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 the 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 our complaint form. Due to coronavirus, our telephone helpline is open on reduced hours only. Please help us to keep this for people who cannot go online, need help to do so or who want general advice about the complaints process. See our contact us for more information.

You would 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

We will do our best to communicate with you in the way you have requested. However we must use public money carefully so what we can offer will depend on our resources (for example staff time and money).

For more information see our Reasonable Adjustments Policy.

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

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