Our complaints performance
We aim to provide an excellent service to our customers. If we get things wrong we want to put them right and learn from our mistakes.
We also want to be open and honest about the complaints we receive and how we investigate and resolve issues raised. This page contains data about the kind of complaints we receive and improvements we have made in response to our customers' feedback.
Acting on feedback
Most importantly, we use complaints to identify areas of our service where we need to make changes, so that the service you receive continues to improve. You can read more below about changes we have made in response to customer complaints.
Longhurst Group complaints: 1 April–30 September 2020
Our approach to customer complaints considers each customer’s personal circumstances and experience.
At the same time as looking at complaints at an individual customer level, we also use this information to compare patterns and trends. We recognise that we need to improve our response times for our customers and to continue to learn from complaints, to reduce the number of complaints we receive.
We understand that complaints about outstanding repairs are particularly emotive and this is an area where we know we need to improve.
In May 2020 we introduced a second stage to our complaints process; we also recruited three members to an independent complaints panel.
By expanding the complaints process, there have been more comprehensive resolutions for customers and the number of complaints being escalated to the Housing Ombudsman has reduced.
Types of complaints
Complaints we receive are handled in two ways:
- Informal or 'first-time fix' complaints are issues that can be resolved within two working days.
- If we cannot resolve the problem within two working days, and a solution is not easily available, we will record this as a formal complaint.
The chart below shows the number of formal complaints received and closed between April and September 2020.
Complaints are classed as 'upheld' when we have:
- failed to provide a service when agreed
- provided a poor service
- made a mistake in the way we provided a service
- failed to meet a service standard
- not followed our policies correctly.
In instances such as these, we would write to formally apologise and explain a way forward.
Note: Of the 543 total complaints received from April to September 2020, 363 were closed.
Which services received complaints?
This chart shows the total number of complaints (formal and informal) received by different service areas at Longhurst Group.
You said, we did
We always value customer feedback. We take it all on board and look to improve our service based on what you tell us.
You told us that you didn’t always receive a call back about heating repairs, despite being promised one.
Mears were made aware of this through our complaints procedure. A call back system is now in place to make sure calls are returned by the end of each day.
You told us that there can be long delays in replacing boilers due to a lack of oil boiler resources at Mears.
Mears have now increased their oil resources and restocked in everything needed for oil boilers.
You told us that on occasions, your electrics were not switched back on after a Mears representative had visited your home.
All boiler installers have been spoken to and will ensure switches are back on after any work is carried out.
Customers told us they were not aware of what is included in their service charge for Grounds Maintenance and Cleaning.
The service specification has been added to customer surveys.