Customer service is a key part of One Manchester's business, and our aim is to provide excellent quality services for our customers at all times.
Making a complaint
Customer service is a key part of One Manchester's business, and our aim is to provide excellent quality services for our customers at all times. However, we know we can’t deliver a perfect service every time, and when this happens we want to know about it.
How to make a complaint
You can make a complaint in the following ways:
- Complete our online form
- Call us on: 0330 355 1000
- Post your complaint to: Complaints Team, Lovell House, Archway 6, Hulme, Manchester M15 5RN
When you get in touch to make your complaint, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- Your full name and address
- Details of your complaint
- Copies of any correspondence or documents relating to your complaint
- How you wish your complaint to be resolved
Further complaints information
We will do our best to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently, and we will use complaints to improve the service we provide. You can see our Complaints Policy here.
The policy is based on a set of principles with the overarching aim of quickly identifying what, if anything, went wrong, and prompt action to put it right. It's also based on the requirement set out in the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code which can be found here.
We're required to carry out a self-assessment against the code and publish it before the 31 December each year. Our most recent Board approved self-assessment can be found here.
As part of our commitment to service improvement, we monitor the complaints we have received and our performance in responding to those complaints. We also review why customers are complaining, and make changes to reduce the chances of making the same mistakes again. You can view our complaints performance in our Customer Annual Report here.
You can download a copy of our compensation claim form here. Submitting this form does not mean that compensation will be paid; the form will be used to investigate the claim and make an informed decision as to whether compensation is due, and if so, how much. You can read compensation policy here.
How to send a compliment
If you have received particularly good customer service from a member of the One Manchester team, we'd love to hear about it! You can send a compliment in the following ways:
Stage 1 ‘Put It Right’ aims to quickly resolve straightforward complaints that require little or no investigation. The main principle is to seek quick resolution, putting things right at the earliest opportunity. This may involve a Customer Services Advisor resolving the issue, or immediately transferring you to a colleague to deal directly with your complaint. In either case, your complaint can be settled appropriately without further detailed investigation. Your complaint will be logged as a stage 1 complaint and a formal stage 1 written (letter/email) response will be sent, but no further investigation will be undertaken. The response should be sent within two working days.
If your complaint is more complex and requires further investigation, it will be forwarded to our Complaints team to log and acknowledge within two working days. The complaint will be allocated to an appropriate manager or director to conduct a full investigation as a stage 1 ‘Investigate It’ complaint. This investigation should include contact with you (e.g. by telephone/email or face to face) as a matter of course. This includes providing you with an opportunity to comment on any adverse findings before a final decision is made. A full written formal stage 1 response will be provided within 10 working days from receipt of the complaint.
For your complaint to move to stage 2, you must tell us within one month of our stage 1 response which of the following is the reason for your request:
- All or some of the points raised as part of your complaint have not been investigated or responded to, or where you feel the outcome is wrong
- All or some of the agreed actions have not been carried out within the specified timescales, or carried out to a less than satisfactory standard (the one month stage 2 request timescale can be extended to 7 working days beyond our final action deadline if that deadline exceeds the one month period)
- We failed to respond to your complaint within the published timescales as set out in our policy, including any notified additional time
You must also tell us what outcome you want from the stage 2 process.
Your request to move to stage 2 will initially be considered by our Complaints team. If an issue can be resolved without the need for a stage 2 review, that is the approach we will take. If an issue cannot be resolved and we accept the reason for your request, we will refer your complaint for a formal review to a senior manager, director or member of the Executive Leadership team, and contact you within five working days to offer you a face to face/virtual meeting or a conference call with them, or alternatively they can consider your written appeal. This is a further opportunity for you to set out your position. The stage 2 response will be provided within 20 working days from your stage 2 request. Again, you will be given the opportunity to comment on any adverse findings before a final decision is made.
If we decide not to accept the reason for your stage 2 request, we will write to you within 7 working days with an explanation of our decision. In either event, this will be the final response from One Manchester and the end of our internal complaints process.
If you still aren't satisfied following our internal stages, you can contact the Housing Ombudsman Service and ask them to investigate your complaint. The Ombudsman will only formally investigate your complaint after you have been through One Manchester’s internal process. However, you are able to contact the Housing Ombudsman Service at any stage of your complaint for advice. Go to the Housing Ombudsman website for more information.
We are committed to providing excellent customer service and to ensuring that we better understand and meet the needs and requirements of our residents by facilitating fair and equal access to our services. To this end we will make reasonable adjustments if they will help you access the complaints process. There is no prescribed list of reasonable adjustments; the adjustment will depend on your needs. We will discuss your requirements with you and seek to reach agreement on what may be reasonable in the circumstances.
