What is a Complaint?
The Association aims to provide an excellent service to all its customers. However, there are times when we do not always get things right and fall short of the standard that we wish to achieve. When customers are unhappy with an aspect of our service, we want to deal with these issues as quickly as possible and find an effective solution. All complaints are investigated and dealt with in accordance with the Association's Complaints Handling Procedure.
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction received from customers about the Association’s action or lack of action, or about the service that the Association provides or has been provided on the Association’s behalf by another party.
Complaints provide the Association with valuable feedback on how we deliver services. Complaints also allow us to improve our services and improve how we manage partnerships with our contractors. A full copy of our Complaints Policy is available here.
The types of things that customers can complain about include:
- Delays in responding to your enquiries and requests;
- Failure to provide a service.
- Our standard of service.
- Dissatisfaction with our policy.
- Treatment by / or attitude of a member of staff.
- Complaints relating to issues of equality and diversity.
- Our failure to follow proper procedure.
Making a Complaint
Customers can make a complaint in person, in writing, by telephone or by email. Complaints can also be made by completing a complaints form. A copy of the Complaints Handling Procedure and complaints form can be downloaded here.
The Association’s complaints procedure has two stages. How your complaint is investigated depends on the nature and complexity of your complaint.
The different stages of the complaints handling procedure are:
Stage 1 – Frontline Resolution.
This stage allows complaints to be resolved quickly and close to the point of service delivery. Complaints are usually dealt with within five working days and the types of action taken in response to a complaint may include an on-the-spot apology or an explanation of why something has gone wrong.
If you remain dissatisfied after your complaint has been dealt with, you can ask for your complaint to be investigated through Stage 2 of the procedure.
Stage 2 – Investigation
Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require a detailed investigation.
When using Stage 2, your complaint will be investigated fully and you will be issued with a full response within twenty working days.
Taking a Complaint Further
If you remain dissatisfied after your complaint has been investigated under Stage 2 of the procedure you may take your complaint further.
If you are a tenant you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to independently review the complaint. The SPSO can be contacted by:
- Post: Freepost SPSO (this is all you need to write on the envelope and no postage is required)
- In Person: SPSO, Bridgeside House, 99 McDonald Road, Edinburgh, EH7 4NS
- Freephone: 0800 377 7330
- Online Contact: www.spso.org.uk/contact-us
- Website: www.spso.org.uk
- Mobile site: http://m.spso.org.uk
The SPSO does not normally look at complaints received from homeowners in relation to our factoring service. If homeowners exhaust our internal complaints process but remain dissatisfied, they have the right to approach the First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (FTT). Further information about the FTT is available here.
A significant performance failure is something that the Association does, or fails to do, putting many or all of its tenants at risk, and not taking action to put it right. This may include:
- Consistently not doing repairs when it should;
- Not allowing tenants to apply for another house;
- Putting tenants’ safety at risk, for example, by not carrying out gas safety checks;
- Not helping tenants to report anti-social behaviour; and
- Not reporting its performance in achieving the outcomes and standards in the Scottish Social Housing Charter to its tenants.
If you strongly disagree with what the Association says about its performance, or you believe that the Association has not involved you in the way it agreed to, you can report a ‘significant performance failure’. You should initially raise the issue with the Association and give us the chance to respond. If we do not deal with the issue within the published timescale then you can report it to the Scottish Housing Regulator.
Further information on on how to report significant performance failures can be by found here.
The Scottish Housing Regulator has publised three factsheets about complaints and significant performance failures. The factsheets can be viewed below:
The Association recognises that staff or committee members will very often be the first to suspect misconduct or wrongdoing. While very often it may be innocent, it could turn out to be fraud, a potential public danger or some other form of serious malpractice. However, tenants, owner-occupiers or other members of the public may also suspect misconduct or wrongdoing. The Association therefore wishes to encourage any person who suspects misconduct or wrongdoing to raise their concerns.
Further information about whistleblowing and how to raise concerns is available by clicking the links below: