What to expect from us

Great customer service is at the heart of what we do. We want to deliver reliable and consistent services and focus on the services that matter most to you.

Staff member on computer

Getting in touch

We want to be sure you get great service each and every time you contact us. We treat all of our customers fairly and with respect. If you need any additional assistance, please let us know and we’ll make sure we communicate with you how you need.

When you call us

  • We’ll aim to answer your call within 30 seconds
  • Our staff will always give you their name
  • If we need to ring you back, we’ll return your call as soon as we can and within two working days.

When you email us

  • If we can’t solve your issue in one working day, we’ll let you know who is dealing with it and when you can expect a full reply.

When you write to us

  • We’ll get back to you as soon as possible and within five working days
  • If we can’t solve your issue in that time, we’ll let you know who is dealing with it and when you can expect a full reply.

If you need us to visit you at home

  • We’ll always agree an appointment time with you in advance
  • We’ll make sure our staff and contractors always show you their identity badge.

Making a complaint

We work really hard to provide a great service for all our customers, but there may be times when we don’t get things right. When we make a mistake, we will always apologise, aim to put it right and do things better so we don’t make the same mistake again. We’ll learn from our mistakes and use your feedback to improve our services.

Who can make a complaint?

Any customer and anyone who’s been affected by one of our services or a member of staff can make a complaint.

You can also ask a representative to complain for you, including:

  • a health or care worker
  • someone who has power of attorney for you
  • a guardian
  • an MP or councillor.

What's the complaints process?

  • As soon as you tell us about your complaint, we’ll try to sort it out straight away. If we’ve made a mistake, we’ll say sorry and let you know what we’re doing to put things right.
  • Sometimes we need more time to investigate. We’ll let you know and try to solve it in two more working days.
  • If this isn’t long enough for a thorough investigation, we’ll let you know and come back to you within 10 working days.
  • If your complaint is about our care services, the process may take up to 28 days.

What do we do with complaints?

  • We take every complaint seriously and deal with them efficiently
  • We tell you how we use the information you give us
  • We treat you fairly and with respect
  • We give you extra help if you need it – including translations, Braille versions or audio tapes of information.

Sometimes we won’t take a complaint any further:

  • We reserve the right to refuse to deal with people who make lots of unfounded complaints
  • We won’t investigate complaints that happened more than six months ago
  • If your complaint is about a legal or insurance issue, we handle it outside our usual complaints process
  • We handle complaints about anti-social behaviour differently.

What if it's not fixed?

If you don’t think we’ve handled your complaint well, please let us know. You can also refer it to your local councillor or MP.  They will try to solve the problem between you and us or might refer it to the Housing Ombudsman.

You can contact the Housing Ombudsman directly if you want, but you need to wait eight weeks after hearing our final response.

To contact the Ombudsman, write to 81 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN, phone 0300 111 3000, or email info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk

If you’re not happy with a complaint about our care services, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman. Write to PO Box 4771, Coventry CV4 0EH, phone 0300 061 0614 or visit www.lgo.org.uk.

What about compensation?

If we can’t put things right after failing to meet our responsibilities, we may offer you compensation. This would usually be if we’ve been negligent and, as a result:

  • your belongings have been lost or damaged – we’ll ask for evidence and deduct for wear and tear
  • you haven’t been able to use your normal facilities
  • our failure has caused you distress.

In some cases, our insurance company will deal with your claim.

We won’t offer compensation if:

  • there’s no clear evidence of a service failure
  • you haven’t suffered a financial loss
  • you caused the problem yourself – for example, if you caused a leak by fitting a shower badly
  • the problem was caused by your neighbour
  • the problem was caused by someone carrying out work that we didn’t authorise.

We recommend that you have your own contents insurance to cover your belongings.

If we ask you to move out of your home, temporarily or permanently, so that we can carry out major building works, we’ll pay your removal expenses and other agreed costs.

About our financial services

We provide limited financial services in relation to debt administration. For example, we assist some local authorities with equity loans; offer credit broking services and debt counselling to our customers. We hope you’re happy with any financial service we provide, but if not, please let us know so we can put it right.

How can I make a complaint about a Guinness financial service?

The best way to contact us is in writing, but you can also speak to us via our customer service team.

Write to:

The Guinness Partnership
Bower House
1 Stable Street
Hollinwood
Oldham
OL9 7LH

What's the process?

If you make a complaint, we’ll be in touch within five working days to let you know we’ve received it.

We’ll investigate your complaint and get a full response back to you within eight weeks.

We may need to review your personal details or ask you for further information.

What if it's not fixed?

If we don’t respond within eight weeks, or you’re not happy with our response, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Please do give us the full eight weeks to put this right before contacting them.

The Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower
London
E14 9SR

Tel: 0300 123 9123
Website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

It’s worth contacting them to discuss your complaint before referring it, because the FOS doesn’t deal with some types of complaints.

You should contact the FOS as soon as you can after our final response, and certainly within six months. After this, the FOS has the discretion to review your complaint or not.