homes complaint procedure and policy

We value any disatisfaction we receive and would like the opportunity to put things right and make changes where we need to.

Here you will find

How to complain
How we deal with complaints
What to do if you’re not satisfied

How to complain

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.

You can do this via: Comments page, contacting us at info@cbhomes.org.uk, or calling on 01206 282514.

If you remain dissatisfied and wish to continue to submit an official complaint, you can do this by completing our complaint form.

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.

You can do this via the Comments page, contacting the CSC or emailing info@cbhomes.org.uk

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 CBC at insurance@colchester.gov.uk.
  • 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 request to report an official complaint.

Report a official complaint

The following are dedicated routes to log a formal complaint:

We log all complaints and refer them to the most appropriate officer for investigation. We will send you an acknowledgement of your complaint within one working day. We aim to provide you with a detailed response to your complaint within ten working days. If we need more time to investigate your complaint, we will contact you to let you know. For more details see our complaints policy.

How we handle complaints

We aim to provide a full response within ten working days for stage 1 complaints or twenty working days for stage 2 complaints and will communicate the outcome of the complaint to the customer.
If further time is required to investigate, we will explain the reasons to the complainant and will agree a new deadline for response.

There are two stages to the formal complaints procedure

Stage 1 – Investigation by team leader/service area manager
We aim to acknowledge complaints within one working day 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 and will communicate the outcome of the complaint to the customer. If further time is required to investigate, we will inform the complainant and will aim to provide a full response within twenty working days from the day of receipt.

Stage 2 – Review by senior manager
If the customer feels that their complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily at Stage 1 they 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 communicate the outcome of the complaint to the customer.
If further time is required to investigate, we will inform the complainant 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

Local resolution and the Ombudsman services
If a complainant remains dissatisfied when the CBH Complaints Policy has been exhausted, then the following options are available:

The customer may refer the complaint to their local councillor or MP who can advocate on their behalf to help resolve the complaint locally or refer straight to the relevant Ombudsman service. The customer can refer directly to the relevant Ombudsman service. Customers can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service.