Complaints and Concerns
Sometimes we can get things wrong. We have a Complaints Policy to make it easier for you to bring a concern or complaint to our attention. The Policy also makes sure we respond in the right way and learn from your concerns or complaints.
Alpha Living aims to provide a high quality and value for money service to our customers. We welcome complaints and feedback as a means to correcting failures in performance and improving services and levels of satisfaction with our customers by actively listening to and understanding the needs to influence continuous improvement.
Our Complaints Policy can be viewed here.
What is a Concern?
You might not want to go through the formal complaints process, but you might instead have a concern or an issue that you would like to raise with us so we can learn from it. You should, in the first instance, speak to your Development Manager about your concerns, or if you don’t feel that is appropriate, you can raise your concerns with any other member of staff who will be happy to help you.
What is a Complaint?
You may feel that we did not do what we promised, or maybe you’re unhappy with the way you were treated. Alpha Living’s definition of a complaint aligns with the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code (published July 2020) as: ‘an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents’.
Examples of complaints are:
- The level of service we provided.
- The length of time taken to provide the service or information you need.
- Our failure to keep you informed of a decision we made.
- The attitude or behaviour of our staff or contractors.
Who can Complain?
In short, anybody who uses or receives a service from Alpha Living. This includes 3rd parties who have permission to represent the interests of an individual and visitors to our properties and offices.
How do I Complain?
Customers may raise a complaint through a range of formats including:-
- Email - email@example.com
- Telephone - 0330 460 9870
- In writing - Alpha Living, Management Office, Poppyfields, Woodpecker Close, Upton, Wirral, CH49 4AA
- Face to face - speak to your Development Manager or any other member of staff
- Via our Contact Us web page or on our Social media (Facebook and Twitter)
Probably the easiest way to make a complaint is via your Development Manager - please let us know if you need help to make a complaint.
What is not covered by the Complaints Policy?
Some types of requests are not covered by the Complaints Policy. For example, we have special procedures to deal with nuisance and harassment and reporting antisocial behaviour.
If your complaint is about something that cannot be resolved by the Complaints Policy we will explain why and make sure the right team is dealing with it.
If your complaint is about a service failure that happened more than 6 months ago, we will not be able to investigate it.
How we handle your Complaint
A complaint investigation will be conducted by the Customer Experience Team in an impartial manner, by ensuring that we will:
- Deal with each case on its merits.
- Act independently and have an open mind.
- Consider all information & evidence carefully.
- Keep the complaint confidential as far as possible.
We will acknowledge your complaint within 2 working days and we aim to fully respond to all formal complaints within 10 working days. If we need more time to carry out an investigation, or to gather more information, we will let you know.
Our Customer Experience Team will contact you to discuss the nature of your complaint and your desired outcome or remedy and will confirm by either email or in writing for clarity.
Alpha Living will operate a simple two stage process as follows:
Stage 1 - Complaints will be resolved as early as possible with a response provided within 10 working days (this may be extended if the issue is complex). Where a complaint has not been resolved to the customer’s reasonable satisfaction the customer may request that the complaint is escalated to stage 2.
Stage 2 - The complaint will be considered by an independent head of service for a response within 20 working days from receipt of the escalation request. The date may be extended by a further 10 days if justifiable.
Throughout the process the Customer Experience Team will maintain regular contact with you.
How we aim to put things right following your Complaint
We will always aim to put things right if we have got something wrong.
- Say sorry.
- Provide an explanation or more information.
- Inform you of the outcome of our investigation and aim to involve you in the decision on our intended actions.
- Put in place any actions to sort out the issue.
- Let you know what we have learnt from this, so we do not make the mistake again.
- Record concerns and complaints and lessons learned to improve services and include this information in our Annual Report to residents.
- Arrange training or guidance for staff.
The Housing Ombudsman
Should you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you have the right to a review of your complaint by the Housing Ombudsman Service.
The Housing Ombudsman also offers a dispute support service which can be accessed at any time.
You can call the Housing Ombudsman on 0300 111 3000 or view further contact options at housing-ombudsman.org.uk/contact-us/.
A copy of the Complaints policy can be obtained from your Development Manager or upon request from the Customer Experience Team.
A Self Assessment Form can be viewed here.