The standard you can expect from us.
Introduction and Overview
We aim to provide
the highest quality services to our customers through the delivery of a fair
and honest process. Whenever the service we provide can be improved, we must
listen and act. Complaints give us valuable information we can use to
continuously improve our services and customer dissatisfaction. They provide
first-hand accounts of customer experiences that help us to identify areas of
concern, achieve resolution wherever possible and take action so that the same
problems do not happen again.
complaints early creates better customer relations. Handling complaints close
to the point of service delivery means we can deal with them locally and
quickly, so they are less likely to escalate to the next stage of the
procedure. Complaints that we do not handle swiftly can greatly add to our
workload and are more costly to administer.
procedure helps us to build positive relationships with customers who use our
service and rebuild trust when things go wrong. We will address complaints
effectively, resolve them as early as we can and learn from them so that we can
improve services for our customers.
Definition of a complaint
An expression of
dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of
service provided by us or on our behalf.
Structure of the Complaints Handling Procedure
Anyone can make a complaint, either verbally or in writing by phone, email or via our website.
If a customer is dissatisfied with our service, they may
contact us on 01527511840 We aim to resolve any complaint within 5 working days. If further assistance is
required, we invite you to escalate the matter to our Customer Care & Compliance Manager by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The complaints handling process
For issues that are straightforward and simple requiring little or no investigation.
Apology, explanation or other action to put the matter right.
Complaint resolved or a response provided within five working days or less (unless there are exceptional circumstances)
Complaints addressed by a member of staff or alternatively referred to the appropriate point for a frontline response.
Response provided by telephone (though sometimes we will need to put the response in writing)
We will tell the customer how to escalate their complaint to stage 2
Where the customer is not satisfied with the frontline response, refuses to engage at the frontline or where the complaint is complex, serious or ‘high risk’
Complaint acknowledged within 3 working days.
We will contact the customer to clarify the points of complaint and outcome sought (where these are already clear, we will confirm them in the acknowledgement)
Complaint resolved or a definitive response provided within 20 working days following a thorough investigation of the points raised.
Independent External Review
Where the customer is not satisfied with the stage 2 response or the complaint is not resolved within 56 days.
The customer has the right to contact the Energy Ombudsman https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy
Maintain confidentiality and data protection
Confidentiality is important in complaint handling. This includes maintaining the customer’s confidentiality and confidentiality in relation to all information relating to the complaint and any third parties that are involved.
This should not prevent us from being open and transparent, as far as possible, in how we handle complaints. This includes sharing as much information with the complainant (and where appropriate, any affected staff member) as we can. When sharing information we should be clear about why the information is being shared and our expectations on how the recipient will use the information.
We must always bear in mind legal requirements, for example data protection legislation, as well as internal policies on confidentiality and the use of customer information.
Where a complaint has been raised against a staff member and has been upheld – we will advise the customer that their complaint is upheld, but would not share specific details affecting staff members, particularly where disciplinary action is taken.
Our contact details
National Utility Hub, 1st Floor, Q15 Quorum Business Park, Benton Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8BU
Phone: 0808 196 85888
Ombudsman contact details
Ombudsman Services, 3300 Daresbury Park, Daresbury, Warrington, WA4 4HS
Phone: 0330 440 1624