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Provide us with your feedback

We strive to provide the very best customer service that we can, so your voice is vitally important to us.

If you want to provide us with your feedback, send us a compliment, comment or complaint, you can do so online using our online feedback form.

 

You can find more information in our FAQs below.

 

 

Our compliment, comment and complain FAQs

What is a compliment?

A compliment is a polite expression of praise, admiration or gratitude about a service, contractor or one of our colleagues. Its great when customers let us know what we are doing well, as we can learn and share good practice across our teams.

If you want to send us a compliment, you can do so online using the link at the bottom of this page, or alternatively, by clicking here

 

What is a comment or suggestion?

A comment or suggestion is a remark expressing an opinion, reaction, or an idea, for consideration. We value customer feedback and have a strong commitment to involving our customers in shaping our services and improving neighbourhoods.

If you have a comment or suggestion you would like us to hear, you can send it to us using the link at the bottom of this page, or alternatively, by clicking here

 

What is a complaint?

A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of actions by us, or our contractors affecting an individual customer or a group of customers.

How do I complain?

We want to make it easy for customers to give us feedback, so we will accept feedback through all our communication channels and will be logged by our customer excellence team.

 

  •  Online - use our Customer Feedback form linked here and also below

  •  Live web chat - open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm

  •  Call us on 01782 635200 - open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
  • Report to your Locality Co-ordinator:- You can find the details of who your Locality Co-ordinator by visiting here

  •  Write to us at:- Aspire Housing, Kingsley, The Brampton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 0QW

We'll do our best to resolve any concerns straight away, and if you're unhappy with our response we have a formal complaint process too, as well as a customer feedback form.

Complaints that are taken over the phone by the customer excellence team will be acknowledged and logged immediately. For those that are received through other contact methods they will be acknowledged and logged at stage one within 5 days of receipt.

Correspondence received from Members of Parliament (MP) or councillors will be reviewed to understand whether there has been a service failure or not. Where there has been a service failure then this will be logged as a complaint and will be responded to through the formal process, with the ability to escalate when required. Otherwise, it will be recorded as an enquiry and will be responded to outside of the complaint process.

Where a complaint is received through a number of routes, for example, by the customer and a councillor or MP, then these will be logged separately for reporting purposes, one formal response will be drafted, and a copy sent to all parties.

What will complaints not be considered for?

Complaints will not be considered for:

 

  • Issues which are raised more than six months after the relevant events (unless it is an on-going issue we are aware of).

  • Cases where a final decision has already been made and no further appeal is possible.

  • Cases where legal proceedings have started, with the claim form and particulars of claim been filed at court.

  • Service requests, including those that have already been reported to the customer excellence team and are currently in the process of being resolved.

  • Anti-social behaviour reports which are investigated by the aspire housing locality team and reported separately.

 

If we decide not to accept a complaint, a detailed explanation will be provided to the customer setting out the reasons why the matter is not suitable for the complaints process and the right to take that decision to the ombudsman. If the ombudsman does not agree that the exclusion has been fairly applied, they may instruct us to take on the complaint.

What happens after I complain?

Formal complaints are investigated and responded to by our internal two-stage process. If the issue cannot be resolved internally by us, customers have the option of a third stage by referring their case to the Housing Ombudsman.

 

Stage 1: Complaint - Internal investigation usually by a Team or Service Manager

We will aim to resolve reported issues as soon as possible. When an immediate solution can be found, for example, the issue can be resolved to the satisfaction of the customer within two working days and they agree that they do not require a formal letter response, then this can be closed as a quick fix. The complaint will still be logged, and the details of the resolution recorded, however, there is no need to provide a formal written response.

When an immediate resolution is not possible because further investigation is required, or the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the initial response provided, it will be dealt with within 10 working days, in line with the Housing Ombudsman code.

If a resolution within 10 days is not possible, we will agree a response date with the person making the complaint, this should not exceed a further 10 days. If an extension beyond 20 working days is required to respond to the complaint fully, this should be agreed with the person making the complaint. If an agreement cannot be reached then the Housing Ombudsman's contact details should be shared for the complainant to receive their support.

Cases will remain open until all the issues raised have been responded to. Where a complaint covers more than one service area the complaint handler will engage with the relevant colleagues to respond to each part. As soon as a resolution has been agreed with the customer and confirmed in writing (as required), the case can be closed. Agreed actions do not need to be completed before a case can be closed, however, they must be monitored to ensure they are delivered as promised, keeping the customer updated.

All complaint investigations will involve personal contact with the person making the complaint within 5 days, either by telephone, or a home visit, to understand the reasons for the complaint and what could be done to resolve it.

