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Complaints Policy

Last revision Last revision 08/05/2024
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size2 to 3 pages
Fill out the template

Last revisionLast revision: 08/05/2024

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 2 to 3 pages

Option: Help from a lawyer

Fill out the template

What is a complaints policy?

A complaints policy will be used by a business in the United Kingdom to set out its policy and procedure for dealing with consumer complaints.

A consumer is an individual who purchases goods and/or services from a business for personal use. Consumers have certain rights and protections.


What is the difference between a grievance policy and a complaints policy?

A business should have a procedure for handling any internal complaints made by its employees or staff members about their working environment, working conditions or other staff members. This is known as a grievance procedure.

A complaints policy will address the process for external consumer complaints against the business. A consumer is an individual who purchases goods and/or services from a business for personal use.


Is it mandatory to have a complaints policy?

Yes. If a business provides services to consumers it should hold a complaints policy. The regulations relevant to the provision of services by businesses stipulate that a business must hold a complaints handling policy.

The regulations which govern the provision of goods and services to consumers also state that businesses should provide consumers with information about any complaints-handling policy of the business.


What are the prerequisites of a complaints policy?

Before creating a complaints policy, a business will wish to check whether there are any industry-specific requirements that it must address within a complaints handling procedure. For example, some regulatory bodies and trade associations stipulate that particular information must be included in a complaints handling policy.


What should be done once a complaints policy is ready?

Once a complaints policy has been completed, it should be kept in an accessible place. For an online retailer, the complaints policy should be made available on the website of the retailer. For an in-store retailer, the complaints policy will usually be placed in a prominent location in the store.

Once the policy has been put in place, the business should handle any complaints in accordance with the policy.


What other documents should be used with a complaints policy?

A business that provides goods or services to consumers will hold a complaints policy in conjunction with other important documents such as:


How long will a complaints policy last for?

A complaints policy can remain in place indefinitely. The retailer should ensure the policy is updated if it changes the way in which it deals with complaints. The retailer should also ensure that the policy is generally updated and reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that the content remains relevant.


What should a complaints policy contain?

A complaints policy should:

  • explain how a complaint should be made
  • explain what information should be included in a complaint
  • explain how complaints will be handled (including applicable timeframes and possible outcomes)
  • refer to the existence of any route of appeal/independent appeals process such as an ombudsman


What laws apply to a complaints policy?

Some of the key legal provisions which are relevant to the handling of consumer complaints are:


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