Dundee City Council's Complaints Procedure Dundee City Council is committed to providing high-quality customer services. We value complaints and use information learned from them to help us improve our services. If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, please tell us. This page describes our complaints procedure and how to make a complaint. It also tells you about our service standards and what you can expect from us. David R. MartinChief Executive You can read about our complaints system below and make a complaint online. Submit a complaint Alternatively, you can download a PDF version of our Complaints Leaflet (405KB PDF) What is a complaint?We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf. What can I complain about? You can complain about things like: delays in responding to your enquiries and requests failure to provide a service our standard of service council policy treatment by or attitude of a member of staff our failure to follow proper procedure. Your complaint may involve more than one council service or be about someone working on our behalf. What can't I complain about? There are some things we can’t deal with through our complaints handling procedure. These include: a routine first-time request for a service, for example a first-time request for a housing repair or action on anti-social behaviour requests for compensation from the council things that are covered by a right of appeal. Here are some examples: If you are dissatisfied with the level of priority you have been given when applying for a house, you have the right to appeal against the decision. If your planning application is refused, you will have a right to request an appeal to Scottish Ministers or a review by the planning authority’s Local Review Body. Which one depends on the circumstances of the application and the timescale for appeal or review will normally be explained in the correspondence and the decision notice from the planning authority. If you believe your house is incorrectly valued for council tax, you can appeal to the Assessor. If other procedures or rights of appeal can help resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you. Who can complain?Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. Please also read the section ‘Getting help to make your complaint’. How do I complain? You can complain in person at any of our offices, by phone, in writing, email or by using our complaints form: It is usually easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the service concerned. So please talk to a member of our staff at the service you are complaining about. They can try to resolve any problems on the spot. If you are unsure who to complain to, contact our Customer Services team on 01382 434800 When complaining, tell us: your full name and address as much as you can about the complaint what has gone wrong how you want us to resolve the matter. How long do I have to make a complaint? Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of: the event you want to complain about, or finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself. In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why. What happens when I have complained? We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint. Our complaints procedure has two stages: Stage one: frontline resolution We aim to resolve complaints quickly and close to where we provided the service. This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong, and immediate action to resolve the problem. We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances. If we can’t resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next. We might suggest that you take your complaint to Stage 2. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial decision. Stage two: investigation Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not have been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation. When using Stage 2 we will: acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days. If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress. What if I'm still dissatisfied? After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it. The SPSO cannot normally look at: a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO) events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago a matter that has been, or is being, considered in court. You can contact the SPSO: In person: SPSO, 4 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7NS by post: Freepost SPSO Freephone: 0800 377 7330 Online contact: www.spso.org.uk/contact-us Website: www.spso.org.uk Mobile site: http://m.spso.org.uk Care Complaints If your complaint relates to a care service we provide, you can choose whether to complain to us or the Care Inspectorate. You can find out more about their complaints procedure, or make a complaint, by contacting them at: Online Form: http://www.careinspectorate.com/index.php/online-complaint-form Telephone: 0845 600 9527Fax: 01382 207 289Email: email@example.com Council Housing ComplaintsIf you are a tenant of the Council and you are unhappy about the services you receive or have issues about the way we are operating, you can use the above complaints procedure to report your concerns. If you feel that our response to your complaint is unsatisfactory you can report this to the Scottish Housing Regulator. Getting help to make your complaint We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you. You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance. Telephone: 0131 260 5380Fax: 0131 260 5381Website: www.siaa.org.uk We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. Our Contact Details You can contact our Customer Services Team in the following ways: Telephone: 01382 434800Email: firstname.lastname@example.org We can also supply this information in other languages and formats (such as large print, audio and Braille).