Complaints Handling Policy
Creation Date: March 2021
Issue Date: March 2021
Agreed: Terry Daniell – Managing Director / Sharon McDermott – Managing Director / Sophie Huntbach – Document Owner
Next Review Date: March 2022
Remarks: Updated with new brand 24.06.2021
In this Complaints Policy the following expressions have the following meanings:
“Appeal” means your request to escalate a Complaint from Level One to Level Two if you are not satisfied with the outcome at Level One;
“Appeal Handler” means an employee of Trenches working at an appropriate level who will handle Level Two Complaints;
“Business Day” means, any day (other than Saturday or Sunday) on which ordinary banks are open for their full range of normal business in the United Kingdom.
“Complaint” means a Complaint about goods AND/OR services sold by Trenches about our customer service, or about our employees, agents and subcontractors;
“Complaint Handler” means an employee of Trenches working at an appropriate level who will handle Level One Complaints;
“Complaint Policy” means this document;
Purpose of this Complaints Policy
Trenches Ltd welcomes and encourages feedback of all kinds from our clients. If you have a Complaint about our goods and/or services, our customer service, or about our employees, agents or subcontractors, not only do we want to resolve it to your satisfaction, but we also want to learn from it to improve our business and customer experience in the future.
It’s our policy to resolve Complaints quickly and fairly, where possible without resort to formal investigations or external bodies. In particular, the aims of this Complaints Policy are:
- To provide a clear and fair procedure for any clients who wish to make a Complaint
- To ensure that everyone working for or with us knows how to handle Complaints made by our clients
- To ensure that all Complaints are handled equally and in a fair and timely fashion
- To ensure that important information is gathered from Complaints and used in the future to avoid such a situation arising again.
What this Complaints Policy covers
This Complaints Policy applies to all our services, to our customer service and to our employees, agents or subcontractors.
Complaints may relate to any of our activities and may include (but not be limited to):
- The quality of customer service you have received from us
- The behaviour and/or professional competence of our employees
- The following are not considered to be Complaints and should therefore be directed to the appropriate person: general questions about our good or services, matters concerning contractual or other legal disputes, formal requests for the disclosure of information, for example, under the Data Protection Act.
Making a Complaint
All Complaints, whether they concern our goods or services, our customer service, or our employees, should be made in one of the following ways:
- In writing – The Tythe Barn, Stapeley Manor Farm, Long Lane, Odiham, Hampshire, RG29 1JE
- By email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- By phone – 01256 856 888
When making a Complaint, you’ll be required to provide the following information in as much detail as is reasonably possible:
- Your name, address, telephone number and email address. We will contact you using your preferred contact method as your Complaint is handled
- If you are making a Complaint on behalf of someone else, that person’s name and contact details as well as your own
- If you are making a Complaint about a particular transaction, the transaction reference number i.e. a purchase order number
- If you are making a Complaint about one of our employees, the name and, where appropriate, position of that employee
- Further details of your Complaint including, as appropriate, all times, dates, events, and people involved
- Details of any documents or other evidence you wish to rely on in support of your Complaint
- Details of what you would like us to do to resolve your Complaint and to put things right. Please note that whilst we will make every reasonable effort to accommodate such requests, we are not bound to take any action beyond that which we may be contractually or otherwise legally obliged to take.
How we handle your Complaint
We operate a two-stage complaints handling procedure. Following our Complaints Procedure, our aim is to always resolve Complaints to your satisfaction at Level One without further recourse to Level Two. If you’re not satisfied at the end of Level One, you may escalate your Complaint to Level Two. If you are still not satisfied at the end of Level Two, Complaints may progress to External Resolution as detailed below.
Upon receipt of your Complaint, the appropriate employee in relation to that account will log the Complaint in our system “Zoho Projects” and will acknowledge receipt of it in writing within 1 working day, giving you a Complaint Reference.
When we acknowledge receipt of your Complaint, we will also provide details of your complaint handler. This may be the person to whom your original Complaint was directed (as above) or your Complaint may be assigned to another appropriate member of our team.
