Customer Complaints Procedure Index

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a                            Complaints
         Procedure Number : QP008
       Amendment Date : December 2003

Section                              Title                            Page No.
   0      Customer Complaints Process                                    2

   1      Introduction                                                   3

   2      Responsibilities                                               3

   3      Complaints Registration                                        4

   4      Complaint Investigation & Corrective/Preventative Actions      4

   5      The Local Government Ombudsman                                 5

   6      Closing a Complaint                                            5

   7      Complaint Handling Check                                       5

   8      Complaints Analysis                                            6

   9      Customer Complaint Records                                     6

  10      Appendices                                                     7
  QP008 Customer Complaints                         Amendment Date : December 2003                        Page 2 of 11


                                                             Response given must include
        Customer Services receives complaint -                 findings of investigation
             complaint defined as Authority                    together with a suitable
       * failing to do something it has promised,              apology, if appropriate.
       * failing to complete works to a specified
         * the Complainant feels unfairly treated
               by member of the Authority

                                                                    Process Owner
                                                                documents findings in
                                                                  Sections 3 & 4 of
                                                                  Proforma. Where
                                                               applicable 'No Corrective
                                                                Action Required' to be
          On receipt of complaint, Customer                         entered on form
           Services completes Section 1 of
          the Customer Complaint Proforma

                                                                                                            Customer Services
                                                           Customer Service Officer monitors                    Officer to
             Section 1 includes following                   whether any response has been           No       investigate and
                        details:                                        made.                                prompt Process
                     Process owner                                                                          Owner to respond
                Address and Postcode
                        Tel No.
            Details of Complaint ( incl. mail
                     monitoring No)                                       Yes

                                                             On satisfactory completion of
                                                             complaint the Process Owner
                     Section 1:                               signs & dates declaration in
               * White copy & Blue Copy                       Section 2 to signify closure.
             to Process Owner for Action                    Categorises complaint Justified,
                * Pink copy remains in                      Unjustified or Indeterminate and
              book etained by Customer                         signs & dates Section 3.

                                                                                                         CSO Investigates and
                                                                                                            invokes Stage II
               Customer Services sends                                 Customer                             Procedure. If not
                                                                                                    No    resolved Customer
              Acknowledgement Letter to                                Satisfied?
                 Complainant within 3                                                                      advised to contact
                    working days                                                                         Corporate Complaints
                                                                           Yes                                   office.

                                                               On completion of complaint,
                                                              Customer Services will 'close'
              Process Owner investigates                     complaint by signing and dating
               complaint and responds to                               Section 3
            complainant within 10 days (20
                days if capital works). If
                complaint complex and
            timescale difficult, complainant
            must be informed of timescale                    A Customer Satisfaction Survey is
                     for resolution.                        sent to a percentage of complainants
                                                               to ascertain whether they were
                                                             satisfied with the way the complaint
                                                                         was handled
      QP008 Customer Complaints              Amendment Date : December 2003            Page 3 of 11

1.1    This procedure defines the mechanism by which the Transport and Engineering Service
       Unit (Environment Directorate) of the City And County Of Swansea provides an efficient
       and proper response to complaints, through defined steps of recording, investigation and
       as appropriate corrective and preventative action.

1.2    The term "complaint" relates to, any service product or associated activity supplied directly
       or indirectly by the Department to its Customers/Clients.

1.3    A complaint is defined when it is deemed that the Council has:

       •    Failed to do something it has promised to do
       •    Failed to complete works to a specified standard
       •    In the Complainant’s opinion been unfairly treated by any member of the Council

       The aim is to sort complaints at point of contact if at all possible. Complaints do not
       include requests for services, eg reporting a broken street lamp or a damaged pavement.
       Such matters only become complaints when they have been reported and the Council
       promises to rectify the situation and then fails to do so.
1.4    A complaint may be received in writing, by telephone, verbally communicated to one of the
       departments employees, or by other means. Anonymous complaints are also

1.5     It is imperative that all customer complaints are dealt with promptly and professionally in
        order to maintain good customer relations and as such the use of this procedure is

1.6    Customer Services Proforma for Recording Complaints are for internal use only and
       should not be issued to the customer or the client without the consent of the Quality


2.1    All Employees
       It is the responsibility of all employees to transfer the details of any customer complaints
       that they may receive (including any associated documentation) to Customer Services,
       Reception who will determine whether it is a complaint or a request for works.

