At RHP, we have a dedicated Complaints Team in place to help customers when something hasn’t gone quite right.
Our work continues to build on our strong working relationship with the Tenants’ Champion, Cllr Pauline Vassileva. We have held a number of digital ‘round tables’ to discuss individual case related matters, to more targeted, trend-led conversations. The Complaints Team have been supported with this by relevant business owners to ensure that Cllr Vasileva hears first-hand from the areas of the business that is driving contact to his office. RHP meets formally with the Tenants Champion every six months to review all Tenants’ Champion cases.
Review of our complaints for April – September 2022.
Volumes and trends:
We received a total of 272 complaints. The trend shows an increase in volumes, with 113 received Apr to Jun, and 159 Jul to Sept. The main reason for the increase continued to be dissatisfaction with the repairs service. Overall, 233 complaints were handled under stage 1 of our complaints procedure and 39 under stage 2 (appeal). We saw an increase in complaints escalating to Stage 2, the majority of which were further failures with our repairs service due to us not fully resolving work linked to the original (stage 1) complaint, and by not updating customers properly.
Top 3 complaint topics:
- Repairs / Home Maintenance (183)
- Housing Management issues (33)
- Caretaking and Grounds Maintenance (14)
Main drivers for complaints were:
- communication throughout the repairs process and keeping customers informed
- time taken to carry out repairs and the repair/works outstanding or not completed
- an increase in complaints escalating to Stage 2.
This was due to follow on work associated with complaints not being resolved fully and customers not being updated on progress. While repairs accounted for nearly all Stage 2 complaints, the increase in complaints escalating from Stage 1 to Stage 2 was due to:
- Communication: failure to keep customers informed of progress. Lack of consistency between teams in speaking to customers.
- Ownership: no ownership of repair cases to ensure works were completed and not following up with customers and contractors to ensure works are completed.
- Length of Time: Customers were dissatisfied with the length of time it took for work to be completed, or if follow on works were needed there was a lengthy wait for this.
What we have done as a result:
- Weekly repairs complaints meetings to discuss effective resolution of complaints and identifying improvements to prevent further complaints.
- Weekly meeting to review complaints relating to contractors, and identifying improvements to prevent further complaints.
- We have implemented a sign off form for all Stage 1 and Stage 2 complaints which are owned by each Head of Service and these will be sent to the Executive Director of Customer Service to ensure tight controls of each service are in place until the volumes of Stage 2 complaints and risks of service failure reduce.
During April-Sept 2022, we received three ‘determinations’ (decisions on a case) from the Housing Ombudsman. These were for complaints received during 2021. In two instances the recommendations have been implemented and the case closed. In the third case, we are working to ensure the orders and recommendations are completed and the case closed on time.