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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Complaints will not be considered for:
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.
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:
The Housing Ombudsman Service
PO Box 152
Telephone: 0300 111 3000
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.