2.2    Quality Manager
       The Quality Manager shall be responsible for:-

        •   Ensuring the continued effectiveness of the complaints procedure.
        •   Identifying to Senior Management of any preventative measures that must be taken to
            prevent re-ocurrence.

2.3    Customer Services
       It is the responsibility of Customer Services to process all complaints and to monitor the
       complaint process, ensuring that:-
       * An acknowledgement is sent to the complainant with 3 working days
       • All documentation is completed in accordance with the requirements of this procedure.
      QP008 Customer Complaints               Amendment Date : December 2003           Page 4 of 11

        •   All complaints are resolved within the period specified in this procedure, unless, the
            nature of the complaint dictates that a longer period is required.
        •   The complaint is resolved and that any resultant corrective actions meet with the
            customers approval.
        •   Providing the Quality Manager with a quarterly analysis of all cases.

2.4    Process Owner
       A "Process Owner" is defined as the Group Leader most "Qualified" (ie. The Group
       Leader whose job function is most closely related to the nature of the complaint) to
       investigate the case and shall be responsible for:-

        •   Ensuring that all complaints are dealt with as speedily and as effectively as possible.
        •   Ensuring that the complaint is closed within the following time scales:

        Time Scales (From Receipt Of Complaint)
        Contact Complainant - Within 3 working Days (Customer Services)
        Response to Complainant -     Day -Day Works < 10 Days - Capital Works < 20 Days

        •   Conducting and documenting an investigation into the complaint.
        •   Defining, documenting and taking any corrective/preventative action as required.

3.1    On receipt of a complaint the Customer Services completes Section 1 of the Customer
       Services Proforma for Recording Complaints, Queries and Insurance Claims. One form is
       to be completed for each separate complaint.

3.2    Section 1 includes the following details:
       Process Owner                                   Dept
       Address and Postcode                            Tel No.
       Details of complaint (include the mail monitoring number)
3.2    If Customer Services are unable to identify a Process Owner or, the Process Owner who
       would normally deal with the complaint is absent or will be absent from work for more than
       one day, the matter will be referred to the Head of Service for clarification.

3.3    On completion of Section 1 of the Form, Customer Services shall issue a standard
       complaint acknowledgement letter to the Complainant and distribute copies of the
       Proforma for Recording Complaints form as follows.

       White + Blue copy +Any Associated Documentation -Team Leader for Action.
       Pink :..     Retain by Customer Services

3.4    The Customer Services Officer forwards an acknowledgement letter to the Complainant,
       within 3 working days, giving details of the investigating officer and likely timescale for
       response, ie within 10 working days.
4.1    The Process Owner responds to the Complainant within 10 working days either with the
       outcome to the complaint or to advise on the likely length of time required for its resolution.
4.3    If a complex complaint is received and an immediate response is not possible, then the
       Complainant must be informed and a revised timescale given.
4.4    The response given to the Complainant must include findings of the investigation , if
       appropriate, a suitable apology and details of the course of action to be undertaken in
      QP008 Customer Complaints              Amendment Date : December 2003             Page 5 of 11

       order to rectify the situation.
4.5    During the course of the complaint process, Process Owners will document their findings,
       conclusions and any corrective actions taken, in Sections 3 and 4of the Proforma for
       Recording Complaints. If as a result of the investigation no corrective action was taken,
       Process Owners will enter “No Corrective Action Required” on the form in the space

4.6    Complaints which are not processed and documented in accordance with this procedure
       will not be accepted by the Customer Services for closure, the matter will then be referred
       to the Divisional Manager.

4.7    If after an investigation has taken place and a solution offered the customer is not
       satisfied, the complaint is referred back to the Customer Services Officer for further

4.8    In the event that the Complainant is still not satisfied and requests a further review, the
       Complainant is advised to contact the Corporate Complaints Officer.

5.1    The Ombudsman will be the final avenue open to the Complainant if they are not satisfied
       with the response. Ombudsmen cases are co-ordinated by the Corporate Complaints Co-
6.1    On satisfactory completion of a complaint the Process Owner shall sign and date the
       declaration in Section 2 of the Proforma to confirm that the complaint has been closed.
6.2    On completion of the above, the Process Owner shall categorise the complaint (ie
       Justified, Unjustified or Indeterminate).