We will communicate with the customer using the method they have asked us to use (either telephone, email or letter), although our response to the complaint will be made via letter (which may be sent by email if the customer agrees to this).

A written response will be provided to the customer detailing the outcome and explaining how they can appeal against this decision if they are not satisfied.

If the person making the complaint does not respond within 14 days of the written response being sent, we will assume that the outcome is accepted, the complaint will be considered closed, and no further appeal will be possible. If for some reason someone was unable to respond in 14 days due to vulnerabilities or has a valid explanation then we would consider this on an individual basis.

 

Stage 2: Appeal - internal investigation usually by Head of Service

If the person complaining is not satisfied with the response to their complaint, they have the right to appeal within 14 days of the date of the written response. The appeal should include the reasons why the customer is not satisfied with the response and any additional information that may be relevant to their appeal.

The appeal will be considered by an independent person not previously involved in the complaint, usually a Head of Service. The decision of the appeal will be final.

Appeals will usually be responded to within 20 working days, in line with the Housing Ombudsman code. If this is not possible, then we will agree a response date with the person who submitted the appeal, which should not exceed a further 10 days, if longer than this is required then this needs to be in agreement with all parties. If an agreement cannot be reached then the Housing Ombudsman's contact details should be shared for the complainant to receive their support.

A written response will be provided to the customer detailing the outcome of the appeal and explaining their options if they are not satisfied.

 

Stage 3: Housing Ombudsman - External Investigation*

 If an Aspire Housing customer is not satisfied with the outcome of their appeal, they have the right to progress their complaint to the Housing Ombudsman Service, as soon as our complaints process has ended.

The Housing Ombudsman is an independent service, investigating complaints and making recommendations where it thinks that the landlord may not have acted in a reasonable or fair way.

The Ombudsman may offer their early resolution service to help to resolve the dispute without the need for a formal investigation.

 

The Housing Ombudsman can be contacted at:

Housing Ombudsman Service

PO Box 1484

Unit D

Preston

PR2 0ET

Telephone: 0300 111 3000

Email: info@housing-ombudsman.co.uk

 

We will fully cooperate with the Housing Ombudsman in any investigation and will provide all records and information requested. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will also accept any recommendations made by the Housing Ombudsman and take the appropriate actions suggested by them.

How do we resolve complaints?

At all stages the aim is to resolve the complaint to the customers satisfaction. Where something has gone wrong, we will acknowledge this, apologise, and set out the actions we have taken, or will take to put it right and when these will happen. These can include:

 

  • acknowledging where things have gone wrong
  • providing an explanation, assistance or reasons
  • apologising
  • taking action if there has been a delay
  • reconsidering or changing a decision
  • amending a record
  • providing a financial remedy
  • changing policies, procedures, or practices.


Any financial remedy or compensation must reflect the extent of any service failures or detriment caused to the customer. Where customers can demonstrate a financial loss as a direct result of the service failure then we will consider compensating for all or part of the loss, taking account of the specific circumstances of the case.

Where the financial loss cannot be demonstrated, or where there has been avoidable inconvenience or distress, a financial remedy may be offered in way of apology to resolve the complaint. Where the decision to offer compensation is made the value of the offer will be decided in line with the Housing Ombudsman Service guidelines.

How do we learn from complaints?

Aspire Housing will complete an annual self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman's complaint handling code, which will be signed off by both a customer group and board and will be made available to customers online.

The Housing Ombudsman publish an annual landlord report, detailing cases and outcomes which is available on their website: www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk.

The board will receive quarterly updates on common themes, resolution times and actions taken, plus an annual review.

Managers receive weekly reports on complaints received and resolution times in order that issues can be identified quickly, and resolution times are managed. A monthly report identifies themes, actions already taken and recommendations.

An internal complaints panel will also regularly review complaints and feedback and will ensure findings are used to help us identify areas for improvement in our services.

Complaint data will be regularly shared with the 'Observing Aspire Services & Improving Standards' customer group for review, who will have a range of mechanisms available to them to address areas of poor performance or concerns.

Performance data regarding feedback and complaints, alongside service changes that have been made as a result will be included in the annual report, which is available to customers online.

To help us to improve our complaint handling performance, we will regularly contact a selection of customers that have made a complaint to understand satisfaction with our process and outcomes.

Self-assessment

At Aspire Housing, we’re committed to accounting for our actions and performance in an open and transparent manner. 

For that reason, we publish important information about our performance to help us improve how we do things, and provide our customers with the confidence that we’re running our business in the right way.

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