Complaints – Complaints Handling Procedure (Small Business)

Complaints Handling Procedure

 

  1. Definitions and Interpretation
    • In this Complaints Handling Procedure the following expressions have the following meanings:

 

“Appeal” means a request from a Customer to escalate a Complaint to Level Two following an unsatisfactory outcome at Level One;
“Appeal Handler” means an employee of Gordhan Enterprises Ltd working at Customer Service who will handle Level Two Complaints;
“Business Day” means, any day (other than Saturday or Sunday) on which ordinary banks are open for their full range of normal business;
“Complaint” means a complaint about [goods] AND/OR [services] sold by Gordhan Enterprises Ltd, about our customer service, or about our employees [agents] [subcontractors];
[“Complaints Form”] [means your complaint email to us].
“Complaint Handler” means an employee of Gordhan Enterprises Ltd working at Customer Service who will handle Level One Complaints;
“Complaints Policy” means our customer complaints policy, available from https://gordhan.uk/legal-terms/complaints-customer-complaints-policy-small-business/ ;
“Complaint Reference” means a unique code assigned to a Complaint that will be used to track that Complaint;
“Customer” means a customer of Gordhan Enterprises Ltd  and includes potential customers (no purchase necessary);
[“Data Protection Policy”] [means our data protection policy, available from https://gordhan.uk/legal-terms/data-gdpr-data-protection-policy/ https://gordhan.uk/legal-terms/data-website-privacy-policy-first-third-party-cookies-analytics-gdpr-ready/  https://gordhan.uk/legal-terms/data-data-processing-agreement-non-eea-gdpr-ready-2/  https://gordhan.uk/legal-terms/data-website-data-protection-policy/ ;]
“Decision Letter” means a letter sent by a Complaint Handler or Appeal Handler to a Customer informing that Customer of the outcome of their Complaint;
[“External Resolution”] [means the referral of a Complaint to an external body or organisation for resolution by a Customer if that Customer is not satisfied with the outcome at Level Two;]
“Investigation Report” means the report prepared by a Complaint Handler or Appeal Handler detailing his/her investigation;
“Level One” means the first stage in this Complaints Handling Procedure under which Complaints will be handled by a Complaint Handler;
“Level Two” means the second stage in this Complaints Handling Procedure under which a Customer may appeal the outcome of a Level One Complaint and under which Complaints will be handled by an Appeal Handler;
[“Recommendation”] [means the recommended resolution to a Complaint made by a Complaint Handler or Appeal Handler; and]
“Resolution Action” means the available actions to be taken in response to a Complaint as detailed in Section 8.

 

  1. What this Complaints Handling Procedure Covers
    • This Complaints Handling Procedure applies to Complaints pertaining to [the sale of goods] AND/OR [the provision of services] by Gordhan Enterprises Ltd, to our customer service and to our employees [agents] [subcontractors].
    • For the purposes of this Complaints Handling Procedure, any reference to Gordhan Enterprises Ltd also includes our employees [agents] [subcontractors].
    • Complaints may relate to any of our activities and may include (but not be limited to):
      • The quality of our customer service;
      • The behaviour and/or professional competence of our employees [agents] [subcontractors];
      • [Delays, defects or other problems associated with the sale of goods;]
      • [Delays, defects, poor workmanship or other problems associated with the provision of services;]

 

  • The following do not constitute Complaints. Customers raising such questions or matters should be directed to the appropriate [person] OR [department]:
    • General questions about our [goods] AND/OR [services];
    • [Returns of damaged, faulty, incorrect or unwanted goods for exchange or refund where there is no further complaint];
    • Matters concerning contractual or other legal disputes;
    • Formal requests for the disclosure of information including, but not limited to, those made under the Data Protection Act;

 

 

  1. Receipt and Recording of Complaints
    • Customers may make Complaints to Gordhan Enterprises Ltd using any of the following methods:
      • [By email, addressed to Complaints Department at contact@gordhan.uk;]
    • Upon receipt of Complaints, the following steps should be taken [immediately] OR [within 7 Business Days]:
      • [If a written Complaint is received by email, Customer Service must Record and respond as soon as possible by email;]
    • All Complaints must be given a Complaint Reference and forwarded to an appropriate Complaint Handler, selected in accordance with Section 6.1 within 7 Business Days.
    • All Complaints must be acknowledged in writing within 7 Business days of receipt by Customer Service. The acknowledgement should inform the Customer of their Complaint Reference, their assigned Complaint Handler and should include copies of Gordhan Enterprises Ltd’s Customer Complaint Policy [and this Complaints Handling Procedure].

