Complaints and compliments
We aim to provide excellent service to all of our customers. If we get something wrong, we want to try to put it right quickly and learn from the mistake to help improve services in the future.
You can also tell us when we’ve done things well and given you excellent customer service. We’re also keen to have your suggestions on how we can improve. Use the online form to tell us about a complaint or compliment.
What is a corporate complaint?
We define a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction with the service we have provided including:
- Failing to deliver a service
- A delay in providing a service
- The behaviour of a member of our staff
In order to allow us to investigate complaints fully, put things right and learn from our mistakes we ask that you provide specific details including:
- What has gone wrong, giving as much detail as possible to enable us to understand the situation better
- How it has affected you
- What you would like us to do to put it right
Complaints should be made as soon as possible after the incident as it is easier to gather information at the time and to avoid a repetition of any mistake.
What is not investigated under our complaints policy?
There are some complaints that are not investigated under our complaints policy as they are not about our services, this includes:
- Complaints about highways (roads/roadworks/potholes), transport, social care, education. Please direct any complaints concerning these areas to Somerset County Council
- Complaints about businesses. If you have a complaint about a business you may wish to look at their own complaints policy. We do investigate some complaints about businesses including complaints about a licensed person, vehicle or premises or food safety
- Complaints about individuals. Our complaints process only investigates complaints about our members of staff however you can report a noise, smoke or other nuisance or antisocial behaviour in a council property to us. We can also investigate breaches of planning through our Planning Enforcement process
We also kindly ask that if you are wishing to report a missed waste collection for the first time you do this via our dedicated process. We will only investigate repeated missed collections through our complaints process.
The complaints process
If you make a complaint it will be acknowledged and investigated by our Corporate Feedback Case Manager whose role is to manage and monitor all feedback to ensure that we learn from our mistakes, correct them and improve the customer experience.
We aim to provide a full response within 10 working days however in complex cases this may not be possible, however the Corporate Feedback Case Manager will keep you updated on our progress if you choose to receive either email or SMS updates.
If you are not satisfied with our response you have the right to contact the relevant Ombudsman service for a review. All complaints are provided with a written response which include instructions on which Ombudsman service you can escalate your complaint to.
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
This is an independent, impartial and free service that investigates individual complaints about councils. See the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman website for more details.
Complaints about the council in its role as a social landlord, and its responsibilities for leasehold housing, are dealt with according to the law.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can refer the issue to your local councillor or MP. You can choose to wait 8 weeks. After this after you can go to the Housing Ombudsman direct.
When your councillor or MP gets your complaint they can:
- help resolve your complaint
- refer the complaint to the Housing Ombudsman before the 8 week time limit
How you can help us
We understand it’s frustrating when we don’t meet your expectations. We’ll do everything we can to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. In return, we ask that you:
- treat our staff with respect
- do not use abusive language or behaviour when dealing with us
- meet all reasonable requests we make when we try to address your concerns