Complaints process - England

If you live in England and we have not been able to deal with your problem when you first told us, we would then deal with your complaint in the following stages.

Home Group aims to deliver the best services possible to customers and positively encourages feedback in the form of complaints, compliments and comments. This information is extremely valuable and helps ensure we continually shape, improve and learn from all types of feedback. This allows us to improve our working practices and enhance the quality of our services received by our customers.

 

 

How can I give feedback?

 

 

You can give us feedback in the following ways:

 

  • Write to us
  • Contact us through our website using the General Enquiry form
  • Call us on 0345 141 4663
  • Give your feedback to any Home Group member of staff

If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service the simplest and quickest way to deal with a problem is to discuss it with a member of staff at our Customer Service Centre on 0345 141 4663. Our staff are fully equipped to handle concerns or feedback about our services addressing most problems immediately over the phone.

Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. Please also read the section on ‘What if I am still dissatisfied?’

You can also seek advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Housing Advice Centre throughout your complaint with Home Group.

What can I complain about?

  • You can complain about things like
  • Failure to provide a service
  • Our standard of service
  • Treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
  • Our failure to follow Home Group’s policies and procedures

Your complaint may involve more than one of our services or be about someone working on our behalf.

Home Group treats all complaints very seriously. If you do make a complaint we guarantee that we will not treat you less favourably in the future.

If you wish to complain about a noisy neighbour or other anti-social behaviour, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 0345 141 4663.

What happens when I have complained?

We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint. Our complaints procedure has two key stages:

Stage 1 – Contact us with your complaint within 3 months of the event. We will then investigate the matter and will aim to have reached a resolution to your complaint within 20 working days. If our investigation will exceed this timescale, we will always write to you to explain why, and we will do everything we can to resolve your complaint as soon as possible.

If you are not happy with the outcome of your Stage 1 complaint you may have the opportunity for your complaint to be reviewed at Stage 2. Please let us know if you wish to escalate your complaint within 8 weeks of your Stage 1 outcome.

Stage 2 – Once you have decided to escalate your complaint it will be passed to a senior person. The senior person will then review actions taken at Stage 1 and re-investigate any additional information in relation to your complaint. We aim to have reached a resolution to your complaint within 20 working days. If our investigation will exceed this timescale, we will always write to you to explain why, and we will do everything we can to resolve your complaint as soon as possible.

This is the final stage of Home Group's internal complaints handling process.

What if I’m still dissatisfied?

If at the end of our complaints process you remain dissatisfied with our responses at Stage 1 and 2, you then have a number of options available to you.

You can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service. In order to do this you will need to wait eight weeks following our final response at Stage 2, or you can ask your local councillor or MP to forward the complaint for you, omitting this timescale.

You also have the option of taking your complaint to the Independent Complaints Panel within 8 weeks of receiving your final complaint outcome from Home Group. The Independent Complaints Panel is recognised by Home Group and the Housing Ombudsman. The Independent Complaints Panel may be able to help you find a solution to your complaint or refer your complaint straight to the Housing Ombudsman.

The Independent Complaints Panel

The panel is made up of Home Group customers and clients who will review each stage of the complaint on an independent basis. You must refer to the panel within 8 weeks of receiving your complaint outcome at Stage 2. Customers and clients on the panel will have had no prior involvement in the complaint. You can contact the Independent complaints panel by:

Age UK

Age UK provide free information and advice and have trained advisors who can guide you through your situation.

  • Post: Age UK, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA
  • Telephone: 0800 169 6565

First tier (Property Chamber)

First tier tribunals can be used to resolve disputes between home owners and ourselves. Please contact the Customer Service Centre on 0345 141 4663 for more information.

 

 

Exceptions to our standard process

In some cases, for example, if your complaint is very complicated or if we need to work with other organisations we may need a little longer. We will explain the reasons for the delay and let you know when you can expect a full reply.

We will not normally consider complaints about things that happened more than three months ago. In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after this time limit. If you feel that this applies to you, please telephone our Customer Service Centre on 0345 141 4663 to discuss this matter further.

There may also be occasions where it is appropriate to issue a first and final response to a complaint at Stage 1. If this is the case we will discuss this with you. This will not prevent you from escalating your complaint to the next stage, although the response you receive at Stage 2 of our complaints handling process may be the same response you received at Stage 1, if no new information is brought to our attention.

Some issues such as injury or damage to property will be handled separately outside of our complaints process through our insurance team.

We may refuse to deal with a complaint or deal with it differently if you act unreasonably or if the circumstances mean it is not possible to deal with it within our normal complaints procedure. If this applies we will discuss this with you in more detail.

Discretionary compensation

If you request compensation as part of your complaint this will be considered as part of our complaints handling process, in line with our Complaints, Compliments and Comments Policy. If compensation is awarded and you have outstanding arrears and/or housing related debt, your compensation award will be offset against either or both and any remaining balance paid to you.

Housing Ombudsman Service

If you have followed all of the stages of our complaints procedure and you are still not happy you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate your complaint. Please note that the Ombudsman is unlikely to investigate your complaint until you have exhausted all stages of our complaints procedure. You must also wait 8 weeks after receiving a final response from Home Group before referring your complaint to the Ombudsman.

You can contact the Housing Ombudsman at

  • Post: Housing Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange Square, London, E14 9GE
  • Telephone: 0300 111 3000
  • Fax: 020 7831 1942
  • Email: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk