Complaints procedure

How to make a complaint about the Coal Authority’s service.

COVID-19 service update

In these unprecedented times some of our services may be affected. Our customer services colleagues are working hard to respond to all enquiries, however sometimes it may take a little longer than our normal response times.

Our online ordering platform continues to run a normal service and our operational teams continue to work hard to deliver our essential services to protect people and the environment.

We have temporarily extended our response times, in most cases by double, on some of our services and these can be found in our customer standards.

View the Coal Authority’s Customer Standards

Our customer standards

We always aim to get things right and it’s really important to us that you experience a good service whenever or however you choose to contact us. Our customer standards set out what you can expect from us including our service levels.

If you’re unhappy with any part of the service you receive from us, we want you to let us know so that we can do our best to put things right. Please use this form to share your experience with us. We will take your feedback seriously and use it to help us to improve the services we offer to our customers.

How to complain

The quickest way to resolve your concerns is to contact the team you’ve been dealing with explaining why you’re feeling unhappy. If you have already tried to resolve the issue with them and you’re not happy with the outcome, please follow the formal complaints procedure below.

Making a formal complaint

Step 1

If you feel your complaint has not been resolved, you can make a formal complaint to our Customer Services team. Either email customerservice@coal.gov.uk or write to:

Customer Services team
The Coal Authority
200 Lichfield Lane
Mansfield
Nottinghamshire
NG18 4RG

What we need from you

We need the full details of the complaint including any people you’re complaining about. This will help us respond to your concerns.

We need to know:

  • the team and contact name (if you have one)
  • whether this is a new complaint or a follow-up to a previous reply
  • what happened
  • what you would like us to do to sort things out
  • our full postal address, phone number and email address (if you have one)

We will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within one working day
  • review your complaint and provide a full response within 10 working days

In exceptional circumstances where this may not be possible, we will contact you within 10 working days to let you know who is looking after your complaint, what action we are taking and when a reply can be expected.

Step 2

If you’ve been through step 1 and you feel that your complaint has not been resolved, please write to our Executive team. Either email customerservice@coal.gov.uk or write to:

Executive team
The Coal Authority
200 Lichfield Lane
Mansfield
Nottinghamshire
NG18 4RG

They will respond to you within 10 working days.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

If after you have followed step 1 and step 2 and you feel we have not done everything possible to resolve your complaint, you can ask your Member of Parliament to contact us on your behalf, or ask them to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Coal mining subsidence claims

If you don’t agree with a decision regarding your coal mining subsidence claim, before going to arbitration, you can write to a member of our Executive team to review your claim.

The address is:

Executive team
The Coal Authority
200 Lichfield Lane
Mansfield
Nottinghamshire
NG18 4RG

They will respond to you within 10 working days.

If you’re still not satisfied you can refer your complaint to:

  1. Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR)

Or:

  1. Land Tribunal

Access to information

If your complaint relates to a request for access to information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, or to our publication scheme you can contact our Records Manager, who will arrange for your complaint to be investigated. Either email recordsmanagement@coal.gov.uk, phone 0345 762 6848 or write to:

Records Manager
The Coal Authority
200 Lichfield Lane
Mansfield
Nottinghamshire
NG18 4RG

We will respond to all complaints about access to information within 20 working days.

In exceptional circumstances where this may not be possible, we will contact you within 20 working days to let you know who is looking after your complaint, what action we are taking and when a reply can be expected.

If you’re still not satisfied you can approach the Information Commissioner. Please note that generally the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have first used the Coal Authority’s own complaints procedure.

Re-use of information

If your complaint relates to a request to re-use information under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005, you can write to the Head of Mining Information, who will arrange for your complaint to be investigated. Either email thecoalauthority@coal.gov.uk, phone 0345 762 6848 or write to:

Head of Mining Information
The Coal Authority
200 Lichfield Lane
Mansfield
Nottinghamshire
NG18 4RG

They will respond to you within 10 working days.

If, you’re still not satisfied, you can approach the Information Commissioner’s office. Please note that generally the Information Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have first used the Coal Authority’s own complaints procedure.

Recording complaints

We will log all complaints we receive so that we can monitor the types of problems, the best way to sort them out and how long we are taking to deal with them. This also helps us to take a closer look at how we can improve our own service delivery.

Unreasonable behaviour

We treat all customers with courtesy and respect and expect our staff to be treated in the same way. Some examples of unreasonable behaviour are:

  • use of threats, verbal abuse, racist or sexist language, derogatory remarks, or other offensive terms unsubstantiated allegations

  • refusing to accept our procedures by demanding to only communicate with certain senior members of staff

  • contacting different members of staff or making repeated requests with the motive of receiving a different response to what has been stated

If your unreasonable behaviour continues, we will take action to manage contact with us.

After we have given our final response

If we consider that a final response has been given on a specific issue, we will explain that and tell you that we will not respond to you about it further.

This will be considered when:

  • there is nothing useful that can be added to what has already been said

  • your behaviour is unreasonable

Once this decision has been made, we will not normally communicate with you on that issue unless:

  • closure needs to be reiterated

  • a new issue or evidence is raised

  • a new complaint about the way the matter has been handled is raised