Contact us - complaints
If you are dissatisfied with any service provided by us or one of our contractors, let us know so we can try and resolve it. We will not normally consider a complaint that is made more than six months after you first became aware of the issue.
Phone: 0344 800 3800
Ashington (Head office)
Bernicia HQ, Oakwood Way,
Ashwood Business Park, Ashington,
Northumberland, NE63 0XF
Three Rivers House,
Abbeywoods Business Park,
Pity Me, Durham, DH1 5TG
Unit 1, Windmill Way North,
Ramparts Business Park,
Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1TA
Opening hoursMonday- Thursday 8.30am-5.00pm (9am on Tuesday) Friday 8.30am-4.30pm
Visit Head Office by car
Travel along the A189 heading towards Ashington. Exit at the junction with the B1334 and follow the signs for Ashwood Business Park. Take the first exit at the next roundabout onto Oakwood Way. Our Head Office is the first building on your left. Visitor parking is available at the entrance to the office. If there are no available spaces, please use the staff car park at the rear of the building.
We will always attempt to solve a complaint at the first point of contact, using our normal practices. There are times when our attempts to resolve complaints at this point are not possible and it is necessary to investigate these using our formal complaint process detailed below:
When we receive your complaint, we will call you within 2 working days and try and sort the problem out immediately if possible. If we can’t contact you by phone we will send you an acknowledgement of your complaint within 5 working days. If your complaint needs further investigation, we will aim to do this within 10 working days.
If you are not satisfied with the way we have resolved or dealt with your complaint you can ask for a review, giving the reason why you remain dissatisfied and the outcome you are looking for. Your review will be carried out by a Head of Service, usually within 20 working days.
Housing Ombudsman Service
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint at the end of our complaints process you can contact the Housing Ombudsman.
The Housing Ombudsman will usually only look at your complaint once it has been through all steps of our own complaint process.
For more information please visit the Ombudsman’s website:
We welcome the publication of the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code which provides us with structure and guidance to ensure that making a complaint is easy and accessible and that we listen and respond to what you tell us.
As part of Housing Ombudsman’s requirements, we have to self-assess our complaints service against the Complaint Handling Code.
You can read our self-assessment here
We have already made changes as a result of the self-assessment:
- As a result of the self-assessment we’ve: adopted the Housing Ombudsman definition of a complaint
- updated our complaints policy and procedure
- improved information on our website to include links to our policy and procedure
- consulted with tenants on the reasonableness of complaint exclusions.
Whilst we can demonstrate we meet the requirements of the Code, we want to continue to improve our complaints services. To do this we will:
- enhance performance management and reporting of complaints within our governance structure and to our tenants
- ensure complaints are further promoted as a positive opportunity for learning and improvement
- improve our communication with customers during the duration of their complaint and make sure they are supported
- make sure our staff are trained and equipped to recognise and deal with complaints.
- further emphasise the authority and autonomy of our dedicated complaints officer in both resolving complaints and receiving positive and timely engagement across our business
- revisit our policy and procedure to consider the merits of the third stage and whether this should be optional
- seek feedback from customers on their experience of our complaints process
- share learning from complaint outcomes including what changes are made as a result of these, on a quarterly basis with our tenants
- aim to achieve the Housing Ombudsman’s timescales for providing information.
Fundamental to the successful delivery of our strategy is the board and leadership team working together in a clear and focused way.