Complaints and customer feedback

We aim to give our customers the best service we can, but we know that sometimes things go wrong. If you have a complaint please let us know so that we can put things right. This will not only help you, but other customers too, as we will use your feedback to help us to improve our services. If you make a complaint, you won’t be treated less favourably in the future.

We will investigate a complaint when it is reported;

  • we failed to do something we should have done;
  • we did something we shouldn’t have done;
  • we failed to provide the quality or frequency of service we have said we will.

We will not normally consider complaints regarding a problem that occurred more than 12 months ago

You can make a complaint if you are:

  • A tenant or leaseholder of ours.
  • anyone who receives or requests a service from us;
  • anyone who is affected by a decision or action taken by us.

Complaints made on social media will not be automatically logged. If you have a complaint, you will need to make contact with us in a way that is convenient to you, please see ‘contacting us’ for your options on how to contact us.

All complaints are recorded and dealt with in confidence

Frontline resolution: We will always try to resolve your complaint when you first contact us, or if this is not possible, we will aim to resolve within 3 working days of you making the complaint.

Investigation: If the issue is more complicated it may take up to 10 working days. This is what we call a formal complaint. We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days by text, email or correspondence* (*please allow postage time for this to be received).

If there is a delay in investigating your complaint we will let you know and tell you when you should expect a response.

As part of our investigation you may receive a visit or telephone call. When the investigation is complete we will write to you to let you know the outcome.

Independent review: we aim to deal with your complaint ‘right first time’, however if after we have responded you have any further information to suggest that the review has overlooked any facts relating to the outcome your complaint, you will need to provide this information. This will be independently reviewed by a senior member of staff.

If you:

  • Are asking for a service from us (for example, if your heating has broken down and you want it repaired).
  • Want information about our services.
  • Want to talk to us about a problem with your neighbour or another resident living on your estate.

Please contact the customer service centre about these issues to find out how we can help.

All complaints will be considered, unless:

  • A complaint is already going through a court or tribunal.
  • A complainant is acting in an unreasonable manner and we are using our unacceptable behaviour protocol.
  • We suspect or have evidence that the complaint is based on false information.

We recognise that some people who wish to complain may need support in doing so.

If you need to you can ask a friend or family member, to complain on your behalf. We will need signed confirmation from you that you are happy for them to act on your behalf.

Once you have completed our complaints process, if you are disatisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can take further action. You have the right to refer your complaint to an independent designated person. This is either a local councillor, MP or a recognised tenant panel.

They will talk to us and try to agree a solution. They can also refer the complaint straight to the Housing Ombudsman if you agree.

If they do not act you can contact the Housing Ombudsman yourself. There must be at least 8 weeks from the end of our complaint process before the Housing Ombudsman can consider your complaint.

Housing Ombudsman Service
PO Box 152
Liverpool
L33 7WQ

Tel: 0300 111 3000 (Lines are open Monday – Friday 09:15 – 17:15)
Fax: 020 7831 1942
Email: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk
Website: Housing Ombudsman

 

You should follow our procedure to the end before you take your complaint elsewhere. The Housing Ombudsman Service agrees with this.

We are a learning organisation and will use customer feedback to help improve our services. We will report complaints performance and examples of how your feedback has helped to improve our services in our Annual Report to customers and on our website.

  • Discretionary compensation claims will be considered for some inconveniences, out of pocket expenses, failures to provide services to the correct standard, and losses of or damage to personal belongings (including furniture, flooring and décor).
  • We reserve the right to refuse a claim relating to events that were concluded over a year ago, and claims relating to events that have already been responded to as part of any complaint, compensation claim or insurance claim outcome.
  • It is against the law to submit multiple claims for one incident. You must make us aware of any claim you have in with your home contents insurer, vehicle insurer or any other third party such as contractors
  • It is the responsibility of the claimant to provide all relevant information and evidence to support their claim that WM Housing Group are liable to compensate them.

Evidence, documentation and supporting information detailing the consequences of a series of events is not necessarily evidence of WM Housing Group’s liability. For example, proof of damage to a carpet is not proof that WM Housing Group negligently caused this.

  • We reserve the right to automatically close a claim if requested information is not received within 12 weeks.
  • Compensation will only be offered if WM Housing Group has been found to have acted negligently or outside of their policies and procedures.
  • Although claim outcomes will be provided as soon as is possible, we aim to provide them within 40 working days. This timeframe could be extended depending on the circumstances.
  • There is no automatic right of appeal for a compensation claim. If a customer is dissatisfied with the outcome, they will need to provide new and additional information evidencing WM Housing Group’s liability in order for the outcome to be reviewed.
  • All claims found in favour of the claimant are settled on an “Indemnity” basis. This means that we can only reimburse evidenced costs incurred, and that any item damaged will be compensated for at it’s current value – not it’s original or replacement costs.

An “Indemnity” basis is commonly known as a “like for like” basis, as opposed to a “new for old” basis. As such, in some cases we may advise the claimant that they could benefit more from claiming on whatever home contents or vehicle insurance policy they hold.

  • No offered payments can be processed until the appropriate payment acceptance form has been completed, signed and returned by the claimant.

By default, compensation payments will be credited to rent / court costs / rechargeable repairs / leasehold accounts. In some cases, other payment methods may be considered, and this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. These decisions may be conditional.

We publish our customer performance summary on a quarterly basis, this includes how many complaints we have received, what they were about and how we performed. View our performance page here.

Service Improvement from Complaints 2016-17

You told us: It took an hour to get through to us by telephone to discuss a property offer, which expired by the time the customer got through.
We did: a new pre tenancy line has been set up to ensure that these customers are given priority during busy times.

You told us: that you had not received your key fob for your property that we had posted.
We did: we have now introduced a process where all key fobs are collected from our office to ensure fobs do not get lost in the post. If customers have any difficulties collecting, then we will send a neighbourhood officer out to hand deliver.

You told us: that following an inspection at your property that you had not received a response back about outstanding repairs that had been agreed to be carried out.
We did: introduced a new process where following a technical inspection, customers are notified in writing by the inspector of the work they have agreed to undertake and the plan of action to carry out the work.

You told us: you waiting too long for permission to make improvements to your leasehold property, as we were not clear in our first communication what information was required.
We did: Revised the process for responding to these enquiries by the leasehold team to ensure that customers are written to in the first instance advising of all the information required and detailing the administration charge.

You told us: that you needed better communication regarding repairs appointments.
We did: improved communication for repairs appointments with automated text messaging and increased opportunities for customer feedback following repair completions.

You told us: that we needed increased focus on ensuring the inspection of chutes and the identification of any issues.
We did: revised the specification for the cleaning contract to include weekend checks of rubbish chutes to include visual check of any health and safety issues and/or blockages.

You told us: there were on going problems with mould and condensation as a result of a faulty extractor fan.
We did: we have appointed a dedicated Senior Surveyor to manage all Landlord Health and Safety obligations locally and the inspection of landlord fans will be part of this role and will also be included in scheme inspections completed by Neighbourhood Officers.

 

We are always looking for ways to improve our services. The views of our customers are a very important to us.  If you have constructive comments or suggestions that you think would improve our services please tell us.

You can make a comment, compliment or suggestion by contacting us in a way that is convenient to you, please see ‘Contacting us’ for your options on how to contact us.

Let us know if it is compliment, comment or suggestion.

All compliments, comments and suggestions will be considered. We may not be able to use all of the suggestions but we will keep them for future use. If your suggestion is adopted, we will let you to know how your ideas will be used.

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