How to make a complaint
Our service standards tell you what you can expect from us and people who do work on our behalf. If your experience does not match these standards, or you think we could improve, please let us know. While we try to make sure that we do everything right first time, sometimes we get things wrong and you might want to make a complaint.
This leaflet explains what to do if you are not happy with the service you have received from Helena Partnerships. It tells you how to complain, how we deal with complaint and what to do if you are not happy with our response.
Click here to download a copy of the complaints form
Click here to view the complaints leaflet
Ways you can complain
- By phone - you can phone One Call, our Customer Response Centre, on 01744 63 73 83. They will take the details of your complaint.
- Email - you can also email your complaint to email@example.com
- In writing - write to us at our Head Office, or hand in a written complaint at any of our neighbourhood offices.
- In person - if you would like help in making a complaint please contact a member of staff.
We will need to take details of the Helena service you are unhappy with, who you have dealt with so far, and whether this is the first time you have complained. We'll need your name and address, and we'd also like to hear what you would like us to do to put the problem right. It would also be useful if you could let us know when and how you can be contacted.
If your complaint concerns a member of staff, we will arrange for your complaint to be brought to the attention of their manager. We will write to tell you that we have received your complaint within two working days (or email you within four working hours if the complaint is emailed to us).
How will my complaint be dealt with?
We have a strict procedure in place for dealing with your complaint. We will:
- Treat your complaint confidentially;
- Treat you fairly and help you get across what the problem is;
- Recognise you have the right to complain;
- Not treat you differently because you have complained;
- Deal with your complaint as quickly and efficiently
- Tell you what is happening and when you can expect a reply;
- Tell you how you can take things further if you are still not happy.
Our complaints process has three stages:
If at any stage you are unhappy with the response that you receive you can appeal. To do this, please ring One Call stating your complaint reference number and the reason why you are unhappy with our response.
At each stage in the process we aim to write to you with our findings. Sometimes a complex complaint may take longer to investigate. On these occasions, if we need to increase the time it takes to respond, we will discuss this with you, keep you updated, and send a full reply as soon as possible.
If a complaint progresses to the final stage in the process, you will be given the opportunity to appeal in person to the Complaints Review Panel, which is made up of representatives from Helena's Board of Directors, and members of the tenant Customer Excellence Panel. This can be set up within 20 working days.
Occasionally, we may decide that it is not appropriate to escalate a complaint to the next stage. We will let you know if this is the case and explain our reasons for making this decision.
What if I am not happy with your response?
If you have followed the complaints procedure, and are still unhappy with the outcome, you may wish to contact the Housing Ombudsman Service. They will listen to your
complaint and let you know if they are prepared to act on your behalf. Details of how to contact the Housing Ombudsman can be found at the bottom of this page.
Can I receive compensation if my complaint has not been handled properly?
If a complaint or appeal is not dealt with in the set target times, or we have failed to contact you with an update, you may be entitled to compensation. Details of when compensation will be paid are set out in the table below:
In what other cases might compensation be paid?
A manager investigating a complaint may agree to pay compensation or arrange to compensate in kind (for example decorating materials). This might happen if:
- A customer suffers loss because we have not carried out repairs or maintenance properly (this is separate to the Right to Repair Legislation).
- A customer suffers loss due to other failures in service.
- A failure of service causes distress.
- A customer has to spend excessive time and trouble achieving a solution to a complaint
- If Helena does not provide, on request, a copy of the complaints leaflet in a suitable alternative format
We welcome all complaints as we can learn from them and improve our services. We use complaints and other feedback to review the quality of our services and make any necessary changes.
We regularly monitor our performance against the standards outlined in this document and will seek your feedback on whether we have handled your complaint effectively.
Every three months, the Customer Excellence Panel - which is made up entirely of tenants - reviews our performance.
What happens if the Housing Ombudsman orders compensation to be paid?
If the Housing Ombudsman Service decides compensation should be awarded, Helena Partnerships will honour this recommendation. These will be authorised by our Chief Executive.
If the person making the complaint has a debt with Helena Partnerships, any compensation due may be deducted from the debt.
Contacting the Housing Ombudsman Service
The Housing Ombudsman Service can be contacted at:
Housing Ombudsman Service
Tel: 0300 111 3000
Fax: 020 7831 1942
Minicom: 020 7404 7092
To download a copy of the Complaints form click here