You can make a complaint if:
- we fail to do something we should have done
- we fail to provide the quality or frequency of service we have said we will
- we did something the wrong way
- we did something we should not have done.
In most cases we try to resolve your complaint immediately. Where it is possible to resolve your complaint within three working days, we will let you know what we can do by communicating with you in a way that suits you. If it is not possible to resolve your complaint within three working days, we will contact you to agree a mutually acceptable date by which we expect to reach a resolution.
If you are not happy with the way we have dealt with your complaint at Stage 1, you have 10 working days to request that we progress the matter to Stage 2 of our complaints procedure. You need to tell us what you are still unhappy about and why what we have done has not solved the problem.
Once your complaint has progressed to Stage 2, you will receive an acknowledgement within two working days of us receiving the complaint.
We may contact you to make sure we have all the facts we need so that we can fully investigate the problem.
A Manager will fully investigate your complaint and will reply to you within 10 working days. If we are unable to complete this investigation within 10 working days we will write to you and tell you why and set a final date for completing our investigation.
Once you have received our reply, if you feel that we have not dealt with your complaint satisfactorily, you need to tell us within 10 working days. You will need to tell us why you remain dissatisfied and what further action you would like us to take. We will consider this information and escalate your complaint if appropriate.
A Director from whg will then review your case. You will receive an acknowledgement within two working days of us receiving the complaint. A full reply will be sent to you within 15 working days. If we are unable to complete this investigation within 15 working days we will write to you and tell you why and set a final date for completing our investigation.
Stage 4 – Appeal
If you are unhappy with the way your complaint has been dealt with by a Director, you can ask for the complaint to be referred to a complaints panel. You should do this within 10 working days of receiving the response from a Director. You will need to tell us why you remain dissatisfied and what further action you would like us to take. Your complaint will then be referred to a panel consisting of either Board or Committee members, plus a Corporate Director.
When your case is considered, you will be invited to attend so that you can put forward your case in person. You can also bring a friend or representative with you (this cannot be a legal representative). You will receive a decision from the panel within 10 working days.
If you are still unhappy with the decision made by the complaints panel, or have exhausted our complaints process, you can contact a designated person to review your complaint. Designated persons are local councillors or members of parliament. Information can be found at Walsall Council's website.
Where a designated person considers that they are unable to resolve a complaint locally and if you have authorised them in writing to do so, they have the option to refer a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.
As well as designated persons you can request that a designated tenant panel review your complaint. whg does not currently have a recognised designated tenant panel. If this changes, contact details for the panel will be provided on this website.
Housing Ombudsman Service
If you do not wish to go to a designated person you can wait eight weeks and contact the Housing Ombudsman directly, using the details below. You will be able to appeal to the Housing Ombudsman if you are a tenant, leaseholder, letting applicant or have a contractual relationship with us. You must complain to the Ombudsman within six months of reaching the end of our complaints procedure.
You can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service by post at PO Box 152, Liverpool L33 7WQ, by telephone on 0300 111 3000, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk to complete the online complaints form.
The Ombudsman will check that you have taken your complaint through our complaints procedure before considering your case. If the Ombudsman feels we have done something wrong, they will decide what needs to be done to put things right.
Once a complaint has been looked into by the Ombudsman we will not take any further action to resolve your complaint unless the Ombudsman asks us to.
Can I get compensation?
At any stage in the process whg may decide to offer a discretionary payment of compensation. This will be in full and final settlement of your complaint. If you accept this offer, we will not consider your complaint further.
More help available
There is a range of other help and advice available if you need assistance with the complaints process. Your local MP or Councillor may be able to help you and you can get free independent advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also speak to a solicitor, who may charge you for their advice, law centres or housing aid and advice centres.