QUALITYSOLICITORS PARKINSON WRIGHT
A formal complaint arises either when a client requests a copy of our complaint’s procedure in order to register a complaint or, makes a formal complaint in writing or when the person representing that particular client is unable on his/her own to satisfy a client who complains in any way.
Despite all our best efforts to meet and hopefully exceed our clients’ expectations, a complaint will arise from time to time. Our policy is to resolve complaints promptly, fairly and effectively because:
- Our clients are entitled to expect this from us.
- Complaints are usually better dealt with quickly.
- It is good practise.
How we handle complaints
The Legal Ombudsman refers to a 3 stage process with which we agree – (i) listen, (ii) inform and (iii) respond. Our managing partner will ensure that he understands what your complaint is about before he begins to investigate it.
- Once we receive your complaint we will confirm receipt of it within 3 working days (by return if possible) and provide you with a copy of this procedure.
- If the matter about which you have complained is ongoing, you should feel free and have confidence to continue to work with the person who is representing or advising you. Our managing partner will not take over your legal work but will happily discuss with you whether someone else should.
- Our managing partner may consider with you the options you would like him to cover – whether it relates to getting something back on track quickly, changing to a different lawyer if appropriate or possible, a reflection of your dissatisfaction in our fees or anything else – there is no one size that fits all.
- There is no charge for dealing with your complaint.
- Our Managing Partner will try to deal with your complaint as quickly as possible either himself or, refer it to another senior member of the management team with more relevant knowledge of the area of law. We have 8 weeks from acknowledging your complaint but we would hope to be able to resolve it within that time. If for any reason it cannot be resolved as quickly as we would like, then we will let you know.
- Once we have investigated your complaint and established all the facts, our managing partner will let you have his decision, together with his reasons for it.
- If we find that the service we provided was poor, we will offer you a suitable remedy. We will try to make that proportionate to the problem you will have experienced. For example, if there was a small administrative error that did not adversely affect your case or transaction but caused minor inconvenience, then an apology might be the appropriate remedy. On the other hand if you complained about your bill and were found to have been overcharged, then in addition to an apology we would of course refund any overcharge and if appropriate consider compensation.
- If the outcome is that we feel you were offered a reasonable service, our managing partner will provide you with a full and clear explanation about how he came to this conclusion.
- At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can contact us again. We will then arrange to review our decision. This may happen in one of the following ways:
- The Managing Partner will review his own decision.
- The Managing Partner will ask another Partner to review his decision.
- We will invite you to agree to independent mediation – we recommend Promediate (email@example.com).
- If we cannot agree, we will direct you to the Legal Ombudsman as the next step. You can contact the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ. You have 6 months to complain to the Legal Ombudsman from the date of my final letter informing you of my decision otherwise, any complaint must usually be made within 6 years of the act or omission of which you complain or within 3 years from when you should reasonably have known there was cause for complaint. The Legal Ombudsman can be contacted on (0300 555 0333) or via the website www.legalombudsman.org.uk.
- The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. Visit their website to see how you can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
We are committed to providing a professional service to all our clients and customers. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
If you have a complaint, please put it in writing, including as much detail as possible. We will then respond in line with the timeframes set out below (if you feel we have not sought to address your complaints within eight weeks, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Property Ombudsman to consider without our final viewpoint on the matter).
What will happen next?
We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally be dealt with by the Managing Partner who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who dealt with you. A formal written outcome of our investigation will be sent to you within 15 working days of sending the acknowledgement letter.
If, at this stage, you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a separate review to take place by a senior member of staff.
We will write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final viewpoint on the matter.
If you remain dissatisfied, you can then contact The Property Ombudsman to request an independent review:
The Property Ombudsman Ltd
43-55 Milford Street
01722 333 306
Please note the following:
You will need to submit your complaint to The Property Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving our final viewpoint letter, including any evidence to support your case.
The Property Ombudsman requires that all complaints are addressed through this in-house complaints procedure, before being submitted for an independent review.