 

  1. Complaint Information
    • Customers are advised in our Complaints Policy that the following information should be provided in as much detail as is reasonably possible when making a Complaint:
      • The Customer’s name, address, telephone number and email address, indicating any preferred method of communication;
      • If the Customer is being represented by a third party, the information set out in Section 4.1.1 should be provided in reference to both parties;
      • If the Complaint relates to a particular transaction, the relevant information must be recorded;
      • If the Complaint relates to a particular employee [agent] [subcontractor], the name and, where appropriate, position of that employee [agent] [subcontractor];
      • Further details of the Complaint including, as appropriate, all times, dates, events, and people involved;
      • Details of any documents or other evidence on which the Customer wishes to rely in support of the Complaint;
      • Details of how the Customer would like Gordhan Enterprises Ltd to resolve the Complaint. Whilst we undertake to make all reasonable efforts to accommodate such requests, however, we are not bound to take any action beyond that which we may be contractually or otherwise legally obliged to take.

 

  • If the information detailed in Section 4.1 is missing, insufficiently detailed, or incomplete, [Customer Service should contact the Customer within 7 Business Days of receipt of the Complaint to request further information] OR [the Complaint Handler should contact the Customer within 7 Business Days of being assigned to the Complaint to request further information].

 

  1. Complaint Levels
    • Gordhan Enterprises Ltd operates a two-stage complaints handling procedure. Upon receipt, all new Complaints should be handled in accordance with the Level One procedure set out in Section 6 below.  It is our policy to use all reasonable endeavours to resolve all Complaints to Customers’ satisfaction at Level One.
    • If a Customer is not satisfied with the resolution of their Complaint at Level One, he/she may request that the Complaint is escalated to Level Two in the form of an Appeal at which point the Complaint should be handled in accordance with the Level Two procedure set out in Section 7 below.
    • [If a Customer is not satisfied with the resolution of their Complaint at Level Two, he/she has the option of referring the matter to Third Party Organisation for External Resolution as detailed in Section 9 below.]

 

  1. Level One Complaints
    • [The following staff members are qualified and eligible Complaint Handlers for Level One Complaints:
      • Complaints pertaining to customer service may be referred to:

All Customer Service Staffs,

  • Upon receipt of a Complaint, the Complaint Handler shall consider the Complaint and make a decision within 7 Business Days whether to:
    • Investigate the Complaint fully if it is considered to be valid, in which case the procedure should resume from Section 6.3; or
    • Dismiss the Complaint if it is considered to be invalid, in which case the Complaint Handler should inform the Customer of his/her decision in writing within 7 Business Days.
  • Subject to delays arising from circumstances beyond his/her reasonable control (including, but not limited to, delays in other persons responding to communications), the Complaint Handler shall have a period of 7 Business Days in which to fully investigate the Complaint and to decide upon appropriate Resolution Action(s).
  • If the Complaint relates to (a) particular employee(s) [agent(s)] [subcontractor(s)] (a “Complainee” or “Complainees”), the Complaint Handler shall inform the Complainee(s) in question of the Complaint and arrange [meetings] AND/OR [telephone calls] as required to discuss the Complaint. In such cases, the Complainee(s) should not, under any circumstances, contact the Customer directly regarding the Complaint.  If the Customer contacts the Complainee(s) directly regarding the Complaint (which they are requested not to do in our Complaints Policy), the Complainee(s) should respectfully refuse to discuss the matter, referring the Customer to Section 5.2.3 of our Complaints Policy.  Any such contact should be reported to the Complaint Handler.
  • If the Complaint Handler requires additional information or evidence in support of the Complaint, the Complaint Handler shall contact the Customer using the Customer’s preferred method of communication, stating clearly what information or evidence is required. Customers should be respectfully reminded that any delay in their response to such a request may delay the resolution of their Complaint, as per Section 5.2.4 of our Complaints Policy.
  • If a Customer is unable or unwilling to provide information or evidence requested under Section 6.5, the Complaint Handler must nevertheless use all reasonable endeavours to resolve the Complaint. If, however, the Complaint Handler considers that it is not possible to uphold the Complaint in the absence of the requested information or evidence, he or she may close the Complaint and inform the Customer of the outcome in accordance with Sections 6.9 to 6.12.
  • The Complaint Handler shall examine and evaluate the Complaint, taking full account of all relevant statements, information, evidence and circumstances and shall maintain full objectivity and fairness at all times.
  • [Subject to the exceptions in Section 6.8.1,] During the investigation of the Complaint, the Complaint Handler shall have access to all records, information, employees [agents] [subcontractors] that may be necessary to enable him/her to carry out an impartial and thorough investigation.
  • Following his/her examination of the Complaint, the Complaint Handler shall reach a decision within the time period set out in Section 6.3 (subject to the exceptions noted therein). Resolution Actions that may be chosen are set out in Section 8.
  • [Upon reaching a decision, the Complaint Handler shall send an Investigation Report and Recommendation for review and authorisation by Customer Service who shall be required to respond within 7 Business Days.
  • In the event that Customer Service does not agree with the Complaint Handler’s decision and/or Recommendation under Section 6.10 he/she must give reasons for such disagreement and the Complaint Handler shall have a further 7 Business Days to revise his/her decision and/or Recommendation and resubmit it to Customer Service for review and authorisation. If, following resubmission, Customer Service still does not agree with the decision and/or Recommendation, [the Complaint shall be reassigned to a new Complaint Handler and the Level One procedure shall begin again] OR [Customer Service’s preferred decision and/or Recommendation shall be final].]
  • [Upon receiving approval or a final decision under Section 6.10 or 6.11, as applicable], the Complaint Handler shall send an Investigation Report and Decision Letter to the Customer by first class post or by email, as appropriate. Decision Letters shall set out the decision, the Resolution Action(s), and shall remind the Customer of their right to escalate the Complaint to Level Two.  1 copy of the Investigation Report and Decision Letter should be filed by Gordhan Enterprises Ltd electronically.
  • If a delay either occurs or is considered likely to occur at any stage of the Level One procedure, the Complaint Handler shall inform the Customer using the Customers preferred communication method. The Customer should be informed of the length or likely length of the delay and the reasons therefor.
  • The Customer shall have a time limit of 7 Business Days within which to make an Appeal if he/she wishes to escalate the Complaint to Level Two.
  • Upon receipt of an Appeal, the following steps should be taken [immediately] OR [within 7 Business Days] by the Complaint Handler:
    • [If a written Appeal is received by email, the Complaint Handler must Record it and report to Customer Services;]
  • All Appeals must be forwarded to an appropriate Appeal Handler, selected in accordance with Section 7.1 within 7 Business Days.
  • All Appeals must be acknowledged in writing within 7 business days of receipt by Customer Service. The acknowledgement should inform the Customer of their assigned Appeal Handler.

