We are sorry to hear that you want to make a complaint. We understand that sometimes things do go wrong and we want to make it easy to sort things out. We have a simple complaints procedure which aims to put things right quickly. If there is anything you don’t understand about our complaints procedure, please give us a call and we will help you.

We try to sort out problems informally as we find that is the quickest way to put things right and we don’t want to keep you waiting. If this is something we haven’t been made aware of before you might find it quicker to deal with the issue as a request for service. Click here to go to the form and we will process this for you straight away.

If you do want to continue to raise a complaint, our complaints process is summarised below.

There are some things we can’t process through the complaints procedure such as:

  • Matters where legal proceedings have started or a court, tribunal or other legal body has made a decision;
  • Complaints that are not about our service – for example fly-tipping on council land
  • A service request – such as reporting a repair. However, you can though complain about how a repair was handled;
  • Anti-social behaviour (by a neighbour or community member) –  This is processed through our anti-social behaviour policy. However, you can complain about how a case of anti-social behaviour was handled;
  • Incidents or occurrences that happened over 6 months ago;
  • Complaints that have already gone through our complaints procedure and we have provided our final response.

If you have one of these issues and remain dissatisfied, get in touch with our team where we can explain in more detail.

Our complaints procedure is made up of different stages. These are as follows with some further information below:

  • Stage 1: Your initial complaint
  • Stage 2: A review by a senior manager
  • Stage 3: A review by a complaints panel
    This stage is optional and you can decide if you would like your complaint considered in this way.
  • The Housing Ombudsman Service

This page gives a summary of our complaints procedure. If you would like to read our full policy, please click here.

What we need from you

Helping us to understand your complaint

We need you to work with us if we have further questions or need to clarify something, otherwise we might not have enough information to investigate properly. If this is the case we will tell you this and tell you what we need. If you do not provide this we may have to close your complaint without a resolution. If you can provide the information afterwards, we will reopen your complaint at the same stage. This gives us the best opportunity to resolve your complaint.

Providing new information which changes the nature of your complaint

If you provide new information during a complaint which will affect our investigation, we will not normally escalate it to the next stage of our complaints process, but will keep it at the same stage. This is because it is our aim to resolve issues, rather than rush you through a process. If you raise new issues whilst we are investigating a complaint, we will start a new complaint for the new issue to make sure it is dealt with properly.

If someone is helping you with your complaint

You can ask someone to help you with your complaint and we will be happy to work with them, but we will ask for your permission to discuss your details with them first. We will only share details with someone helping you when we have this permission so we don’t break any confidentiality rules.

This is where we expect most complaints to be resolved. Our aim is to resolve things quickly and to your satisfaction. We will check that we understand your complaint fully and try to resolve it. We try to put things right straight away, but if we need to investigate we will usually aim to reply within 10 working days. If it is more complicated and we need more time we will tell you when you can expect a reply and keep you informed on what is happening.

If you are still unhappy after receiving our response you should tell us why and we will ask a senior officer to have another look at it. These are often more complicated issues and we aim to respond as quickly as we can, but normally within 20 working days. If we need more time, we will tell you and keep you informed, telling you when we aim to respond by.

If you remain unhappy, you will have the opportunity to present your complaint to a complaints panel. This is optional, and if you prefer not to do this it will not stop you from referring your case to the Housing Ombudsman Service (see below). If you do refer your case to the Housing Ombudsman, you can not then change your mind and ask for a panel meeting as we agree to be bound by the decision of the Ombudsman. You should therefore think carefully before making your decision.

Complaints Panels are often made up of fellow residents and independent people, such as board members. A Pioneer Director will also be on the panel, although they will not lead it. As a community led organisation we think this is important as it gives you the opportunity for your issue to be reviewed by people who are not staff. We will convene the panel as quickly as possible and normally within 20 working days. We will keep you informed. It is up to you if you wish to attend the panel, or if you wish to submit items for the panel to consider. We will tell you when we need submissions by so the panel has time to review them and make their decision. If you do attend, you can bring a friend with you if you wish to support you, but you cannot bring a legal advisor.

You can contact the housing ombudsman service at any time, but they will only normally consider your complaint when you have exhausted all of our complaint procedure (that is both stage 1 and stage 2 as set out above). After our complaints procedure is complete, they ask you to raise your complaint with a designated person such as an MP or Councillor. If you don’t want to do this they will usually consider your case eight weeks after our final response. This will be our stage 3 response if you decided that you wanted your case to be heard by a panel, or stage 2 if you didn’t want to do this.

They can sometimes provide support to you through the complaints process. More information on the service can be found here.

If the Housing Ombudsman agrees to review your case, we agree to be bound by the outcome of their investigation. This means that we will not consider the same complaint again, even if you decided not to have your complaint heard by our panel.

Call us on 0121 748 8100

Email us at contactus@pioneergroup.org.uk

Write to us at 11 High Street, Castle Vale, Birmingham B35 7PR

Talk directly to your Neighbourhood Officer

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