Last updated:
28 July 2017

Comments, compliments and the Corporate Complaints Procedure

Your comments, compliments and complaints help us review and improve our services.

1 Overview

If you require an interpreter to help you make a complaint, please call 01243 777100 and ask to use the Telephone Interpreting Service.

Further help and advice can be found on the Citizens Advice Adviceguideand the West Sussex Mediation Service is free to all West Sussex residents (except Chichester district).

2 When to use this process

You can use this procedure to register a compliment, comment or complaint about any of the County Council’s services.

We may advise you that there is a separate procedure which applies, but we will not ask you to start all over again. Services where this is likely to be the case are:

3 How to make a comment, compliment or complaint

The best way to get something sorted out is to talk or write to the person you dealt with, or their line manager.

If you don't know how to contact them, or you don't need to speak to anybody, you can register your comment, compliment or complaint via the online form:

Comment, compliment or complain online

Or, contact us using the details below:

4 Our response

Your submission will usually be dealt with, at the first stage of the procedure, by the manager responsible for the service.

At each stage, unless we have acknowledged receipt with a phone call, we will acknowledge complaints in writing within 3 working days of receiving them. This will usually include a summary of your complaint, contact details of the person who will investigate and when this will be done.

We aim to reply fully, in writing, within 10 working days of receiving complaints, although this may extend to 20 working days for more complex complaints. 

If exceptional circumstances mean we cannot do this we will contact you to explain why there is a delay. We'll also let you know the date by which we will aim to deal with your complaint.

5 What to do if you are not happy with our response

If you are unhappy with the first stage response and cannot reach an agreement after discussions with the responding manager, please ask us to arrange a complaint review for the Chief Executive. You can find our contact details on this page.

If you are still not satisfied you have the right to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

6 Dealing with unacceptable customer behaviour

The aim of our complaints procedure is to provide customers with a fair, objective and consistent process that will resolve the complaint as quickly as possible.

However, we also have an obligation to use resources efficiently and there may be occasions where the Chief Operating Officer, Director, Head of Service or equivalent decides that a complainant is demonstrating behaviour which is unreasonably persistent or unacceptable.

The guidance below aims to:

  • define this behaviour
  • identify a corporate approach in responding to it
  • ensure that others using the service, and staff, are not impacted by this behaviour
  • recognise the rights of complainants under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Handling unreasonably persistent complainants and unacceptable behaviour (PDF, 31KB)

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