One Manchester is committed to providing excellent customer service and to ensuring that we better understand and meet the needs and requirements of our residents by facilitating fair and equal access to our services. To this end we will make reasonable adjustments for those that need them. This statement does not seek to explain how we will approach every situation – it is intended as a general statement of our approach by:
- confirming our commitment to improving accessibility for everybody that we deal with
- setting out some of the basic principles of our commitments to providing reasonable adjustments
- setting out the factors we will take into account when dealing with requests for reasonable adjustments
Many of the arrangements that we offer disabled people/people with health conditions can also be made available for those without. For example, provision of documents in larger font than our usual font.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 provides a legislative framework to protect the rights of individuals and to advance equality of opportunity for all. Under the Act the legal duty to make reasonable adjustments arises in three circumstances:
- where there is a provision, criterion or practice which puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled
- where a physical feature puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled
- where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled (substantial disadvantage is defined in the Equality Act 2010 s.212(1) as ‘more than minor or trivial’)
What is a reasonable adjustment?
A reasonable adjustment involves making a change to the way that we usually do things to ensure that we are fair to all of our customers.
This may involve:
- departing from our usual practice in the way we do things, if we find that the current position places that person at a substantial disadvantage, for instance by allowing more time than we usually would for someone to respond or provide information; or
- providing specialist equipment or additional support, such as a sign language interpreter for a meeting or event; or
- making sure our buildings do not present obstacles for disabled people, for instance by providing a lift or ground level meeting rooms.
Requesting reasonable adjustments
We will let people know that they can request reasonable adjustments in the following ways:
- by including a paragraph in written communications (e.g. complaint acknowledgement and response letters)
- by asking whether a reasonable adjustment might be required over the telephone
- by publishing this statement on our website
- by working with key representatives groups and others to raise awareness that we can make reasonable adjustments
Types of reasonable adjustments we can offer
There is no prescribed list of reasonable adjustments; the adjustment will depend on the individual’s needs. We will discuss the requirements with the person concerned and seek to reach agreement on what may be reasonable in the circumstances. We will not make assumptions about whether a disabled person requires any reasonable adjustments or about what those adjustments should be. Some examples of the adjustments that we can make include:
- the provision of auxiliary aids
- the provision of information in appropriate alternative formats e.g. large print, Braille, coloured paper
- the reasonable extension of time limits e.g. to request the escalation of a complaint
- the provision of correspondence in a larger font size
- the use of email or the telephone in preference to hard copy letters where appropriate which may assist those with a visual impairment
- speaking clearly to our customers with the offer of additional time to cover the issues they need to discuss
- using plain English appropriate to the person we are dealing with and avoiding jargon
- arranging meetings in rooms that have appropriate facilities
- rest and comfort breaks in meetings
- communicating with people through their representative if requested and approved by them
- arranging home visits for those who have particular mobility difficulties
- communicating with people through their representative (whether or not this is a legal representative) or advocate, if requested and approved by them
How do we decide what is reasonable?
The Equality Act does not define what is ‘reasonable’ but guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission suggests that the most relevant factors are:
- the effectiveness of the adjustment(s) in preventing or reducing the disadvantage for the disabled person
- the practicality of us making the adjustments
- the availability of our resources including external assistance and finance
- any disruption to the service that making the adjustment may cause
The adjustment should be designed to fully address the disadvantage it is meant to overcome. For example providing a meeting room which is accessible by wheelchair may not properly overcome the barriers faced by the wheelchair user if there are no disabled toilet facilities also available.
For example it may not be possible for us to provide additional time to customers if there are legislative deadlines to meet.
For an adjustment to be reasonable, it should be effective. However, it is important to remember that an adjustment which is deemed effective, may not be considered reasonable. For example resourcing is not just about the cost, but it may involve other factors for example recruiting additional staff with specific skills. We will need to decide if any resource implications are proportionate to the adjustment being requested.
In the majority of cases we will be able to agree and deliver the required reasonable adjustment with a minimum of delay. In some cases, we may need to consider in more detail how best to overcome the difficulty a disabled person is experiencing, for example, where the adjustment requested may be difficult to provide or where it may interfere with our statutory or regulatory obligations. We may seek advice from expert disability organisations that can assist with signposting and other forms of support.
The adjustments will always be agreed with the person concerned to avoid making incorrect assumptions about a person's needs.
We will record and monitor the reasonable adjustments that have been requested and made. This will allow us to review the services we provide and help us identify whether there are any wider steps that we can take to improve our services
When we receive your complaint, we will:
- try to resolve your complaint immediately if we can
- if we can’t, we will refer your complaint to an appropriate manager for investigation and acknowledge this step within 2 working days
- investigate and provide a formal response within 10 working days from receipt of your complaint
- respond to any stage 2 request that we accept within 5 working days
- respond to any stage 2 request that we reject within 7 working days
- conduct the stage 2 review and provide a formal response within 20 working days from the date of stage 2 request
- provide a holding letter if we are unable to meet the above timescales
- offer a suitable remedy for any failures in service
- learn from our mistakes to improve our services
Our Financial Inclusion team is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority which has different rules for dispute resolution, and is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service. Section 6 of our Complaints Policy has further details.