Your Complaint – What you should know:
We are Quality in Tourism and we are the contractors for the administration and
delivery of the VisitBritain National Quality Assessment Schemes, assessing
participating properties annually.
Where a complaint has been received and we have been given permission to discuss this
with the proprietor we will do so. If permission is not given our assessor will take the
complaint into account throughout the assessment and refer to complaints in general.
During the assessment we offer advice where appropriate on methods of best practice to
help ensure that the areas that have given rise to complaints can be addressed.
As with all assessing bodies we will assess to the national standard, on an annual basis.
We will assess as seen and award the appropriate grade. We do make recommendations
to properties, which fall into categories, must do’s and advisory suggestions to lift quality.
Owners are given a length of time to implement requirements, depending on the severity.
This can result in disqualification from the scheme if actions are not completed within the
Participation in the National Quality Assessment Scheme
We can only act upon complaints for properties assessed by Quality in Tourism, within the
National Quality Assessment Scheme. Participation in the Quality Assessment Scheme is
voluntary and if the subject of the complaint is not currently participating we are unable to
take the complaint further. You may, however, wish to take it up with Trading Standards
at consumer direct on 0845 4040506. Details of properties that are assessed in the Quality
Assessment schemes are available at www.visitbritain.com or www.enjoyengland.com.
Similarly, if the subject of the complaint is currently assessed by another awarding body
the complaint must be taken up directly with that awarding body.
Severity of the Complaint
Depending on the severity of the complaint, and taking into account any other complaints
received, we may arrange for the annual inspection to be carried out (without
appointment) as soon as possible or arrange for a special visit by one of our Area
We take misrepresentation very seriously and if an establishment is displaying our signage
inappropriately we will take steps to ensure that this matter is investigated and take
Rudeness / Attitude
Amongst the most difficult complaints to resolve are those alleging rudeness on the part of
the proprietor or those about the attitude or behavior of the proprietor / staff. If this is
denied we have no means of determining the truth. In such cases we can only record the
complaint and wait to see whether other, similar, complaints are received. If we do receive
several similar complaints, we will ask the assessor to review on the next visit but even as
an incognito visit, we assess as seen and it is sometimes very difficult to address these
issues if not experienced at first hand.
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Perceived Differences in Rating
With any rating, there are always properties at the top and bottom end of the banding,
which may explain what appears to be a difference in quality. Similarly the rating awarded
is based on all aspects of the operation and one property may be stronger in some areas
than the other and vice-versa. Our Assessors undergo ongoing consistency and benchmark
training, to ensure ratings are correctly awarded.
We cannot become involved in a dispute over compensation claims; therefore you may
decide whether or not you wish to pursue this matter further yourself. If you decide to do
this you may need to get advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Unfortunately, we
cannot do this for you, nor can we give legal advice on individual cases.
We cannot become involved in any dispute of a contractual nature such as refunds, or
cancellations charges. In such cases we can only record the complaint and wait to see
whether other, similar complaints are received. In the first instance you should contact
the Property directly to discuss this matter with them to see if you can come to an
amicable agreement. If this is not possible you may need to get advice from a solicitor or
seek resolution through a small claims procedure in the County Court.
We do not have statutory powers and cannot become involved in legal disputes where
Police, Trading Standards, Environmental Health or Solicitors are involved. We cannot give
legal advice on individual cases.
We have no control over the content of an establishment’s internet web site or brochure
and you may need to decide if you wish to take this matter further yourself. It may be
appropriate to pursue the complaint with the Trading Standards Office.
USEFUL CONTACT INFORMATION
Trading Standards – www.tradingstandards.gov.uk
Citizens Advise Bureau - www.citizensadvice.org.uk
AA - AA Hotel Services, Fanum House, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 4EA.
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