Unhappy with our service?

If you are unhappy with the service you received from our staff or if you feel we have not handled something properly, this section gives you information on how to complain. If you are unhappy with our decision about your complaint, please see the separate guidance, Unhappy with a decision? If you are not sure, please contact us for advice.

We aim to provide an excellent service, but we know we cannot please everyone and that sometimes a decision can disappoint because the outcome is not what was hoped for.  Whatever the outcome of your case, we hope you are satisfied with the level of service we provide and the way we treat you.

We also know that, as in any organisation, things can sometimes go wrong. Please tell us if this happens, so that we can put things right and learn from any mistakes. We would like to hear from you if you feel dissatisfied with any aspect of our service. For example, if you think we have:

  • treated you unfairly or rudely;
  • failed to explain things clearly or listen to your concerns properly;
  • caused unreasonable delays.

We take complaints about our service very seriously. We want to know if things go wrong so that we can put them right and improve our service in the future. We will deal with your complaint as set out below.

Complaints about our service

Stage 1

If you are dissatisfied with:

  • the service you received from us;
  • our policies and processes; or
  • the conduct of a specific member of our staff

please contact our Head of Oversight (HoO). It would be helpful if you could set out your concerns in a letter, or in an email to David.Buchanan-Cook@scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk. Please clearly mark your letter or email 'Personal - Service Delivery Complaint'. The HoO will acknowledge your complaint within five working days.

A manager in an area different to the one you are complaining about will be asked to deal with your service delivery complaint and to respond to you. We will aim to provide a full reply within 20 working days of receiving your letter. If we cannot reply within 20 working days, we will write to explain why not and tell you when you can expect a full response.

If your complaint is about a specific person’s conduct they will be told that a complaint has been made and will be asked for their views. They will not be involved in looking into the complaint in any other way. If our enquiries show that your complaint about our service is justified, we will apologise and tell you how we will address the problem. Where relevant, we will also tell you how we plan to make sure the mistake does not happen again.

Stage 2

If you are still not happy when you have received our response, you can contact our HoO again and your complaint will be reviewed, along with the way in which it was dealt with, by a senior SLCC Manager.

Complaints about our CEO

Complaints about the CEO will be dealt with by the SLCC’s Board. Please mark your letter or email ‘Personal – Service Delivery Complaint’ and send this for the attention of the Secretary to the Board who will arrange for a Board member to deal with your complaint. If you are not content with the response to your complaint you can ask that your complaint be reviewed again – this will be by the Chair of the Board who may arrange for an independent investigation from someone external to the SLCC.

Complaints about Board members

If your complaint is about a member of our Board, please write to our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will review your complaint. You can email Neil.Stevenson@scottishlegalcomplaints.org.uk. If you are not content with the response and you believe a Board member has breached the code of conduct, you can complain to the Public Standards Commissioner for Scotland  - (www.publicstandardscommissioner.org.uk)

Notes

Complaints about the merits and/or outcome of a complaint about a legal practitioner are not covered by this process. If you disagree with a decision made about a complaint, you have a right of appeal to the Court of Session.

We keep a record of all complaints made about our service and record the outcome of each complaint. We report information on these complaints quarterly to our Board and to the independent Consumer Panel. We also produce and publish statistical information relating to these complaints each year in our Annual Report.