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DEVELOPING HOMES AND CREATING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WITHIN WEST NORFOLK

Freebridge Building
CALL US ON 03332 404444

Compliments, comments and complaints

View our Compliments, Comments an Complaints leaflet here.

Tell us what you think

At Freebridge we want you to be happy with the service you receive from us, and to help us understand how we are doing we would like your feedback. We want you to tell us when we do something well, when we get something wrong, or any ideas you have for how we can improve what we do. We monitor compliments, comments and complaints so that we can learn and improve and provide you with high quality services that you are happy with.


When we get something wrong

Sometimes things go wrong with the service we provide, if this happens, you can make a complaint. We define a complaint as follows:

An expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.

Examples of complaints include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • When we haven’t met our Service Standards.
  • When we haven’t done something we should do.
  • When the customer is unhappy with a decision or action (if this decision or action is outside of an agreed policy to provide a service).
  • When the customer is unhappy with the attitudes and behaviours of our employees or contractors.

We do not treat the following as complaints:

  • Matters that have already been considered under our Complaints policy.
  • Complaints about anti-social behaviour or nuisance by Freebridge tenants. Such complaints will be handled by a separate Anti-social Behaviour policy and procedure. However, if the complaint is about the way in which the nuisance has been handled, then this will be covered by our policy.
  • Initial requests for a service or information, for example initial reporting of a repair. However, when we fail to meet our service standards this will be covered by our policy.
  • Complaints where legal action is already taking place, or a decision has been made by the court.
  • Complaints about our decision to end a starter tenancy; refusal to offer a tenancy after an applicant has been referred or nominated to us; a tenancy review; refusal of a mutual exchange – these would be dealt with under our Appeals policy. However if the complaint is about the way in which the process has been handled, then this will be covered by this policy.

In the event that we do not accept a complaint we will provide you with a full response detailing the reasons for this; if you wish to challenge our decision not to accept a complaint you may contact the Housing Ombudsman who will review the matter – and where appropriate will instruct us to take on the complaint.

Our Complaints and Compliments Policy is available for all of our Customers; although not exhaustive, this includes:

  • Tenants (current or former).
  • Shared Owners (current or former).
  • Leaseholders (residen or non-resident).
  • Applicants for our properties.

Our complaints process

Early resolution


When we are first made aware of your dissatisfaction, our Customer Service Team will try to resolve the matter within three working days.

Where this is not possible, or if you remain dissatisfied and wish to pursue the complaint further, the matter will be escalated to Stage 1.

Stage #1


  • Any complaint that is not resolved within the initial period of three working days will be referred to the Customer Services Manager.
  • Within a further two working days you will receive an acknowledgement letter.
  • Within 10 working days and following investigation, you will receive a full response.
  • If the investigation takes longer, we will keep you fully updated on its progress. This will not exceed a further 10 working days without good reason.
  • As part of the investigation, the manager looking into the matter will make contact with you to understand the nature of your complaint, the impact the matter has had on you and what you would like us to do to resolve the problem.

If you are still unhappy about how your complaint has been dealt with, you can then ask for the complaint to be escalated to Stage 2.

Stage #2


  • At the second stage of our complaints process your complaint will be reviewed by a Director at Freebridge not directly involved in the original matter.
  • As part of the investigation, the Director will make contact with you to understand your complaint, the impact it has had on you and what you would like us to do to resolve the problem.
  • The Director will then write to you with their final decision within 10 working days of Freebridge being asked to progress the case to this stage.
  • Where the complaint relates to debt advice or our other Financial Conduct Authority regulated activities this update will take the form of a final response letter which will be sent to you within eight weeks of the complaint first being received.

If you still remain unhappy with the response following the second stage of our process, the following options are available to you.

  • Within eight weeks of our final decision, you can ask a ‘designated person’ to refer the matter to the Housing Ombudsman.
  • Alternatively, eight weeks after our final decision, you can take your complaint direct to the Housing Ombudsman.
  • If your complaint relates to Debt Advice or Finance Conduct Authority Matters, you will need to contact the Financial Ombudsman.
  • For Leaseholder and Shared Owner customers, leasehold disputes (such as those regarding service or administration charges, leasehold management etc.) can also be considered by the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

Contact details for these organisations can be found below.


Representation

At any stage in our complaints process you can choose to have a representative deal with your complaint on your behalf, including attending any meetings with or for you.


    Reasonable adjustments

    We are committed to ensuring that all of our customers are able to access our Complaints and Compliments service, and will seek to make reasonable adjustments to do so where necessary.

    Reasonable adjustments will depend on individual need but may include things such as:

    • Provision of auxiliary aids.
    • Provision of information in alternative formats (e.g. large print, Braille, coloured paper etc.).
    • Allowing extra time for customers to make a response.
    • Use of email or telephone in preference to hard copy letters.
    • Use of plain English or Easy Read service.
    • Communication through a representative or intermediary.
    • Rest or comfort breaks in meetings.

    You can request reasonable adjustments or additional support at any point during the process; where we are aware that you may require a reasonable adjustment we will seek to provide these proactively where possible.

Contacting us

Complaints, comments and compliments are important to us as they help us improve our services. Customers can contact us in the following ways:

  • In person at any of our offices,
  • By phone 03332 404 444,
  • By e-mail enquiries@freebridge.org.uk,
  • By writing to us at Juniper House, Austin Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1DZ,
  • Via the Tenant Web Portal - once they have registered tenants will be able to send a comment/complaint directly to us from here as well as report a repair and view their rent statement, and
  • Via our social media accounts.

When complaints, comments and compliments are made to us via social media we will move the matter offline as soon as we are able to ensure privacy is maintained.

In addition to making contact with Freebridge you can also contact the Housing Ombudsman Service direct at any time and speak to their dispute support advisors who will provide assistance throughout the life of a complaint. The Housing Ombudsman contact details are provided below.


Other contacts

A designated person is:

  • a Member of Parliament (MP),
  • a local councillor, or a
  • recognised Tenant Panel (Freebridge’s Tenant panel is not a recognised Tenant Panel in this instance).

The Housing Ombudsman can be contacted at:

Housing Ombudsman Service

PO Box 152

Liverpool

L33 7WQ

0300 111 3000

info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk
www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/

The Financial Ombudsman can be contacted at:

Financial Ombudsman Service

Exchange Tower
Harbour Exchange
London
E14 9SR

020 7964 1000

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) can be contacted at:

Residential property: Eastern region

Cambridge County Court

197 East Road

Cambridge

CB1 1BA

01223 841 524

rpeastern@justice.gov.uk


Appeals

We also operate a two stage appeals process for when you disagree with a decision we have made. There are only certain types of decision that you can appeal, these are ones that affect your tenancy and that you have no other legal method of challenging. The full range of circumstances are listed in our Appeals Policy which can be found in our Policy & Procedural Handbook.


We will  always make you aware when you have the right to appeal a decision, but you can also contact us regarding this.
 
You can contact us to make an appeal within 10 working days of us making a decision:

  • in person at any of our offices
  • by writing to us at Juniper House, Austin Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1DZ
  • via e-mail enquiries@freebridge.org.uk
  • via website
  • by phone 03332 404 444
 

Complaints, where you are dissatisfied with a service, will be dealt with under our complaints process. If you are both unhappy about a service you have received as well as a decision that we have made (and it falls into one of the appeal categories), then we will make a decision as to which process is more suitable and contact you to explain why.

 

 

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