       Having signed the declaration, the Complaints Form and all associated documentation will
       be transferred to the Customer Services.

6.3    Customer Services on receipt of the above shall ensure that the complaint has been
       processed and documented in accordance with the requirements of this procedure.

       Once satisfied that the complaint has been processed as per the procedure Customer
       Services will "close" the complaint by signing and dating Section 2 of the Proforma for
       Recording Complaints.

       On completion of the above, Customer Services will file the completed Proforma for
       Recording Complaints and any associated documentation in the Complaints Closed file.

7.1    All official complaints are to be mail monitored. To aid searching for a particular
       complaint, the word ‘Complaint’ is to become the first word of the subject reference box.
7.2    To ensure all complaints are responded to within 10 working days, as per the Corporate
       Statement, a search via Mail Monitoring of all complaints must be carried out every
       Monday. This report needs to be printed and a copy retained by Customer Services.
7.3    Where it is found that a complaint has not been responded to by the Process Owner within
       10 working days, the Customer Services Officer will investigate and contact the
       appropriate Officer to remind him/her that a response is overdue.
7.4    Once the completed original White copy of the Customer Services Proforma for Recording
       Complaints has been returned to Customer Services, the form is to be placed in the
       Complaints Answered folder with any relevant correspondence.
      QP008 Customer Complaints              Amendment Date : December 2003           Page 6 of 11

8.1    It is the responsibility of the Complaints Co-ordinator to analyse all customer complaints in
       respect of the nature and frequency of complaints and to make these figures available to
       the Quality Manager on a quarterly basis. The information shall be analysed as part of the
       Management Review process.

8.2    Statistical records will include:-

       • The number of justified and unjustified complaints received per month.
       • The number of justified complaints per category of complaint.
       • The number of complaints per Section/Department
       A Complaints Monitoring Report is also forwarded annually to Corporate Complaints Co-
       ordinator for central monitoring.

       See also Comments and Complaints Leaflet and the council’s Complaints Procedure
       ’Dealing with Complaints’ (for office use only).
       The Comments and Complaints Leaflet lists the 3 stages of the Complaints Procedure and
       what to do if dissatisfied.
9.1    It is the responsibility of Customer Services to ensure that all customer complaint
       documentation be maintained for a period of not less than five years and shall only be
       disposed of on the authority of the Quality Manager.



Appendix 1              Customer Services Complaints Form

Appendix 2   QP008/F2   Complaint Acknowledgement Letter

Appendix 4   QP008/F3   Customer Complaint Record
                    Customer Services                                              Number

                     Complaints Form
Section 1
Date                                            Mail Monitoring No
Process Owner                                       Section or Dep.
Customers Name


Post Code                                             Tel No


Date Acknowledgement Issued                         Issued By

Section 2 (Process Owner)
Investigation Required                   Yes    No       If Yes complete Section (3)

Corrective Action Required               Yes    No       If Yes complete Section (4)

       Justified                  Unjustified                     Indeterminate

Date response letter issued                                Attach copy of response

                   Signature (Process Owner)                          Date Complaint Closed

              Signature (Complaints Co-ordinator)                     Date Complaint Closed
                                                                                Page 1 of 2
Section 3           Investigating Officer

Section 4

Corrective Action

                                            Page 2 of 2
                         Technical Services
                  Complaint Acknowledgement Letter

Address / Location

Dear Customer

Thank you for your letter regarding the above, received in this office on

The Officer who will investigate your complaint is ___________________________who will aim to
respond to your complaint within 10 working days.

If for any reason this is not possible my Departmental Customer Services Officer, Mrs A Matthews,
will keep you informed as to the progress of the investigation.

You may contact her in person at the Technical Services Reception in County Hall or on Swansea
636862. You will need to provide your reference number, which is _________________.

Yours Sincerely

Anthony O’Sullivan
Head of Transportation & Engineering

                                  Technical Services
               Customer Complaint Record for Month Ending ……………………….……..
Complaint   Establishment                                      Date    Due     Date    Days
                                 Nature of Complaint    P.O                                   Outcome
 Number     Name          Type                                Opened   Date   Closed   Open