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annual review 2015/2016

1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016

who complained to us

understanding who's using our service

We talk to thousands of people every day - asking questions to find out the details we need to sort out individual concerns and complaints. We also carry out a range of research activities each year to get a wider insight into who’s contacting us - and into how people respond when they’re faced with a problem.

Understanding who is - and isn’t - using our service helps us to make sure we’re:

  • meeting individual accessibility needs - and making our service easier to use for everyone.
  • providing an equal and inclusive service - in line with our public commitments.
  • focusing our outreach and awareness-raising activities on people who are less likely to know about us.

We use what we learn to improve and develop the service we offer - to ensure we remain relevant to changing lives and attitudes. Our research also helps us to identify what people do, and how they feel, when they’re face with a problem - as well as variations in the problems different groups of consumers bring to us.

Once again this year, we’ve found that people are increasingly likely to complain when they’re unhappy with a service they’ve received. This might reflect the growing number of quick, informal ways - in particular, social media - that are available to air a problem and get a response.

As we explain later in this section, awareness of our service has generally increased over the past few years. Our research suggests that, when they encounter a problem, more people are trying to resolve things with the business involved - and also that more people are contacting us if they can’t do this.

the gender of consumers who complained to us

  • female: 39%
  • male: 61%

We’ve found little significant difference between the types of financial products men and women complain about. But once again, there does seem to be a difference in how they feel about complaining.

For example - like last year - we found that women were 20% less likely than men to say that they’d had a problem with a financial product or service - and 10% less likely than men to actually complain about a product or service.

Women were also less likely than men to make a formal complaint to us after talking things through with our helpline. However, compared with men who’d complained, women who’d complained were 8% less likely to be happy with the business’s response.

On the other hand, among the complaints we looked into this year, we upheld a slightly higher proportion of those made by women. This is largely because a greater proportion of women complained about payment protection insurance (PPI), where we upheld more complaints than other areas. Looking at individual financial products and services, gender makes no significant difference in how likely we are to uphold a complaint.

complaints upheld by gender

gender upheld not upheld
male 54% 46%
female 57% 43%

complaints by where people live

By recording where the people who contact us live, we can identify areas where there’s lower awareness of our service - or where people are less likely to contact us.

Of the people who contacted us this year, the highest proportions lived in the South East and the Midlands. We generally didn’t find any significant differences in the issues people contacted us about from different nations and regions.

But there were some exceptions in the areas of PPI and current accounts. PPI made up 68% of complaints from the North East of England, compared with 59% of complaints from the South East. On the other hand, of all the current account complaints we saw, 54% of complaints came from the South East - but only 2% of complaints came from the North East.

where the people who brought complaints to us live

  %
South East (including Greater London) 28
Midlands 20
North West 12
North East 10
Scotland 9
South West 9
East Anglia 5
Wales 5
Northern Ireland 2

where people phoned us from the most

  1. Warrington
  2. Sale
  3. Hounslow
  4. Skipton
  5. Tower Hamlets
  6. Manchester
  7. Central London
  8. Gloucester
  9. Central Birmingham
  10. Bolton
  11. Glasgow
  12. Chester
  13. Southampton
  14. Burton
  15. Leeds
  16. Altrincham
  17. Nottingham
  18. Hull
  19. Bristol
  20. Stockport

Variations in volumes of calls from different areas can help us to identify where we might need to raise awareness of our service - or address specific issues - through focused outreach work. There’s more about this in the section our insight and outreach.

how people whose complaints we resolved found out about us

  %
from a financial business 28
on the internet 18
in the media (press and broadcast) 17
from a friend, relative or colleague 15
from a consumer advice agency (eg Trading Standards or Citizens Advice) 7
from a claims management company 5
other 10

As part of asking people whose complaints we’ve resolved about their experience of our service, we ask how they heard about us in the first place.

As we explain in the section our insight and outreach, we continue to work with front-line community advisers who people with problems are most likely to turn to in the first instance. This year we saw a small increase in the number of people who’d heard about us from these front-line community advisers. And slightly more people had heard us mentioned in the media than in the previous year.

People from unskilled (DE) backgrounds were relatively more likely to have found out about us through family and friends - with a quarter telling us this was how they’d first heard of us.