 

  1. Level Two Complaints
    • [The following staff members are qualified and eligible Appeal Handlers for Level Two Complaints:
      • Appeals pertaining to customer service may be referred to:

Customer Service Personnel.

  • Appeals pertaining to the behaviour and/or professional competence of our employees [agents] [subcontractors] may be referred to:

Customer Service Personnel.

  • [Appeals pertaining to goods may be referred to:

Customer Service Personnel.]

  • [Appeals pertaining to services may be referred to:

Customer Service Personnel.]

 

  • Upon receipt of an Appeal, the Appeal Handler shall consider the Appeal and make a decision within 7 Business Days whether to:
    • Investigate the Complaint fully if it is considered to be valid, in which case the procedure should resume from Section 7.3; or
    • Dismiss the Complaint if it is considered to be invalid, in which case the Appeal Handler should inform the Customer of his/her decision in writing within 7 Business Days. If the Complaint is so dismissed, the Complaint may be dismissed in its entirety, or the Resolution Action from Level One may stand.
  • Subject to delays arising from circumstances beyond his/her reasonable control (including, but not limited to, delays in other persons responding to communications), the Appeal Handler shall have a period of 7 Business Days in which to fully investigate the Complaint and to decide upon appropriate Resolution Action(s).
  • If the Complaint relates to (a) particular Complainee(s), the Appeal Handler shall inform the Complainee(s) in question of the Appeal and arrange [meetings] AND/OR [telephone calls] as required to discuss the Complaint. In such cases, the Complainee(s) should not, under any circumstances, contact the Customer directly regarding the Complaint.  If the Customer contacts the Complainee(s) directly regarding the Complaint (which they are requested not to do in our Complaints Policy), the Complainee(s) should respectfully refuse to discuss the matter, referring the Customer to Section 5.3.3 of our Complaints Policy.  Any such contact should be reported to the Appeal Handler.
  • If the Appeal Handler requires additional information or evidence in support of the Complaint, the Appeal Handler shall contact the Customer using the Customer’s preferred method of communication, stating clearly what information or evidence is required. Customers should be respectfully reminded that any delay in their response to such a request may delay the resolution of their Complaint, as per Section 5.3.4 of our Complaints Policy.
  • If a Customer is unable or unwilling to provide information or evidence requested under Section 7.5, the Appeal Handler must nevertheless use all reasonable endeavours to resolve the Complaint. If, however, the Appeal Handler considers that it is not possible to uphold the Complaint in the absence of the requested information or evidence, he or she may close the Complaint and inform the Customer of the outcome in accordance with Sections 7.9 to 7.12.
  • The Appeal Handler shall examine and evaluate the Complaint, taking full account of all relevant statements, information, evidence and circumstances and shall maintain full objectivity and fairness at all times.
  • [Subject to the exceptions in 7.8.1,] During the investigation of the Complaint, the Appeal Handler shall have access to all records, information, employees [agents] [subcontractors] that may be necessary to enable him/her to carry out an impartial and thorough investigation.

