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Help us to get it right - Dudley Council is committed to providing high quality, affordable services to all its customers. There are times when we do things well, but there may also be times when things go wrong and you are left unhappy or dissatisfied.

We want to hear from you if you have a compliment, comment or complaint about our services

Your compliment, comment or complaint may be about:

  • the kind of services we offer
  • the services you receive
  • the lack of services
  • changes to services
  • costs of services
  • how helpful we have been

If your compliment, comment or complaint is about our website please use our specialist Website Feedback form

If you need help communicating with us, we can arrange; large print or braille documentation, translation, text relay service, interpreting and sign language.

Compliments

We recognise and greatly value the importance of any positive feedback from the customers we serve. Therefore, we want to hear from you whenever you feel the service you have received merits praise.

Comments

We very much welcome and seek your comments in order to assist us in continually developing and improving our services.

Complaints

If you are not happy with a service then you have the right to complain and be listened to. We will do all we can to resolve your complaint promptly and effectively.

If you make a complaint, we will:

  • Listen to what you have to say.
  • Respond to you promptly, ensuring you receive a response to the issues you raise.
  • Provide advice and information about how you can pursue your complaint further should you feel you need to do so.

Complaint Stages

It is important to us to try and resolve complaints at the point of service delivery and as quickly as possible. So before making a formal complaint, try to talk the problem over with the person you are dealing with or ask to speak to the manager of the service.

Stage 1

If your complaint cannot be resolved informally you may wish to make a formal complaint. You can do this online, by telephone, in person or in writing by completing the print version of the form above.

We will contact you within five working days to acknowledge receipt and within 20 working days with a full response.

If the complaint is complex and takes longer to investigate we will keep you informed. We will also tell you who to contact if your issue is not resolved.

If you do not wish to complain yourself, with your permission someone else can do so on your behalf.

Stage 2

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint response at stage one, you may ask for your complaint to be reconsidered.

In order to request a stage two review of your complaint you must be able to show:

  • There has been a factual error based on the decision made.
  • There has been an oversight on a significant piece of evidence.
  • New evidence has been provided to support the original complaint, which was not included with the original submission.

This request must be made within 20 working days of the date of the stage one response. A more senior officer will then investigate your complaint, review your stage one response and provide a new response within 20 working days.

Exclusions

There are separate complaints processes for some specific services, these are:

  • Social Care Complaints and Compliments
  • Schools
  • Data Protection/Freedom of Information/Environmental Information Regulations
  • Councillors

In addition, the Corporate Feedback Policy does not apply under certain instances including:

  • Employee complaints relating to employment issues or disciplinary and grievance process
  • Council decisions where there is an existing appeals process
  • Matters already subject to legal proceedings
  • Insurance claims against the council
  • Issues through the council's 'Whistle-blowing' policy

Procedures

Complaints are recorded in our complaints management system, This data is regularly reviewed to monitor our performance and customer service.

We review:

  • target response times
  • complaints information capture efficiency
  • customers preferred method of initial contact

What will happen if my complaint(s) are upheld?

If we have failed to provide our agreed standards or quality of service we will acknowledge and apologise for this. 
We will then set out actions we will take to put things right and improve our services. This could include:
• reinstating a service to a customer
• making changes to how we deliver our services
• reviewing and amending information about our services
• reviewing council policies and procedures
• providing staff training and guidance

What will happen if my complaint(s) are not upheld?

Where we have investigated and do not uphold the complaint, we will:
• clearly explain the reasons for our decision
• provide any relevant supporting evidence
• inform you how to progress your complaint if you remain dissatisfied

Persistent and Vexatious Complainants

Occasionally customers may pursue a complaint in an unreasonable way which impacts on the council resources and capacity to respond to the complaint effectively. Examples include:

  • repeatedly refusing to clearly specify the grounds of a complaint
  • refusing to accept investigation decisions
  • repeatedly making the same/similar complaint
  • unreasonable, persistent contact with council officers

If a complainant is considered to have become vexatious, they will be referred to a nominated officer who will decide on the action to be taken on any further involvement with the council on this matter.

To inform customers about how we handle complaints and demonstrate how we make changes as a result of customer feedback we do publish information about complaints.  Depending on the nature of the complaint, we may need to ask for your permission to share the complaint details with other services in order to provide a response; your personal data will be kept anonymous.

Any personal data provided to the council will be managed in line with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.

How to appeal?

If a complaint has progressed through both stages of the council’s formal complaints procedure and you are still unsatisfied you may appeal to The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman/Housing Ombudsman.

Feedback on our website?

We value your feedback and comments. Complete the website feedback form to let us know what you think of our website. Please note this form is for feedback on our website only. Please use relevant forms below for compliments, comments, complaints about our services.

If you're not sure who to contact, please call Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.