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We need your compliments, suggestions and complaints

Our aim is to delight you with the service we provide. To ensure that we achieve this it is important that we know what you think about the services you receive.

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Complaints

A complaint is usually about poor service. This could be because we have done something wrong, failed to do something we should have done or because you feel you weren’t treated in the right way.

Make a complaint

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Suggestions

A suggestion is a way of telling us how we can improve or an idea for a new service or product. We welcome suggestions as a way of improving.

Make a suggestion

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Compliments

If you want to make a positive comment about something we have done, then we will treat this as a compliment. Compliments help us to identify what we are doing well and we share all compliments with the relevant member of staff or team.

Give a compliment

Other ways to give your feedback

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to give us your feedback. You can give your feedback in a number of ways including:

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Face to face, with any SLH colleague.

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By telephone on 0330 303 3000

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In writing to:

South Liverpool Homes
Parklands
Conleach Road
Speke
Liverpool L24 0TY

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What happens because of your feedback?

Here are some examples of what we learned from recent formal complaints and suggestions.

You said

A customer was unhappy with the process around their electrical check. The letter they received didn’t say which rooms in their home the contractor needed to access. They were also not happy with the tone of the letter.

We are doing

We have reviewed the letter and we will now clearly state which rooms we will need to access to carry out the electrical check in the letter. All letters sent to customers are currently being reviewed as part of a wider project, to make sure the tone of voice and language reflects our values and brand.

You said

A customer was unhappy that they received conflicting communications given about whether they were on a planned work programme or not. This includes work such as new kitchens, bathrooms, windows and boilers.

We are doing

All customer services colleagues at SLH and Avela Home Service now have full access to our planned works programme which will mean customers will receive more accurate information when they enquire.

You said

Tenants who lived in our independent living schemes told us they would like help using digital technology.

We are doing

We have provided an expert from our IT team to visit the schemes every fortnight to support tenants using their smart phones, tablets and laptops. The scheme managers accessed iPad for tenants to learn how to use them and become familiar with digital technology. We are also installing WiFi in our schemes for tenants to access and stay connected.

Complaints

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the landlord, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting a resident or group of residents.

We aim to provide an excellent service to all of our customers, however, we recognise that we may not always get things right. We value complaints as they help to highlight issues we may not have been aware of. When this happens, we will investigate and resolve the issue practically, learn from the experience and change the way we do things to ensure that it doesn't happen again. 

We will always accept a complaint, unless there is a valid reason not to do so. This includes: 

  • Service requests - these are first-time requests to ask us to put something right. This could, for example, be a repair or other request. We will record and respond to this, and try to put it right, straight away. Service requests are not complaints – a complaint can only be made once an issue has been raised and we’ve been given a chance to respond.
  • Where you are currently taking legal action against SLH about the same issue.  
  • A service or issue you have experienced which is over 12 months old. However, we will consider whether to apply discretion to accept complaints made outside this time limit where there are good reasons to do so.  
  • Claims for compensation 
  • Complaints that have already been dealt with under this policy. 

Who can make a complaint? 

Anyone who receives a service from us can make a complaint. We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from advocates, for example, friends or family acting on your behalf with your permission.  We will also investigate complaints from customers who wish to remain anonymous. 

How do we deal with your dissatisfaction/complaint? 

Tell us if you are not happy with a service you have received. We will ask you what we can do to put the situation right and try and sort the problem out straight away. Where we cannot do this or where you are not happy for us to do this, you have the option for us to handle your complaint formally. 

Support available from the Housing Ombudsman Service 

You can contact the Housing Ombudsman at any time whilst a complaint is going through our complaints process for advice. This leaflet provides further information about the Housing Ombudsman and how they can help you. 

Complaints procedure

Our formal complaints procedure has two stages: 

  1. Investigation - We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days and fully respond within 10 working days from the date of acknowledgment. The service manager or head of service will respond to your complaint.  
  2. Review - We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days and fully respond within 20 working days from the date of acknowledgment. The Complaints Review Panel (which includes an SLH Board member and an SLH Director) will respond to your complaint.  

If we can’t meet the timescales above, we will contact you to explain the reason for the extension and the date that you can expect to receive a response. At stage 1 (investigation), this will be no more than 10 working days and at stage 2 (review), this will be no more than 20 working days. 

More about the complaints process

Stage 1: Investigation

At the investigation stage, we may contact you to discuss your complaint and get a clear understanding of how you would like us to put things right. 

Once we understand this, we will complete an investigation and will then contact you to provide details of: 

  • the decision on the complaint
  • the reasons for any decisions made
  • the details of any remedy offered to put things right
  • any lessons learned as a result of the complaint
  • details of any outstanding actions and where possible, timescales for when these actions will be complete. 

If after the investigation stage, you are still unhappy, you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed. Your request should be made within 10 working days of the investigation response being sent. 

SLH will use discretion if your request is made after this time period and will take into account extenuating circumstances and make reasonable adjustments where required. 

Stage 2: Review

At this stage, an appeal hearing will be arranged. The complaints review panel will include an SLH Board member and an SLH Director. The role of the panel is to review if:

  • The complaints process has been followed correctly
  • The investigation has been conducted thoroughly
  • The customer has been treated fairly
  • That SLH’s response at the investigation stage was reasonable

You will receive a written reply following the panel within 20 working days from the date of acknowledgement, including:

  • the decision on the complaint;
  • the reasons for any decisions made;
  • the details of any remedy offered to put things right;
  • any lessons learned as a result of the complaint,
  • details of any outstanding actions and where possible, timescales for when these actions will be complete. and
  • details of how to escalate the matter to the Ombudsman Service if you remain dissatisfied.

Housing Ombudsman

If you still don’t feel your problem has been resolved at the complaints review panel, you can go directly to the Housing Ombudsman.

You can contact them at:

Housing Ombudsman Service
PO Box 1484
Unit D
Preston
PR2 0ET

Telephone: 0300 111 3000
Email: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk
www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk

Let us know what you think

Once your complaint has been resolved, we will contact you to ask if you are satisfied with the outcome of your complaint. This gives you the opportunity to let us know how you think we handled your complaint.

Learning from complaints

We view complaints as an opportunity to improve our services. If we have changed the way we deliver our services following your complaint, we will tell you about it. Look out for information in our newsletter and on our website about how we are using complaints to improve our services.

Putting things right - a new law dealing with complaints

How we deal with unreasonable behaviour

We will make clear distinctions between customers who make a number of complaints because they think things have gone wrong and customers whose complaints are unreasonable.

We do not view behaviour as unacceptable just because someone is assertive or determined. There may have been upsetting or distressing circumstances leading up to a customer making a complaint and people may act out of character. However, the actions of some customers who are angry or persistent may result in unreasonable demands on, or behaviour towards staff and we will take appropriate action to manage such behaviour.

Examples of this behaviour include:

  • Asking for responses within an unreasonable timescale
  • Insisting on communicating with a particular member of staff
  • Continual phone calls, emails, or letters
  • Repeatedly changing the substance of the complaint or raising unrelated concerns
  • Persistent refusal to accept explanations relating to what SLH can or cannot do
  • Continuing to pursue a case without presenting any new information

How we manage unreasonable behaviour will depend on the nature and extent of it and will be agreed on an individual basis, however, steps SLH may take include, separately or in combination:

  • Restricting contact in person, by telephone, letter or electronically or by any combination of these
  • Restricting the frequency of contact
  • Refusing to deal with the complaint
  • Replying to correspondence in timescales outside of the usual standards that SLH provide (this could be to respond to multiple contacts from the customer which are batched and dealt with in response)

Any restrictions placed on contact due to unacceptable behaviour will be proportionate and demonstrate regard for the provisions of the Equality Act 2010. 

Further information

The Housing Ombudsman published a new statutory Complaint Handling Code that became statutory on 1 April 2024. The code sets out good practice that will allow landlords to respond to complaints effectively and fairly.  We have completed a self-assessment against this code which demonstrates that SLH’s complaint procedure meets these guidelines. 

SLH Complaint Handling Code Self-Assessment 

We are currently in the process of completing our self-assessment against the new code and will be available by 30 June 2024.

Our Customer Feedback Policy

SLH Customer Feedback Policy (updated May 2024)

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South Liverpool Homes

Parklands

Conleach Road

Speke

L24 0TY

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South Liverpool Homes Limited is a charitable Community Benefit Society registered with the Financial Conduct Authority No.31210R and registered with the Regulator of Social Housing L4230. Registered office as above.

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