Complaints Policy

Guide to the National Stalking Helpline Complaints Procedure

The Helpline seeks to provide a high quality, caring and informed service. We are constantly working to ensure the service we provide best meets the needs and concerns of our service users. If you believe you have not received the level of consideration and information you expect, we ask you to tell us about it.Your complaints provide us with information about where you think we are going wrong, and also what you think of us. We take your complaints seriously and will investigate them so we can respond appropriately to you and learn and improve our service.

Principles

  • A complaint for the purpose of this policy is an expression of dissatisfaction about the service, whether it is found to be justified or not.
  • Our policy covers complaints about 1) the standard of the service we provide 2) the behaviour of staff working on the helpline
  • Our complaints policy does not cover 1) comments or dissatisfaction about our policies or policy decisions 2) matters that have already been fully investigated through this complaints procedure 3) anonymous complaints
  • All complaints will be dealt with in line with our Confidentiality and Equal Opportunities policies.
  • We will not investigate complaints raised more than six months after the initial contact unless there are exceptional circumstances as to why the complaint could not have been brought forward within this timescale.

The following will tell you:

  1. How to complain to the Helpline
  2. How we will deal with your complaint
  3. What to do if you remain dissatisfied

How to Complain

In the first instance you may wish to raise your concerns informally with the Helpline staff member you are dissatisfied with and ask them to explain their actions. You may also ask to speak to another member of staff and if one is available we will attempt to accommodate your request.

If you remain dissatisfied you can make a formal complaint in writing by Email. To help us deal with your complaint effectively you should include details of what the problem is, how it occurred, how it has affected you and what you consider we should now do to put the matter right or prevent it happening again. You should also include details of the time and date of your call, your name and a contact number or address so that we may respond to you.

To complain by Email

1)      Please Email feedback@stalkinghelpline.org with all the details listed above and write complaint in the subject box.

How will you deal with my complaint?

Complaints often differ in nature and complexity and in dealing with any complaints made in accordance with the Complaints Procedure we will seek to apply three basic principles.

  • To investigate as quickly and impartially as possible.
  • To provide you with a full response outlining the findings of the investigation and wherever possible resolving the matter to your satisfaction.
  • To keep the steps of the Complaints Procedure, as set out below, separate from each other.

What are the steps of the Complaints Procedure?

1)      We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days of its reception via the medium of your choice.

2)      A senior manager will investigate the complaint by speaking to the member of staff who took the call and if necessary other members of staff who were on shift at the time. They may also check the Helpline call/email log.

3)      Having spoken to all relevant parties, the senior manager will respond to the complainant within 14 working days using the complainant’s preferred means of communication. If we need longer to investigate the complaint the complainant will be contacted within those 14 working days and notified.

4)      The response may include the following depending on the circumstances and investigation findings.

  • An explanation and apology
  • An explanation of our policy
  • An indication of changes made as a result of the complaint
  • Notification of any disciplinary action taken against the employee

What if I am still not satisfied?

If you feel that the situation has not been satisfactorily dealt with, the final appeal may go to the Helpline Steering Group which has representative members from all three contributory charities. They can be contacted by same means as above.

A representative of the steering group will respond to the complaint within three weeks, if they cannot respond within three weeks the complainant will be notified.

There will be no further opportunity to appeal against the Steering Group’s decision.

If the complainant wishes to complain about a separate issue they must follow the complaints procedure from the initial stages as outlined above.

Details of complaints are kept on file for twelve months however any identifiable information on the records will be destroyed six months after the resolution of the complaint.

This policy was written on 28/02/11 and will be reviewed on a regular basis