Complaints Handling

Objective:

This document is the Complaints Handling Procedure within Pacifica Home Services. This document will be updated as necessary to reflect procedural changes and amendments. The purpose of this document is to describe our Complaints Handling Procedures and to outline our plans and responsibilities for identifying and addressing our Customer Care procedures. The Complaints Handling Procedure links in with Quality Assurance controls and Auditing procedures to effectively monitor the overall skills, training and quality of workmanship possessed by our engineers and our overall service delivery to customers and clients.

Great lengths have been taken to create a culture within the company, where everyone works for each other in the achievement of our objectives, principally being the delivery of our customer’s requirements accurately first time, on time, every time. To meet these objectives our main criteria is continuous improvement.

All staff and personnel working with Pacifica Home Services on Eco measure delivery to include any subcontractors will receive appropriate training, coaching and development to handle complaints, including what we do and how we do it. Refresher training and coaching will be given to keep people up to speed and motivated and inform them of trends and issues identified from a variety of sources.

Scope: Green Deal Code of Practice

The Green Deal Code of Practice (CofP), issued by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, sets out requirements for those persons acting as Green Deal Assessors, Providers and Installers. Pacifica Home Services is a Green Deal Provider and Installer and as such, all Installers of Eco measures for Obligated Utilities are required to ensure they are fully compliant with the Green Deal Code of Practice which includes the requirement to have clear processes for dealing with complaints.

Version 5 of the Green Deal Code of Practice published 28th June 2017 was updated to reflect the requirements of the new edition of the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2030:2017 which is the technical standard for all Eco measure installations.

The Green Deal Code of Practice underpins the Green Deal scheme. It sets out the criteria that Providers, Assessors and Installers must follow in order to operate under the Green Deal banner to include legislation, governance and standards. The requirements set out in Version 5 of the current CofP are designed to ensure that all Green Deal Participants and Certification Bodies operate fairly and transparently; deliver good customer service; have appropriate levels of training; and provide appropriate redress mechanisms for customers.

Green Deal participants must comply with the requirements of the Code of Practice and have a complaint handling procedure which sets out the circumstances in which it is required to handle a complaint and the requirements specified in Section 4 paragraphs 4.17 to 4.25 of the CofP. There is a duty of care in relation to complaint handling and our complaints handling procedure is outlined below.

Overall Scope:

All areas of operation, including complaints received from or via Green Deal Installers and/or Green Deal Assessors.

Complaints Handling Procedure:

A Green Deal Provider is required to handle a complaint if the complaint –
is made by a person who –

4.2.1.1. in relation to the particular complaint, is a person specified under regulations 55 to 58 of the Framework Regulations;
4.2.1.2. in relation to a breach of the relevant requirements (as set out in regulation 63 of the Framework Regulations) is a potential customer of the Green Deal                 Provider; or
4.2.1.3. is acting on behalf of a person referred to in sub paragraphs 4.2.1.1 or 4.2.1.2;
4.2.2. is in respect of a breach of a relevant requirement by –
4.2.2.1. the Green Deal Provider;
4.2.2.2. the Green Deal Installer; or
4.2.2.3. the Green Deal Assessor provided a Green Deal Plan has been entered into;
4.2.3. complies with the relevant provisions set out in paragraphs 4.9 to 4.14 as applicable; and
4.2.4. is not a complaint which falls under paragraphs 4.13 or 4.14 as applicable.

Step 1 – Allowance for Vulnerable Customers

Pacifica Home Services must take account of the needs of vulnerable consumers, those with additional needs or special access requirements when handling a complaint. Where a consumer may be vulnerable, for example, have mental or physical infirmity, or English may not be their first language, then we would request and allow that a trusted 3rd party be present.

The company policy is very straightforward, all advisors are trained to be sympathetic at the point of initial contact, ensure the customer’s details are recorded and all advisors are trained on treating customers fairly, vulnerable customers and complaints handling before being allowed contact with any customers.

Step 2 – Complaints received by telephone

All complaints should be handled in a polite and professional manner and recorded on a Customer Complaints Form and also entered into the Complaints Record Log at the time of receiving the complaint by the person dealing with the complaint. The person dealing with the complaint must, within 48 hours of receipt of the complaint, notify the complainant in writing –

that the complaint has been received;
of our company complaints handling procedure;
of the Relevant Ombudsman Service;
of any Additional Complaints Handling Procedures.

The target is for a member of staff to return calls within one hour.

Step 3 – Complaints received in writing and/or via e-mail

The complaint should be recorded on a Customer Complaints Form and also entered into the Complaints Record Log by the person dealing with the complaint. The person dealing with the complaint must, within 48 hours of receipt of the complaint, notify the complainant in writing –
that the complaint has been received;
of our company complaints handling procedure;
of the Relevant Ombudsman Service;
any Additional Complaints Handling Procedures.

The target is for a member of staff to return emails within one hour.

Step 4 – Complaints received in writing via Customer Feedback Form

Customers are encouraged after the completion of an installation to answer questions and provide feedback in writing for internal assessment enabling our customers to tell us when we fail or when we do a good job. The person dealing with the complaint must, within seven working days of receipt of the complaint, notify the complainant in writing –
that the complaint has been received;
of our company complaints handling procedure;
of the Relevant Ombudsman Service;
any Additional Complaints Handling Procedures.

All Customer Feedback Forms with an attached Analysis of Customer Feedback Form should be kept within the Customer Feedback Folder.

Step 5 – Review

Irrespective of the nature of the complaint the customer will receive the same professional and courteous service, essentially to allow the customer to feel at ease and encourage open and honest discussion. The complaint or problem is reviewed by Phil Pallister, CEO, or other senior person and a course of action decided upon based upon the nature of the complaint. Any discussions with third parties shall be logged on the Customer Complaints Form. This will also contain the customer’s full history from initial enquiry and may help identify any potential issues and provide full details and background on the customer concerned and the Green Deal Assessor and Green Deal Installer.

