First Tier Complaints Procedure
Partners in Costs Complaints Policy complies with the Cost Lawyers Standards Board (CLSB) requirements on complaints handling for a legal costing company.
PIC implements and adheres to a First-Tier complaints procedure as follows:
PIC takes the view that the professional and effective handling of complaints and issues is an opportunity to develop improvements and learn from mistakes.
Complaints and issues can be raised formerly or informally, in each case the issues will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure operational processes and procedures are continually improved.
PIC aim to review each incident promptly and impartially and will demonstrate a consistency across the complaints process to assist with providing a fair and timely response.
DEFINITION OF COMPLAINT
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction made either by a Client or any Professional having dealings with PIC. A complaint may be made either verbally or in writing and can include, but is not limited to, the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the Company or its staff, affecting a Client or other Professional who has dealings with PIC.
The Customer Service and Compliance Coordinator is responsible for the coordination of the Complaints Process. The Customer Service and Compliance Coordinator is responsible for overseeing the process of monitoring and reporting the progress of the complaint and any responses made.
PROCESS FOR COMPLAINT HANDLING
Complaints should preferably be in writing, addressed to the Customer Service and Compliance Coordinator signed by the complainant, complete with address. These should be posted to Robson House, Regents Terrace, Doncaster, DN1 2EE.
Emailed communications are welcomed and we would ask that these be addressed to Customer Service and Compliance Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone and verbal complaints will be entered into the Complaints System, but wherever possible, should be confirmed in writing. Anonymous complaints should also be recorded and assessed and action taken where necessary.
PIC will deal with any complaint with fairness and in confidence; the Complainant will be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. As such PIC expect that the Complainant will also treat our staff dealing with the complaint with the same courtesy and respect.
PIC will deal with all complaints promptly; an acknowledgement of the complaint will be provided, supplying the appropriate contact details and an expected response date. Where possible, PIC will endeavour to respond to all complaints within 5 working days (for further details please see TIMELY RESOLUTION below).
All details of the complaint will be supplied to the appropriate line manager or member of the Senior Management team to review and to provide an overview of their findings. This will then be supplied to the Complainant, and, where applicable, will be accompanied with details of how the company will resolve to ensure the same issue is not repeated.
If the Complainant is dissatisfied with the response provided, a review can be requested. This will be conducted by a responsible Director of the company.
In the event that the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, or the complaint has not been resolved within the 8-week period allowed by the CLSB, then the Complainant has the right to refer a service complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within 6 months of the last response on the complaint.
In the event that the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the review, or the complaint has not been resolved within the 8 week period allowed by the CLSB, then the Complainant has the right to refer a conduct complaint to the CLSB:
A) Within 12 months from the date on which the matters giving rise to the complaint occurred, or;
B) Within 12 months from the date in which the complainant first became aware that they had grounds for the complaint.
The complaint will be investigated and the conclusion of the same will be provided to the Complainant. PIC will endeavour to respond to complaints made within 5 working days; this will be confirmed in the complaints acknowledgement email. In the event that the issue is complex, or that employees who are pertinent to the matter are not available (annual leave for example), the investigation may take place over a longer period of time. The Complainant will be informed and kept up to date at all times.
COMPLAINTS INFORMATION SECURITY
PIC will, at all times, adhere to the Data Protection Act 1998 to ensure that all personal data will be kept securely and that details of the individual’s personal data will not be disclosed to third parties without that individual’s consent.