 

  • Following his/her examination of the Complaint, the Appeal Handler shall reach a decision within the time period set out in Section 7.3 (subject to the exceptions noted therein). Resolution Actions that may be chosen that may be chosen are set out in Section 8.
  • [Upon reaching a decision, the Appeal Handler shall send an Investigation Report and Recommendation for review and authorisation by Customer Service Personnel who shall be required to respond within 7 Business Days.
  • In the event that Customer Service does not agree with the Appeal Handler’s decision and/or Recommendation under Section 7.10 he/she must give reasons for such disagreement and the Appeal Handler shall have a further 7 Business Days to revise his/her decision and/or Recommendation and resubmit it to Customer Service for review and authorisation. If, following resubmission, Customer Services still does not agree with the decision and/or Recommendation, [the Complaint shall be reassigned to a new Appeal Handler and the Level Two procedure shall begin again] OR [Customer Service’s preferred decision and/or Recommendation shall be final].]
  • [Upon receiving approval or a final decision under Section 7.10 or 7.11, as applicable], the Appeal Handler shall send an Investigation Report and Decision Letter to the Customer by first class post or by email, as appropriate. Decision Letters shall set out the decision and the Resolution Action(s).  [The Customer shall also be reminded of their right to seek External Resolution of their Complaint.] 1 copy of the Investigation Report and Decision Letter should be stored electronically.
  • If a delay either occurs or is considered likely to occur at any stage of the Level Two procedure, the Appeal Handler shall inform the Customer using the Customer’s preferred communication method. The Customer should be informed of the length or likely length of the delay and the reasons therefor.

 

  1. Resolution Actions

When handling Complaints, Complaint Handlers and Appeal Handlers may select from the following Resolution Actions, as appropriate to the facts and circumstances of a Complaint:

  • Send an email describing the actions to be taken.
  1. [External Resolution
    • Customers have the right to seek External Resolution of Complaints from that organisation if they are not satisfied with the outcome resulting from this Complaints Handling Procedure.

 

  1. Implementation of Resolution Actions

Upon the conclusion of a Complaint, whether at Level One or Level Two [or by External Resolution] the Resolution Action(s) settled upon shall require implementation in a timely manner.  Responsibility for the implementation of Resolution Actions ultimately lies with the following [and may be delegated thereby, as appropriate]:

  • [Resolution Actions pertaining to customer service shall be the responsibility of:

Customer Service Personnel

  1. Recording of Resolution Actions
    • Upon the conclusion of a Complaint and the implementation of the applicable Resolution Action(s), Customer Service shall contact the complainer and communicate with the complainer to resolve the complaint.
  2. Confidentiality and Data Protection
    • All Complaints, Appeals, evidence and other information gathered, held and processed under this Complaints Handling Procedure shall be treated with the utmost confidence at all times. Such information may be shared with employees [agents] [subcontractors] of Gordhan Enterprises Ltd only to the extent required to resolve the Complaint in question in accordance with this Complaints Handling Procedure.
    • In the event that the details of a Complaint are to be used for training or quality improvement purposes, in which case they will be shared with other employees [agents] [subcontractors] of Gordhan Enterprises Ltd beyond the scope of this Complaints Handling Procedure, the relevant Customer’s express permission must first be sought using that Customer’s preferred contact method. Personal details (that is, anything that may be used to identify the Customer) shall be removed from all information so used.  Such permission may be revoked at any time in accordance with the Customer’s right to do so under Section 6.2 of our Customer Complaints Policy.
    • All personal information collected by Gordhan Enterprises Ltd (including, but not limited to, Customers’ names and contact details) shall only be collected, used and held in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and our Customers’ rights under that Act [, as detailed and embodied in our Data Protection Policy].

 

  1. Procedure Review and Responsibility
    • Overall responsibility for this Complaints Handling Procedure and the implementation thereof lies with Customer Service Team.
    • This Complaints Handling Procedure shall be reviewed regularly at intervals of not more than every 6 months and shall be updated as required.

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