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HMRC internal manual

Complaints and Remedy Guidance

Broad principles: Flexible approach

Within reason, you are afforded a degree of flexibility when dealing with complaints. For example, if the purchase of a bunch of flowers seems the best way of putting things right, then consider it. (Usually, such an approach will be a consideration only when the customer has proactively indicated a preference for such a remedy.) This is not a way of avoiding the payment of financial redress but it does emphasise the need to be flexible and respond to complaints in a way that genuinely tries to satisfy the customer, within the bounds of regularity and propriety, and to the extent that local practice allows.

If you do decide to send a bunch of flowers to a complainant you must do so by following a set procedure using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). If you need a copy of the step by step guide for this procedure please contact CCAST.

Making an objective judgement can be difficult but it may be useful to stand back and consider how you feel when you are on the receiving end of a mistake. This is all part of the process of putting yourself in the shoes of the customer. Surveys confirm that complainants’ prime concern is to have things put right and to receive an apology. They do not automatically seek financial payment, but are more inclined to do so when the mistake has affected them particularly badly, is repeated, or their complaints about it are ignored.