Have Your Say guide and complaints process

We value complaints and use information from them to help us improve our services. If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, please tell us.

We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.

Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service.

Find out about our complaints procedure, service standards and what you can expect from us:

View our full complaints procedure and our Social Care complaints procedures.

What you can complain about

Generally, you can complain about:

  • delays in responding to your enquiries and requests
  • failure to provide a service
  • our standard of service
  • council policy
  • treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
  • our failure to follow proper procedure

Your complaint may involve more than one council service or be about someone working on our behalf.

If you'd like to complain about care service we provide, you can either complain to us or the Care Inspectorate.

There are some things we can’t deal with through our complaints handling procedure:

  • a routine first-time request for a service eg a first-time request for a housing repair or action on antisocial behaviour
  • requests for compensation from the council
  • things that are covered by a right of appeal eg homelessness application, refused planning application, incorrectly valued for Council Tax

If other procedures or rights of appeal can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you.

Timings for making a complaint

Normally you must make your complaint within six months of the event you want to complain about or finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

How to make a complaint

When complaining, tell us:

  • your full name and address
  • as much as you can about the complaint
  • what has gone wrong
  • how you want us to resolve the matter

You can complain in person at any of our offices, by contacting our feedback team or via our online form.

Make a complaint online

It is easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the service concerned. So please talk to a member of our staff at the service you are complaining about. Then they can try to resolve any problems on the spot.

Get help to make your complaint

We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you. You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.

We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our
statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help you
access and use our services. If you have trouble putting your complaint in writing please contact usWe can also provide this information in other languages and formats (such as large print, audio and Braille).

What happens after

We have a two-stage complaints procedure. We will always try to deal with your complaint quickly. But if it is clear that the matter will need a detail investigation, we will tell you and keep you updated on our progress.

Frontline resolution - stage 1

We will always try to resolve your complaint within five working days if we can. If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to consider your complaint at stage 2.

Investigation - stage 2

We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at stage 1. We also look at some complaints immediately at this stage, if it is clear that they are complex or need detailed investigation.

We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days and we will give you our decision as soon as possible. This will be after no more than 20 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time.

What if you are still dissatisfied

If, after receiving our final decision on your complaint, you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we have handled your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to consider it. We will tell you how to do this when we send you our final decision.

The SPSO cannot normally look at:

  • a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (make sure it has done so before contacting them)
  • events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago
  • a matter that has been or is being considered in court

Contact feedback team

Feedback Team
Woodhill House
Westburn Road
AB16 5GB

Telephone: 01224 435990
Email: feedback.team@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

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