Customer Feedback Q3: October to December 2021

Customer Feedback Q3: October to December 2021

We are always keen to hear your feedback as this helps us to learn and understand areas where we are delivering services well and areas where we can improve.

Dissatisfaction and informal complaints

 Our customer contact system and the way informal complaints and dissatisfaction are recorded allows us to get more from the data we record when you call our Connect Contact Centre.

As we emerge from the difficulties of the last 18 months during the pandemic, it is clear that our repair service has struggled to recover to its usual high standards.

While we have been able to reliably deal with all emergency and urgent repairs throughout the pandemic, we have ended up with more routine repairs outstanding than usual.

This is as a result of ongoing complicating factors, such as absences due to Covid, delays in being able to source some materials and lack of contractors due to similar issues.

In turn, this has led to an increase in more tenants becoming dissatisfied with the service. We are, however, starting to make good inroads in the backlog of works and expect our repairs service to return to normal in the coming months.

Despite these issues, we continue to maintain positive satisfaction scores from our customer feedback surveys when repairs are completed at our properties.

 If you receive a customer feedback survey about our services, please take the time to leave a comment with your score – it really does help us to understand the areas which are working well and the areas where we need to consider improvements.


Formal Complaint Investigations

In most cases, the quickest and most effective way to resolve complaints or dissatisfaction is for us to try to put things right quickly.

However, if you remain unhappy with how your complaint has been handled, you can ask for your complaint to be escalated to the formal process. More information can be found here

During Quarter 3 (October – December 2021) we raised 43 and closed 40 complaint investigations through our formal complaints process. Formal complaints this quarter mainly relate to repair service delivery.

In seven cases, the customer remained unhappy with the investigation and response and escalated their complaint to the final stage of the complaints process – Review.

In three of the review cases, the reviewing senior manager partially upheld the escalated complaint identifying further actions to fully resolve it.

Complaints (Investigations) in Q3 (Oct – Dec 2021)

Jigsaw Homes North – 23

Jigsaw Homes Midlands – 1

Jigsaw Homes Tameside – 15

Jigsaw Support – 1


Complaints Investigations by Department 

Allocations/Lettings – 1

Repairs – planned/investment – 4

Repairs – routine responsive – 19

Neighbourhood Safety – 7

Tenancy Matters – 3

Development – 1

Rent/Service Charges – 2


Complaint outcomes Q3 (Oct – Dec 2021)

Complaint upheld (service failure) – 15

Complaint upheld in part (partial service failure) – 7

Complaint not upheld (no service failure) – 18


Housing Ombudsman Service

We received one determination from The Housing Ombudsman during this reporting period.

The complaint was regarding our decision not to replace a condemned gas fire with another gas fire. The Association offered an electric fire, which was not the tenant’s preferred secondary heating. The Housing Ombudsman determined no maladministration by the landlord.


Legal Disrepair Claims

 A disrepair claim is another form of ‘complaint’ which is handled through a legal process. Many of the claims we receive are as a result of ‘Claim Farmers’ who mislead people into taking out flimsy legal suits.

The majority of these claim farmers ‘sell’ on the claims to lawyers, whose interest is making money on the back of a claim, with any costs paid out going directly to the law firm.  In a small number of cases damages are paid to the tenant, but only after sizable fees are removed from the law firm.

We are committed to providing an excellent service to our customers. However, we realise that things can occasionally go wrong. If this happens to you or if you feel our service doesn’t meet your expectations, then we want you to let us know and we will always try to resolve your problem as quickly as possible.

We have a robust complaints process and compensation policy which is flexible enough to respond to individual cases as they arise without the need for escalating legal fees.

Our disrepair (legal) claim outcome for closed cases in Q3 saw 24 cases successfully defended by the landlord, eight settled with costs and one claim withdrawn.

The following two cases are real with the outcome at court both defended successfully.

 Case 1 (claim made September 2019)

There were 18 defects originally claimed by the tenant including damp and defective plaster throughout the property.

Both the tenant’s expert surveyor and the landlord’s expert undertook a joint inspection. The majority of the defects claimed were not found by the experts but we agreed to complete work that was noted by our expert.

We attempted to gain access to the property to carry out the works, but the tenant refused on the advice of her solicitor. We wrote again requesting access but the tenant did not respond. The case was then passed to Solicitors to handle and only when injunction action was threatened did the tenant allow access and the work was carried out.

The Judge dismissed the case, concluding that the tenant’s evidence was not credible, there was no notice of the defects that were claimed and it was clear the landlord was refused access until the threat of injunction was made.

The landlord won the trial and was awarded £5,775 for costs which was ordered to be paid within 21 days.


Case 2: (Claim made May 2019)

The tenant claimed several defects including damp throughout the property.

When Court proceedings were issued, the pleadings made were considered poor, as the landlord had already undertaken the works at the property despite a number of access issues.

The tenant’s solicitor served a further, more detailed witness statement two days before the trial which is not permitted. This was identified and challenged by the landlord’s solicitor.

On the morning of the trial the tenant’s solicitor attempted to make an offer of wiping arrears and the landlord paying a contribution to their costs which was rejected immediately.

The tenant’s solicitor dropped the claim before the trial started. The landlord did not need to pay any damages or costs and the tenant cannot bring another disrepair claim against the landlord up to the trial date.


If you have any concerns about your property, or any unresolved repair issues, please contact us so we can to look to put things right for you and agree a resolution.