If your Complaint relates to a specific employee, that person will be informed of your Complaint and given a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond. Any communication between yourself and the employee in question should take place only via the complaint handler and we respectfully ask that you do not contact the employee in question directly concerning the Complaint while we’re working to resolve it.
If we require any further information or evidence from you, the complaint handler will contact you as quickly as is reasonably possible. We ask that you use reasonable efforts to supply any such information or evidence quickly to avoid delaying the complaints handling process. If you’re unable to provide such information or evidence, we’ll use all reasonable efforts to proceed without it, however please be aware that we will not ask for further information or evidence unless we consider it important to the successful resolution of your Complaint.
We aim to resolve Level One Complaints within 5 working days. In some cases, particularly if your Complaint is of a complex nature, this may not be possible. If this is not possible for any reason you’ll be informed of the delay, the likely length of the delay and the reasons for it.
At the conclusion of the Level One complaints procedure, regardless of the outcome, we will provide you with full details of our investigation, our conclusions from that investigation, and any action taken as a result. You will also be reminded of your right to appeal our decision and escalate the Complaint to Level Two in the form of an Appeal.
If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your Complaint at Level One, you may appeal the decision within 3 working days and have the Complaint escalated to Level Two. Appeals are handled by management-level members of our team.
Appeals, quoting your original complaint reference, should be directed to your original complaint handler who will forward the request to an appropriate appeal handler. Receipt of appeals will be acknowledged in writing within 2 working days. When we acknowledge receipt of your appeal, we’ll also provide details of your appeal handler.
If your Complaint relates to a specific employee, that person will be informed of your appeal and given a further opportunity to respond. Any communication between you and the employee in question should take place only via the appeal handler and we respectfully ask that you do not contact the employee in question directly concerning the Complaint while we are working to resolve it.
If we require any further information or evidence from you, the appeal handler will contact you as quickly as is reasonably possible. We ask that you use reasonable efforts to supply any such information or evidence to us quickly to avoid delaying the complaints handling process. If you are unable to provide such information or evidence, we will use all reasonable efforts to proceed without it. Please be aware that we will not ask for further information or evidence unless we consider it important to the successful resolution of your Complaint.
We aim to resolve Level Two Complaints within 10 working days however in some cases, particularly if your Complaint is of a complex nature, this may not be possible. If this is not possible for any reason you’ll be informed of the delay, the likely length of the delay and the reasons for it. We have eight weeks to resolve a Complaint, after which the complainer may refer the Complaint to The Legal Ombudsman (LeO).
At the conclusion of the Level Two procedure, regardless of the outcome, we will provide you with full details of our investigation, our conclusions from that investigation, and any action taken as a result.
Our decision at this stage is final, subject to your right to seek External Resolution of your Complaint.
As we are regulated by the SRA (Solicitors’ Regulation Authority) you, as our client, have the right to seek External Resolution of your Complaint from that organisation if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your Level Two Complaint.
If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your Complaint at Level Two you may seek external resolution of your Complaint from The Legal Ombudsman (LeO). For details of complaint and conflict resolution mechanisms available from The Legal Ombudsman (LeO): PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, Tel: 0300 555033, Web: www.legalombudsman.org.uk. There are time limits for submission of a Complaint to them. They’ll accept a Complaint made within 6 years of the act or omission giving rise to the Complaint, or within 3 years of the client being reasonably aware of the Complaint, this time limit being applicable after 6 October 2010. In addition, the client must raise the Complaint within 6 months of the final response under the internal complaint procedure of the firm.
Confidentiality and Data Protection
All Complaints and information are treated with the utmost confidence. Such information will only be shared with those team members, who need to know to handle your Complaint.
We may ask for your permission to use details of your Complaint (with your personal details removed) for internal training and quality improvement purposes. If you have given such permission, you may revoke it at any time by contacting Sophie Huntbach, Training and Compliance Manager, whose details can be found on our LinkedIn page.
All personal information that we may collect (including, but not limited to, your name and address) will be collected, used and held in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 and your rights under that Act.
Questions and further information
If you have any questions or require further information about any aspect of this complaints policy or about our complaints procedure, please contact us at email@example.com