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Customer feedback

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.

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 hours a day everyday of the year.

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 within 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.


  • 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 online form, phone or if you are visiting.

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 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:

You can submit your complaint using one of the methods below. We will acknowledge we have received your complaint within three working days.

Email: Corporate complaints

Phone: 01273 482 913. Lines are open Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 5pm, and Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm

In writing:
Customer Services Team
East Sussex County Council
West D
County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
East Sussex

In person:
You can visit us at County Hall if you make an appointment. 

  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 into 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 [222.7 KB] [pdf].

If your complaint is about an apprenticeship programme that is being delivered directly by ESCC via the in-house Apprenticeship and Qualifications Team (AQT), please read the ESCC AQT complaints policy.

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 the opportunity to respond to your complaint.

  • Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman – How to complain
  • Call the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman Advice Team on 
    0300 061 0614

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.

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

The aim of our policy on unreasonable customer behaviour [164.2 KB] [pdf] is to set out to staff and customers how we will handle the rare situations when customers behave unreasonably in their contacts with us. An easy read version [22.4 MB] [pdf] of this policy is also available.

Please also see the County Council's policy about How we use social media. This details how we expect customers to communicate with us reasonably and respectfully when using social media

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.