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HMRC internal manual

Complaint Handling Guidance

Complaints: an overview: Mistakes happen

Customers complain because they are unhappy with our service. This may be because:

  • something has gone wrong
  • someone did not follow the correct procedures
  • the correct procedures were followed, but the customer thinks otherwise
  • the customer is unhappy with the law or our policy
  • the customer has not understood a form, a letter or our published guidance
  • a breakdown in communication has occurred
  • the customer feels unfairly treated by our systems or procedures
  • the customer feels badly or unfairly treated by someone in the department.

HMRC is one of the largest government departments and it is inevitable that we will receive some complaints. It is also inevitable that some of these complaints will be justified, because in a department of this size it is unrealistic to believe that we will never make a mistake or get things wrong. The key for us is to ensure that, when that happens, we do our best to put things right and handle our customers’ concerns appropriately.