Customer feedback

1. Customer feedback – Your comments, compliments and complaints

Your views are important to us and we want to hear what you think about the services we deliver. Your feedback helps us to give you the best service possible if you let us know:

  • When we are doing something right.
  • When things go wrong and you may not be happy with the service you receive from us.

If we know when something has gone wrong we can work to improve the service for you.

Please let us know if this happens and we will do all we can to put matters right quickly.

2. How to feedback about a service

Firstly please contact the team delivering the service and tell them your feedback. If something hasn’t gone right, please contact them and allow them to try to put it right.

Council services provided by external contractors

Some of our services are delivered by external contractors such as East Sussex Highways and our waste sites. You’re able to give feedback directly to them:

Complaints procedures

Certain complaints are excluded from our complaint procedure, this is when there is an alternative process already in place to help you resolve your problem. Some examples of this would be:

  • Complaints about parking tickets
  • Complaints related to civil legal proceedings
  • Complaints about council policy
  • Complaints related to personnel procedures

After you’ve spoken to the service, if you are still unhappy and your complaint relates to anything in the list below, follow the links to find out how to make a complaint:

3. Contact the Corporate Complaints Team

You can submit your complaint online, by phone, by writing to us or visiting us by appointment. We will acknowledge we have received your complaint within three working days.

Submit your complaint

Please note that the form times out after 30 minutes.

Corporate Complaints webform

Contact details

Customer Services Team
East Sussex County Council
W1D,
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent,
Lewes,
East Sussex BN7 1UE

Email Corporate complaints

Phone: 01273 482913

We’re open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday; 8.30am to 4.30pm Friday.

4. Our complaints process and policy

  1. We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days.
  2. We will send you a response within 20 working days.
  3. If you’re not happy with our initial investigation, we’ll look in to the points you raise.

Sometimes it can take longer to resolve issues. If that happens, we’ll explain to you what the options are and how long it is likely to take.

Find out more about how to make a complaint below, or read more about the process in our Corporate Complaint Policy.

If your complaint is about an apprenticeship programme that is being delivered directly by ESCC through their in-house Apprenticeship Team, you will need to contact that team directly.

5. What you can do if you're still not happy

If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint and want to take the matter further, you can discuss your concerns with the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman . They will usually only investigate your case after you’ve given us a chance to respond to your complaint.

Impartial help with making complaints

The Citizens Advice Bureau offers an impartial service and can advise you if you need any help with making a complaint against us. To find out more, please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

6. Unreasonable customer behaviour

On occasion, some people’s behaviour towards our staff can get out of hand and has an impact on their wellbeing and on our work.

The aim of our Policy for Managing Unreasonable Customer Behaviour is to set out to staff and customers how we will manage the rare situations when customers behave unreasonably in their contacts with us. An Easy-Read version of this policy is also available.

7. Accessibility

Please let us know if there are any adjustments we can make for you in order to receive information from us or enable you to contact us.

If you need a copy of any of the information above in a different format such as large print, coloured background, Braille or in a different language then please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Email Corporate complaints

8. Our customer promise

Our Customer Promise has been developed and tested with staff and customers to set out realistic and achievable customer service standards, which are underpinned by a clear set of customer values. Read below for our Customer Promise.

Our Customer Values

We will:

Be responsive and consistent - listen and understand your needs, take ownership of your enquiry, answer your query or deal with your problem as soon as possible, and keep you up to date with what we are doing.

Treat you with fairness and respect - be friendly, polite and helpful, and get you to the right person quickly, say sorry if we get things wrong and do our best to put it right.

Be transparent and accountable - use plain language when we communicate with you, provide clear, complete and accurate information about our services, be honest about what we can and can’t do, and explain our decisions.

Provide value for money services and knowledgeable staff - do what we say we will do to a high standard, make best use of our resources, including making it easier to access our information and services via online and digital channels 24/7.

Our Customer Service Standards

By social media, email and electronic forms on the website

  • Your enquiry via social media, email or electronic form will be directed to the right team within one working day.
  • We will send an acknowledgement so you know we’ve received your message (this might be an automatic response) and will reply within 10 working days.
  • If we can’t resolve everything we will write within 10 working days to let you know what we will do next and when you can expect a full reply.

On the phone

  • We will answer the phone promptly, either personally or using an answerphone service. If we are exceptionally busy it may take us longer than usual to answer your call. Where possible, we will tell you of the wait time.
  • We will greet you with the name of the person you are speaking to and the name of the service so you know you’ve reached the right place.
  • If we need to transfer you to someone else, we’ll explain why and give you their name and their telephone number.
  • If you leave an answerphone message, we will respond to you to let you know we’ve received your message.

By letter

  • We will reply with 10 working days. If we can’t resolve everything we will write to let you know we have received your letter and let you know what we will do next and when you can expect a full reply.

Visiting us

  • Wherever possible we will make our buildings accessible to everyone.
  • We will make your visit as comfortable as possible and will provide a welcoming, clean and safe environment at our offices.

Complaints

  • If you tell us we have got something wrong we will investigate it impartially and fairly.
  • We’ll acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and will aim to complete our investigation within 20 working days.
  • Where we’ve got something wrong we will do our best to put it right and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Further information

Social media

We also have a policy for how we respond to social media.

How to contact us

You may want to speak to someone about a service you are receiving. There are details on how to contact us by web-form, phone or if you are visiting.

9. You said, we did

We welcome your feedback on our website and emails. Here are some examples of the changes we’ve made in response to feedback provided by our customers.

You said… We did…

Our existing content was confusing and you were unable to find where to make an application for a school place.

Edited content into guide steps. This approach breaks down the information provided for the benefit of the customer.

Our Blue Badge web pages were confusing and it was not clear how customers could renew or return Blue Badges.

Revised the layout of the information to make the required information clearer for customers to see.

Our Sheltered Housing page directed customers to information not specific enough. Customers were required to continue searching online resources to find information.

Replaced main link on the page with links that redirected customers to the relevant District and Borough housing departments within East Sussex.

The Registration Service’s web pages should link to other sections of Council website where relevant following death of relative.

Added suitable links to Adult Social Care services that are commonly contacted after the death of a relative.

If you would like to provide your feedback about our website, please do using the numbered icons which are placed on most of our pages.

Last updated: December 2020