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Complaints procedure improved to achieve positive results faster

We’re pleased to have introduced a new stage in our complaints procedure to help achieve satisfactory outcomes for customers more quickly.

The new two-stage complaints procedure will enable customers to submit an appeal about their complaint for a senior manager to investigate rather than having to go straight to the ombudsman.

We’ve brought these changes into force following research into complaints procedures across the housing sector, which revealed that multi-stage complaints procedures are more common.

The change also follows a recommendation from the Housing Ombudsman.

Helen Bird, Customer Engagement Team Manager, said: “This change will allow our customers to have an opportunity to appeal decisions, as long as they meet appeal criteria.

“We hope to increase satisfaction with the new service while providing a fair approach to dispute resolution.

“At Longhurst Group, we always aim to provide an excellent service for our customers. However, if we get things wrong, we want to put them right and learn from our mistakes.

“We hope customers who unfortunately feel they need to make a complaint will see the benefits in this new procedure and achieve satisfactory outcomes more quickly.”

A complaint can be made when we’ve:

  • failed to provide a service when we agreed to
  • provided a poor standard of service
  • made a mistake in the way we’ve provided the service
  • failed to meet our existing service standards
  • not followed our policies correctly.

Please note, we’ll only investigate complaints that are received within six months of the issue occurring.

Now, if you’re not happy with the result after Stage One of our formal complaints procedure, you can send us an appeal in writing within one month, if your appeal was logged before 1 May 2020.

This appeal, or Stage Two complaint, will then be reviewed by a senior manager who was not involved in your original complaint within 30 calendar days.

If you’re still not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal, you can then refer it to your local councillor, MP or the independent customer panel, or take it to the Housing Ombudsman, the Financial Ombudsman, or the Care Quality Commission.

For more information on our complaints procedure and your options, visit our complaints page.

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