A complaint is a statement by an applicant, or an authorised representative on behalf of an applicant, that our service and/or management of their claim is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
Dissatisfaction with a claim decision is not managed through the complaints process because the Schemes provide statutory processes of review and appeal.
If you make a complaint, we will work with you to consider and respond to your complaint. We will aim to resolve the complaint to your satisfaction within an agreed timescale. When we consider your complaint, we must have regard to the legal provisions and limitations of the schemes we operate and the resources available to us.
To help us reach a solution that suits everyone you will need to tell us what you are complaining about and what we can do to address your dissatisfaction. Your input is crucial and we cannot progress your complaint without it, so please help us as much as you can.
The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales sets out how we should deal with applications and enquiries. If you’re unhappy with our service, we will work with you to resolve your complaint.
If you phone us to express dissatisfaction or are considering making a complaint, we will try to resolve the cause of your dissatisfaction on the call. If this is not possible, we will take details of your complaint and pass this directly to our Customer Resolution Team. A member of our Customer Resolution Team will contact you within 5 working days to discuss your complaint, identify what you would like us to do to resolve your complaint, agree the actions we can reasonably take and an appropriate timescale for us to complete this activity and to provide you with a response.
If we receive your complaint in writing, one of our Customer Resolution Team will contact you within 5 working days of our receiving your letter or email. They will discuss what we can do to address your complaint and by when. If we cannot reach you by telephone within 5 working days, we will write to you with a response or if necessary, to ask you for more information to enable us to address your complaint.
What happens next
We are committed to investigating all complaints within one calendar month (e.g. a complaint received on 4 February will be investigated by 3 March). We aim to provide a response and agree a resolution to your complaint within this timescale.
If exceptionally, we cannot respond fully to your complaint within one calendar month, we will contact you within that period, in writing, to explain why this is the case and when we will be able to respond fully.
When we have completed our activity, we will write to you confirming the action taken and close the complaint. We will treat any further complaints as new.
If we cannot do what you have asked of us, we will write to explain why. We will tell you how you can proceed if you decide to escalate your complaint.
Escalated complaints are referred to a Customer Resolution Team Manager. This is Stage 2 and will follow the same process as the initial complaint.
If the Team Manager is unable to take the action you want or otherwise address the complaint to your satisfaction, they will tell you how you can further escalate your complaint for consideration by a Senior Manager (Stage 3).
At Stage 3 your complaint will be considered by a Senior Manager. They will follow the same process.
If they are unable to take the action requested or otherwise address the complaint to your satisfaction, they will send you details of the relevant Ombudsman and the process through which you can raise your complaint with them:
If you live in England or Wales, you will be advised to contact your local member of parliament who may then contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman on your behalf.
If you live in Scotland, you will be advised to contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman directly.
Before contacting either Ombudsman you will be expected to have exhausted our internal complaints process and for your complaint to be unresolved.
The internal complaints process does not consider disagreement or dissatisfaction with the decision made on your claim or if you have complained about another organisation. If you contact us in these circumstances, your complaint will not be registered and we will contact you to let you know.
If you disagree with the decision made on your claim, you can ask for a review of a first decision and appeal a decision made at review to the independent First-tier Tribunal. Details of how to do this are included with decision letters.
If you contact us to complain about something for which another organisation is responsible, we will forward your complaint to them after confirming you are content for us to do so.
Contact us using our complaints form.
Telephone: 0300 003 3601
Alexander Bain House
15 York Street