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RIASS Redbridge
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Complaints Procedure

This procedure is a complaints procedure for circumstances where users of our service are not happy about the level of service they have received or the conduct of any member of RIASS staff or its volunteers.

Why have complaints procedures?

  • It encourages service users to give us their opinions of the service we provide.
  • It shows our customers we care about their opinions.
  • It gives us a chance to put right any mistakes we have made and to learn from them.
  • It gives us the opportunity to develop and improve our service to meet the needs of our users.

Redbridge Council provides information and relevant links for Complaints, Compliments and Suggestions to help staff to deal with complaints appropriately.  As part of the council we are subject to this procedure. When any service user asks to make a complaint, they should be automatically referred to Redbridge council’s reporting page to provide an opportunity to make a formal complaint.

The employee should also try to help the complainant resolve the concerns informally. At this point the member of staff they are dealing with should offer to discuss the matter with the complainant, or if preferred by either party, their line manager.  This can be the most straightforward and quickest way to handle the complaint and every effort should be made to resolve the matter at this stage.

When dealing with someone who wishes to make a complaint:

  • Be positive – complaints give us the chance to learn from our customers and improve our service
  • Listen carefully to the customers concerns
  • Put yourself in the customer’s position
  • Never criticise or blame the customer
  • Accept responsibility if we have made a mistake; apologise
  • Accept responsibility for solving the problem – tell the customer what you plan to do
  • Check that the customer is satisfied with your proposals to resolve their complaint.

If the customer is satisfied with the proposal then this should be followed through by the employee dealing with the matter and the details of the complaint must be recorded, including providing details to the relevant complaints team. An offer should be made to the complainant to send a summary of the complaint and outcome in writing. This should include an apology/explanation where relevant.

The employee’s line manager should be made aware of the complaint where not already and should agree the content of the communication prior to it being sent. In the absence of a line manager this should be escalated to another senior manager.

If the customer remains angry or does not accept the explanation/proposals offered to them and the complainant has not yet been referred to a line manager, take their contact number and confirm that a manager will call them back as soon as possible.

Where appropriate the complaint should be discussed at a future team meeting to review and amend any procedures/working practice to ensure that the concerns of the complainant have been addressed and that we have learned from the complaint and improved our service accordingly.

You do not have to accept abuse from a customer e.g. swearing or shouting – if this happens and you are unhappy to continue with the call then you can do either of the following:

  • Call on a colleague or your manager to take the call from you;
  • State clearly and calmly to the customer that you want to help but if they are not able to speak to you calmly you will put the telephone down; repeat this if the customer’s behaviour does not change; if this still has no effect then put the telephone down. However, this should be done as a last resort and you should then record the details and make your line manager aware of the situation.