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 2018–31 March 2019
Our complaints data for 2018-2019 includes figures from across our four former member companies for the first time. Our complaints performance for 2017-2018 did not include data from Axiom.
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.
1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 – types of complaints received
The chart below shows the number of formal complaints that were upheld, against those that were not upheld.
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.
1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 – formal complaints
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 said: You told us that you were not satisfied with the time taken to answer repairs calls and that you had to repeat yourself several times. Satisfaction with calls made to report repairs was down to 58%
We did: We monitored call wait times and now flag up any dips in performance through regular contractor meetings. Wates have completed a recruitment drive and have increased their staffing levels. We have also amended the telephone greeting so call handlers will ask for the name and address in this greeting. This avoids you having to repeat your repair details.
You said: A leasehold customer told us they kept getting letters referring to them as tenants and to their service charge as rent. They asked us to review the wording of some of our documentation.
We did: All Customer Services Advisors received training to ensure they understand that joint leaseholders do not require third party consent to contact us. The third party form for leaseholders will be altered by taking out references to rent and replacing this with “Lease” and “Service Charge”. Following this feedback, we have added the Leaseholder telephone number to our website and complaints leaflets. We use a specific letterhead for leaseholders, which reflects the separate telephone number. These changes will ensure leasehold customers are able to communicate with us more easily.
You said: Some of you have told us you are dissatisfied that your landlord didn't know about your repairs.
We did: We ensured all Customer Services and Property Services colleagues had training on Wates' Impact Response portal, giving them access to repairs, appointments, notes and photographs of works.
You said: We were told some customers reported repairs but did not receive an appointment.
We did: Customers should receive an appointment date and time slot. Two further electricians have been employed and their calendars are managed by call handlers. If reporting via My Account, appointment slots should be available but if a specialist trade is needed, customers will get a call back. Wates now have a dedicated staff member to book these works in daily. We are also meeting with Wates regarding issues experienced when reporting repairs and working with ICT to improve this.