Customer service standards

We will:

  • make access to our services as easy as possible for you with the emphasis on 24/7  online access but retaining choices including email, telephone and where necessary in person visits
  • be polite and respectful at all times
  • listen carefully to what you have to say
  • provide clear and understandable information and advice avoiding jargon
  • maintain your confidentiality and protect any data you give us
  • not make promises we cannot keep  

If you visit our website:

  • we will aim to make it available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • we will keep service disruptions for essential maintenance to a minimum
  • we will provide access to information about all our services
  • we will aim to deliver as many of our services online as possible

If you visit our offices:

  • and have made an appointment, you should not have to wait more than 5 minutes to be seen
  • we will try to deal with your request or query without passing you on to someone else: if this is not possible we will explain why and make an appointment for you if necessary

If you telephone:

  • we will answer calls greeting you politely and clearly – sometimes this may be by answerphone
  • and we have to transfer you we will tell you the name of the person or service you are being transferred to
  • and you leave a message we aim to get back to you within 2 working days

If you write, e-mail or text:

  • we aim to reply fully to letters within 10 working days. If we cannot do this we will let you know within 2 working days when we will be able to reply
  • we aim to respond fully to e-mails and texts within 10 working days. We aim to acknowledge your e-mail within 2 working days
  • our response will always include the name of the person dealing with the enquiry and details of how you can contact them
  • we will respond to Freedom of Information requests within 20 working days
  • we will respond to Subject Data Access requests within 40 calendar days
  • if you ask for a leaflet or publication or an application form we will provide you with the link to it on our website

If we visit your home or business:

  • all our staff and contractors working for us will always carry an identity badge which they will offer to show you
  • we will make an appointment with you, if appropriate
  • and we have to cancel an appointment we will try to let you know at least 24 hours in advance
  • and you are not present when we call we will leave a card

You can help us by:

  • giving us all the information we need to help you
  • letting us know in advance if you have any special or individual needs such as an interpreter
  • telling us how we can improve our services 
  • asking us to explain what you are not sure of
  • treating our staff with courtesy

Please let us know if you feel we have failed to meet these standards. You can complain using our complaints form.  

If you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you can complain to the Local Ombudsman.