How to complain

Can I complain?

Anybody can complain to us. Our service is free. You can complain on somebody’s behalf but you must have their permission or a right to act on their behalf.

If you are a councillor or MP, you can help local people complain, with their permission. You can only complain about your own council if you’re complaining about a service you receive and you have been personally affected.


What should I do first?

You should complain to organisation first to give them a chance to sort out your problem. See our top tips on complaining.

You should go through all stages of the organisation’s complaints process. If your complaint is still not sorted out, or you have not had a response within a reasonable time, you can come to us. We think up to 12 weeks is usually a reasonable time but this may be longer for complaints about social care, which follow a statutory process.

Be aware of the things we can and cannot look at.


How do I make a complaint?

The quickest way to complain is to complete an online complaint form. You can also complain by phone - see contact us.

You will need to tell us what your complaint is about and how this has affected you. You will also need to tell us why you are not happy with the council or organisation's response. We will ask for a copy of the last letter you received from the organisation, after it considered your complaint.

You don’t need to pay a professional person, like a solicitor, to complain for you. If you do, you will probably not get the fees refunded.


If you need help using our service

For example if you have a disability or English is not your first language, we can:

  • talk to you on the phone with an interpreter
  • talk to you using a textphone via the Text Relay service
  • produce letters and reports in large print, in Braille or as a voice recording.

See our leaflets page for information about our service in EasyRead and other formats.

Click the BrowseAloud logo on each page for reading our website aloud and translating the text into different languages. You don't need to download any software to use BrowseAloud.