Pacifica Home Services recognises that it would take responsibility for complaints about the Green Deal Supply Chain and all necessary information on the Green Deal Installer and/or Green Deal Assessor will be obtained and if necessary notification in writing will be made to the Certification Body on whose membership list the Green Deal Installer or Assessor is included.

Step 6 – Action to be taken

Once the complaint has been investigated in full and the course of action decided the outcome will be undertaken in a speedy and professional manner and the customer contacted at most within 8 weeks from the date of complaint advising of the decision made, detailing dates of any works to be carried out, enclosing a cheque for the compensation etc., in line with the Green Deal Code of Practice.

Step 7 – Timeline

We believe that all complaints must be dealt with as promptly as possible and whatever the status and Code of Practice requirements, getting the issue dealt with quickly and well within published guidelines is good practice.

Typical complaints can be:

• the customer requesting compensation due to “delay and disruption”
• health and safety issues
• untidy workmanship
• damage to personal possessions and property
• allegations of theft, or at the extreme, harassment, racism, etc.
• final inspection and handover

Depending on the nature of complaint a site visit shall be arranged to understand the matter and/or to inspect the measure or issue. The severity of the complaint may necessitate an immediate home visit; this will obviously come about via verbal communication so appointments can be made at the time when we are first advised. The findings shall be reported to the customer clearly in writing or earlier if a possible safety issue or police matter arises from the complaint.

All complaints to be handled by a Supervisor. It is encouraged that a complete appraisal of the facts is taken the day of the visit to comfort the complainant but importantly if the employee involved is safe to continue his daily work. Some instances would see the individual temporarily removed from the contract.

The Supervisor to document/take photos of the issues and arrange with the customer for repairs and remedial work to be carried out whilst at the property.

Letter to be sent to customer detailing the issues and what we intend to do about it. Company apology to be included.

If the customer is still not happy after going through this process, forward the complaint to a Director and be mindful of the customers right to an ombudsman service in extreme circumstances.

How long does each stage take?

The following standards of service are typically what we seek to achieve where access of communication is possible.

48 hours – All complainants must have been contacted in order to gather information, ensure they are treated fairly and to fully understand the nature of the problem. We strive to speak to each customer within 1 hour of receiving a telephone call which we believe creates a better relationship and gives them an actual person to relate to. If a customer is experiencing delays or disruption for example then we want to react to this positively and turn around the situation ensuring we keep appointments and keep the customer advised at all times.

7 days – Notify all complainants in writing. All complaints must be acknowledged within this period, irrespective of their status.

10 days – Fully investigate the matter. If a prompt decision is necessary or visits required, then this must be carried out within 10 days where possible. We will attempt to document our actions to continue the process of rectifying the matter in the shortest possible timescale and get things right the first time and effectively respond to customer complaints. A letter of explanation to also be sent detailing the issues and what we intend to do about them. Company apology to be included.

14 days – Overall, we endeavour to ensure that no issue exceeds this period. The 14 days are stated to encompass all necessary time delays for quotations, third party involvement, investigations, etc. However, it is dependent on the nature of the complaint and the speed of the customer’s response at every stage.

Step 8 – Outcomes

It may be necessary to refer the matter to a Green Deal Installer or a Green Deal Assessor. All complaints and Feedback Forms shall be analysed and discussed and documented at the quarterly meetings on the Quarterly Review Form and logged at the Quarterly Review Minutes for assessment and improvement. Once the issue is rectified this should be detailed on the Complaints Form and Log. The Complaints Form and Log should then be passed to the Quality Representative. This process will be carried out within the 10-day timeline.

Step 9 – Appeals Process

If the customer is not satisfied with the outcome and remedy offered then the customer may notify the Relevant Ombudsman Service and Pacifica Home Services would co-operate fully should this need arise.

Providing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – or arbitration – became UK law from 1st October 2015 for all businesses that sell to consumers. This means that when a matter remains in dispute, our firm is legally compelled to give the consumer the contact details to the Ombudsman Service.

NB: It is important to document, date and record the complaint fully. This allows Pacifica Home Services to monitor the complaint and provide a timeline in order to resolve the complaint successfully. By fully documenting the complaint it enables it to be discussed and reviewed at quarterly meetings, analyse complaints statistics, and may be introduced into training courses to serve as a teaching aid and help ensure the complaint is not duplicated in the future. It also allows Pacifica Home Services to check to see if a common problem is recurring (does the same complaint often surface in more than one location or on more than one product or service) to identify potentially who or what is responsible enabling prompt preventative action and ensuring standards don’t slip and high standards are maintained.

If a member of staff falls ill or someone has to take over a complaint then documenting should also make it easier for another member of staff to take over avoiding delays and appearing professional at all times to the customer. It is vital to maintain contact with the customer and to keep them up to date with what is going on – communication is key to successfully resolving a complaint and avoid the complaint escalating. It is also important to take extra time, effort and care when dealing with “vulnerable” customers.

Step 10 – Member of staff in Complaints Handling position away for a long period

Pacifica Home Services will ensure that several members of staff are capable of handling queries and complaints and are trained and competent in the same role. The director has already trained and familiarised the Senior Administrator and so a replacement can stand in if a staff member is away for a long period of time. As we expand, the Managing Director will ensure further staff are recruited, trained and monitored in order to ensure sufficient coverage.

It is a requirement that all members of staff, Green Deal Assessors, Installers and Suppliers familiarise themselves with this procedure and read and understand Section 4 of the Green Deal Code of Practice regarding Complaints Handling.

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