We consider a complaint to be "an expression of dissatisfaction with the standard of service or with an action or lack of action by our staff or contractors".
You can complain if:
We try to deal fairly and honestly with all complaints, whilst making sure that other service users or officers do not suffer harm from someone making aggressive and/or obsessive complaints.
We consider an aggressive or obsessive complaint to be where:
Where we consider that a complaint is aggressive or obsessive we will not investigate it any further. Where this is the case we will inform you in writing.
If you are not happy with an aspect of our service, please try first to settle this with the employee you are dealing with. Our front line employees are often best placed to resolve issues without the need for more formal action. If you are still not satisfied, you can ask for the matter to be dealt with as a formal complaint.
There are two stages to our formal complaints process.
If you are still not satisfied with how the matter has been dealt with, you can ask for your complaint to be considered at stage two.
If we find a failure in our service, we will consider the best way to put things right. The remedy will depend on the type of complaint. For example, a remedy may be in the form of a written apology, or to put faulty work right. In certain cases, some form of goodwill gesture might be appropriate. This could be to replace items that have been damaged, for instance.
In all cases, we aim to learn from any mistakes made to make sure they do not happen again. If we make a change to a service as a result of your complaint we will tell you.
Ward Councillors: You can take your complaint to your local councillor at any time. Visit the Councillor pages to find out who your local councillors are.
The Ombudsman: If you have followed all the steps of the council's process and are still not satisfied, you can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman. This is an independent body that can look into your complaint. The Ombudsman will only look into your complaint if you have given us a chance to deal with it first.
The Tenants' Panel: A representative from the Tenants' Panel can act as a 'Designated Person' on your behalf and ask for your complaint to be reviewed if they feel it has not been investigated or answered satisfactorily. Please note, that it is entirely at the discretion of the Designated Person/s to decide whether or not to handle your complaint.
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council treats all complaints confidentially, and will handle all information sensitively, in accordance with Data Protection guidelines.
We aim to handle all complaints fairly but if you think we have treated your complaint unfairly, please contact us to discuss your complaint further.
To help us design services to meet our customers' needs, and make sure that everyone has fair and equal access to our services, we will ask you to complete some diversity monitoring information when making a complaint. The information you give us will be treated in the strictest confidence. It will only be used to monitor our services and will not be passed to other organisations.