We welcome feedback and will handle complaints in a fair and open way. Every reasonable effort will be made by Consumer Action (including its National Debt Helpline service) to resolve the complaints it receives to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
If you make a complaint, you can expect that we will:
- treat you with respect
- tell you what to expect while your complaint is being looked into
- carry out the complaint handling process in a fair and open way
- provide reasons for decisions that are made protect your privacy.
The Consumer Action Complaints policy outlines the principles for management of complaints and provides guidelines to help our employees in responding to complaints received. All employees of Consumer Action are required to handle complaints according to the principles and guidelines outlined in the policy.
Anyone can make a complaint to Consumer Action. You do not have to be receiving services from us to make a complaint and you may make a complaint on behalf of someone else.
Anonymous complaints will be accepted and investigated as far as possible.
However, if you are not a client or a stakeholder, we reserve the right to not respond to your complaint using the process set out below if it would be inappropriate to do so.
Complaints can be directed to our CEO or any other staff member. The CEO will monitor the handling of the complaints and may ask the Director Legal Practice or Advice Services Manager to investigate and respond as appropriate.
Complaints can be made in a number of ways, in a letter, email, over the phone, in person or using the online contact form. We will help you if you need assistance in making a complaint. For example, we can organise an interpreter if you need one.
When you make a complaint we will explain:
- what will happen while the complaint is being dealt with
- who will deal with the complaint
- what will happen next, such as when you are likely to be contacted again.
Written confirmation that we have received your complaint will be provided within 5 business days.
You should not be made to feel that you cannot make a complaint, nor should making a complaint have any effect on the services you are receiving from Consumer Action, such as changes to your service or less communication with you.
If the complaint is simple then it may be resolved immediately. If our staff need to make further enquiries, it may take up to two weeks to resolve. Where the complaint is about a more difficult matter it may take longer to resolve.
Once the complaint is resolved as far as possible, you will be informed of the outcome.
You may wish to raise any ongoing problems or concerns at this time.
Sometimes it may not be possible for a complaint to be resolved completely. If this is the case, Consumer Action staff will work with you to look at other options to address your issues. Consumer Action staff may follow up with you afterwards to check that the outcome of the complaint handling process is meeting your needs.
If you are not happy with the outcome of the complaint, you can take your complaint to an external agency, where relevant. For example, if your complaint is in relation to our legal services, you can complain to the Legal Services Commissioner. Our staff will advise you of any external bodies you can make a complaint to.