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 an online complaint form. You can also complain by phone - see contact us.

Please note we have temporarily suspended our main helpline (0300 061 0614) and our online complaint form, from Wednesday 18 March, as part of steps to follow the Government’s advice to combat the spread of Coronavirus. We hope this service can be reinstated as soon as possible. Please visit for a more detailed update.

Once we are taking new complaints again, 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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