Do you have a complaint about Citizens Advice?
Every year the Citizens Advice service helps millions of people with their problems. And we want everyone who uses Citizens Advice to be happy with the service we provide.
However, every so often, someone comes away from a local Citizens Advice feeling a little unhappy. That is why, if we’ve let you down, we want to hear from you – no matter how big or small the issue is.
Often, we’ll be able to put things right. And even when we can’t, knowing where we’ve gone wrong will help us do better in the future. What you tell us helps us to look at how we do things and helps us to improve our service.
We promise to deal with every complaint quickly, professionally and confidentially.
The following information relates solely to complaints about the service that a client has received at Citizens Advice Liverpool – and not for any other type of complaint.
If you wish to make a complaint about another local Citizens Advice, or to contact Citizens Advice nationally, please follow their complaints procedure.
Asking your local Citizens Advice to resolve the problem
It is important to us to know what we’ve done wrong, so we can do our best to put it right. Don’t be afraid to speak to the manager at Citizens Advice Liverpool. They will often be able to solve the problem straight away. You can do this using the Feedback Form.
If they can’t, or you’re still not happy, you can make a formal complaint.
Making a formal complaint
There are several ways to make a complaint. You can write a letter explaining what happened and send it to the manager at Citizens Advice Liverpool, 242 Picton Road, Wavertree, Liverpool, L15 4LP. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete a Feedback Form (please select the ‘Formal complaint about our service’ option). If your complaint is about the Chief Executive Officer, the Chair of the Board of Trustees will investigate.
Your complaint will be investigated by someone who isn’t directly involved. If it is upheld, we’ll apologise fully – and, if appropriate, let you know what we’re doing to put things right.
We aim to respond to every complaint within 8 weeks. If it’s going to take longer than this, we’ll explain why and keep you informed of progress.
An exception to this would be where you believe that the advice we gave you has cost you money (the most obvious example is in respect of a benefit claim). In this case, you should seek independent advice from elsewhere – a solicitor perhaps, or a law centre.
Should you make a legal claim, we would not be able to deal with a complaint about the same issue until the claim is finished.
Asking for a review
If you feel we haven’t dealt with your complaint properly, or you aren’t satisfied with the outcome, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. The Client Services team will review the complaint investigation on behalf of the Chief Executive of national Citizens Advice. The Client Services team will usually finish its review and tell you their decision within 8 weeks of getting your request for a review.
Using an Independent Adjudicator
If you are still not happy with the decision, you can refer your complaint to someone who is unconnected with Citizens Advice. This person is an Independent Adjudicator, and they will decide whether we have dealt with your complaint fairly. If you want to progress to this stage, you should ask within 4 weeks of receiving the review outcome.
Contacting the Financial Ombudsman Service
The Financial Ombudsman Service provides a free, independent service for clients to solve disputes with not-for-profit debt advice providers, such as Citizens Advice.
The Financial Ombudsman Service will only step in once a local Citizens Advice has had the opportunity to investigate a complaint, so please contact Citizens Advice Liverpool first.
If your complaint is about debt advice or if you were seeking advice about your credit record and you are not satisfied with the final response, or if eight weeks have passed since you first let us know about your concerns, you can ask the Financial Ombudsman to review your complaint.
Who to complain to
Citizens Advice Liverpool:
The Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Liverpool or the Chair of the Trustee Board at the address below:
Citizens Advice Liverpool
242 Picton Road
You can also send us your complaint using our Feedback Form – please select the ‘Formal complaint about our service’ option.
Alternatively, you can send an email to email@example.com.
National Citizens Advice Client Services team:
Your call is likely to be free of charge if you have a phone deal that includes free calls to landlines – find out more about calling 030 numbers (opens in a new window on the National Citizens Advice website)
Financial Ombudsman Service
Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
0800 023 4567 – free for people phoning from a ‘fixed’ line (e.g. a landline at home)
0300 123 9123 – free for mobile phone users who pay a monthly charge for calls to numbers starting 01 and 02.
Immigration casework complaints
The Immigration Services Commissioner who looks after the standards of immigration advice will investigate complaints about immigration casework. You can make a complaint instead of approaching your local Citizens Advice and can do so at any stage during the Citizens Advice complaint procedure.
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)
5th Floor, 21 Bloomsbury Street
Telephone: 0345 000 0046
Your call is likely to be free of charge if you have a phone deal that includes free calls to landlines – find out more about calling 0345 numbers (opens in a new window on the National Citizens Advice website).