Your right to complain

Every year Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole service helps thousands of people. However, every so often someone comes away from us feeling unhappy. Perhaps you had to wait for ages, only to find out that there is very little we can do for you. Perhaps you felt that you were not treated with respect or courtesy. Perhaps our advice didn’t help or was wrong.
Unfortunately, these things happen. We know we are not perfect. But we aim to be. That is why we have a complaints procedure. Sometimes we can put things right; sometimes we can only explain ourselves and apologise. But we do want to learn from our mistakes. What you tell us helps to improve our service to you.

We will treat your complaint confidentially, seriously and quickly.

What can I do?

It is important to let us know that you are unhappy and to give us a chance to put things right. You can ask to speak to the manager or supervisor – she or he might be able to sort out the problem straight away. Otherwise, move to the more formal process.

If you are not a client, ask us to explain the Third Party Complaints Procedure to you.

Making a formal complaint

There are several ways to make a complaint. You can put the information in a letter and send it to our business address, or drop it into the bureau. Complaints can be addressed to the Chief Executive or Chair of Trustees. You can tell us on the phone or face-to-face that you want us to investigate your complaint.

Your complaint will be investigated by the Chief Executive under the direction of the Chair of the Trustees, or by the Chair if you are complaining about the Chief Executive. If it is upheld, you will get a full apology and, where appropriate, be given details of any action that we are taking to put things right. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can ask for a further review. We will tell you how to do this.

We aim to respond in full to any complaint within eight weeks. However, if the issue is complicated, any delay will be explained and you will be kept informed of progress.

Review of your complaint

If you are still not happy after our response, you can request a further review.

The review will be conducted under the direction of the Citizens Advice Chief Executive. If you are still not happy, you can ask for your complaint to be looked at by an Independent Adjudicator.

Review by an Adjudicator

Finally, your complaint may go to a person who is entirely separate from the Citizens Advice service. This person is called the Independent Adjudicator. If you want to progress to this stage, you must do so within four weeks of receiving the Citizens Advice review.

Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service provides a free, independent service for clients to solve disputes with not for profit debt advice providers. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FRN: 617515.

The Financial Ombudsman Service will only step in once the bureau has had the opportunity to investigate matters, so please contact us first.

If your complaint is about debt advice or if you were seeking advice about your credit record and you are not satisfied with our final response, or if eight weeks have passed since you first let us know about your concerns, you can ask the Financial Ombudsman to review your complaint.

Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service

By post:
Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
London E14 9SR

By phone:
0800 0 234 567 – free for people phoning from a ‘fixed’ line (e.g. a landline at home)
0300 123 9 123 – free for mobile phone users who pay a monthly charge for calls to numbers starting 01 and 02.

By email:
complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Website:
www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Send your complaint to:
Chief Executive, Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole or the Chair of the Trustee Board at:
The West Wing, The Town Hall, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, BH2 6DX
Or by email:
zbradley@bournemouthcab.co.uk