What to expect when you make a complaint

We work hard to provide a great service for all our customers but there may be times when we don’t get things right.

Staff member on computer

 

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 learn from our mistakes and use your feedback to improve our services.

If you need more information, take a look at our complaints policy.

Making a complaint

How can I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint in the following ways:

  • Call us on 0303 123 1890
  • Complete our online web form
  • Speak to us on Live Chat
  • Use the Text Relay service
  • Contact us through our social media channels
  • Speak to your Customer Liaison Officer or another customer-facing staff member. Any Guinness staff member can take a complaint for a customer when on site

Who can make a complaint?

Any customer and anyone who’s been affected by a service failure. You can also ask a representative to complain for you, including but not limited to:

  • A health or care worker
  • Someone who has lasting power of attorney for you
  • A guardian
  • A “designated person” who can act on your behalf, such as an MP or local councillor

What's the complaints process?

Our complaints process has two stages.

Stage One

  • 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’ll do to put things right
  • Sometimes we need more time to investigate, but we’ll let you know as quickly as possible and agree with you what will happen next within 10 working days

You must make your complaint within six months of the issue happening.

Stage Two

  • If your complaint can’t be resolved or a solution isn’t agreed, you can ask us to take the complaint to the second stage for a full and final independent review. This will be done by a manager that hasn’t been involved in Stage One to ensure they are objective.
    You will need to let us know why you would like to escalate your complaint and what we could have done differently in Stage One
  • We will contact you within two working days of you asking us to move your complaint to Stage Two
  • We will let you know the final outcome within 20 working days

Complaints about our care services are often more complex, so we may take up to 28 days to provide the final result.

What do we do with complaints?

We take every complaint seriously and aim to deal with them quickly and in line with the complaint handling code, which you can review in full here https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/landlords-info/complaint-handling-code/.

We tell you how we use the information you give us to investigate and resolve your complaint

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 will decide it is not necessary or appropriate to proceed with a complaint. This might be because:

  • 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 will handle it differently to other complaints
  • We also handle complaints about anti-social behaviour differently.

Find out how we handle anti-social behaviour.

What if I’m not satisfied with the result?

If you don’t think we’ve handled your complaint well please let us know. You can seek advice from a “designated person”, such as your local councillor or MP.  They can help to solve the problem between you and us, or might refer it to the Housing Ombudsman.

You can contact the Housing Ombudsman at any point within your complaint for general advice and assistance. Should you want the Ombudsman to accept your complaint for a full investigation, you will need to exhaust our complaints process first. You can find out more information about the Ombudsman here: www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk.

You can contact the Ombudsman, by writing to:
Exchange Tower
Harbour Exchange Square
London
E14 9GE

Phone: 0300 111 3000
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 by writing to:
PO Box 4771,
Coventry
CV4 0EH

Phone: 0300 061 0614
Visit: www.lgo.org.uk

What about compensation?

We know how important it is to be honest and say sorry when we get things wrong. Sometimes this may involve a goodwill gesture or compensation.

We won’t pay compensation if something has gone wrong but it isn’t our fault, but we’ll always carry out repairs to remedy any situation where it is our responsibility to do so.

We may offer you compensation if we can’t put things right or have failed to meet our responsibilities and, as a result:

  • Your belongings have been lost or damaged. We’ll ask for receipts as proof of ownership and may make deductions to account for wear and tear
  • You have been left without basic facilities for some time e.g. no water in your home
  • Our failure has caused you undue 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 incorrectly
  • The problem was caused by a neighbour
  • The problem was caused by someone carrying out work that we didn’t authorise

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

We always recommend that you have your own contents insurance policy to protect your belongings, like the National Housing Federation’s My Home contents insurance.