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
CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS PROCESS
CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS PROCESS
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
documents findings in
Sections 3 & 4 of
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 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
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
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
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
1.7 "THE COMPLAINANT MUST BE KEPT INFORMED AT ALL TIMES !"
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
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
• 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.
3.0 COMPLAINTS REGISTRATION
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.
4.0 COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION & CORRECTIVE/PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS
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.
5.0 THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN
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-
6.0 CLOSING A COMPLAINT
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
On completion of the above, Customer Services will file the completed Proforma for
Recording Complaints and any associated documentation in the Complaints Closed file.
7.0 COMPLAINT HANDLING CHECK
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
8.0 COMPLAINTS ANALYSIS
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.
9.0 CUSTOMER COMPLAINT RECORDS
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.
DO NOT MAKE ANY PROMISES THAT MAY NOT BE UPHELD
APOLOGISE WHEN APPROPRIATE
Appendix 1 Customer Services Complaints Form
Appendix 2 QP008/F2 Complaint Acknowledgement Letter
Appendix 4 QP008/F3 Customer Complaint Record
Customer Services Number
Date Mail Monitoring No
Process Owner Section or Dep.
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
Page 2 of 2
Complaint Acknowledgement Letter
Address / Location
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 _________________.
Head of Transportation & Engineering
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