Compared with people aged over 55, younger people are around twice as likely to find out about us through the internet. On the other hand, the older people are, the more likely it is that they heard about us in a newspaper. Overall, slightly fewer people this year said they’d found out about us from a financial business.

newspapers read by the people who complained to us

2015/2016 %
regional and free papers (including Metro) 29
Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday 20
Sun 13
Mirror 9
Times/Sunday Times 6
Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph 6
Express 5
Guardian/Observer 5
Financial Times 2
Independent/Independent on Sunday 2
Star 2
other 1

This year a greater proportion of people said they’d heard about us through local and free newspapers. We’ve continued to work with these types of publications, from Metro - read by commuters in towns and cities across the UK - to the regional press, where we can explain how we can help with specific local issues, like insurance matters around flooding earlier this year.

media coverage of the ombudsman

media coverage %
BBC (online, radio, TV) 29
regional newspapers 27
Times/Sunday Times 13
Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday 12
Independent/Independent on Sunday 4
Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph 4
The Mirror/Sunday Mirror 3
Guardian/Observer 3
Financial Times 2
Daily Express 2
The Sun 1

During the year, we featured in around 6,000 media stories - over half of which appeared exclusively online. Journalists continue to ask for our independent perspective on money matters and complaints - and over the year we were able to provide the background for a range of features and stories.

As the latest research shows, people get their news from a diverse range of sources, which tends to reflect their age and lifestyle. To make sure we were reaching different groups of people, our work with the media this year ranged from sharing ombudsman news case studies in the Mail and the Mirror, to regular slots on national, local and online broadcasts.

As we’ve explained in the section sorting things early on, we continued to engage with consumers - as well as businesses and other stakeholders - across a range of social media channels.

the socio-economic background of people who complained to us

year ended 31 March AB
professional and managerial
C1/C2
skilled and semi-skilled
DE
unskilled
2016 31% 56% 13%
2015 33% 58% 9%
2014 30% 59% 11%
2013 38% 55% 7%

To help us make sure we’re reaching everyone who might need us, we record the socio-economic background of people whose complaints we resolve each year. Over the last four years, the proportion of people from an unskilled (DE) background who used our service has nearly doubled.

We also monitor the outcome of problems we’ve helped to sort out by the socio-economic background of the people involved. This year, we upheld:

  • 53% of complaints from people in the AB group
  • 55% of complaints from people in the C1/C2 group
  • 57% of complaints from people in the DE group

As these tables show, these differences in outcome across the socio-economic groups are mainly due to the number of PPI complaints each group brings to us. We uphold a high proportion of PPI complaints - and these make up a higher proportion of complaints from people in the DE group.

the types of products consumers complained about - by socio-economic background

the types of products consumers complained about - by socio-economic background AB
professional and managerial %
C1/C2
skilled and semi-skilled %
DE
unskilled %
PPI 54 64 68
bank accounts 15 14 16
loans 10 7 7
investments and pensions 6 4 3
motor and household insurance 4 4 1
other 11 7 5

The most complained-about product - PPI - is the same across different socio-economic groups. And the proportion of complaints about bank accounts has risen significantly across all three groups - in line with increasing numbers of people who brought complaints to us about packaged bank accounts.

the occupational background of people who complained to us

occupation %
employed 49
retired 34
self-employed/running own business 13
other 4

The occupational status of the people whose complaints we resolved this year remained broadly the same as last year.

But we saw some variation in the occupational backgrounds of the people whose complaints we resolved. We saw more complaints this year from people working in skilled trades and plant work - including electricians, mechanics and assembly-line workers - but fewer from people working in professions such as teaching and law.

the occupational background of consumers who complained to us %
skilled trades (for example, electricians, plumbers, mechanics) 22
managers and officials 17
administrative and secretarial 15
professionals 11
personal services (for example, care assistants, dental nurses) 10
sales and customer service 10
process and plant work (for example, machinery operatives, assembly-line workers) 9
elementary occupations (for example, hotel and bar staff, farm workers, postal workers) 6

different languages and formats

We hear from a number of people whose first language isn’t English - including overseas customers of UK financial businesses that operate globally. Understandably, this may present a significant barrier to expressing a problem - and getting a complaint sorted efficiently. So this year we continued to ensure we’re accessible to everyone - making different languages and formats available where we find this would be the most effective way to help.

During 2015/2016 we translated around 4,000 written documents - and spoke to people through our phone-based interpreter service over 800 times. Between these two services, we used more than 40 different languages - including British Sign Language. And ten of our staff volunteered their own time to learn British Sign Language to help communicate with people face to face.

... we used more than 40 different languages - including British Sign Language

We also continued to use speech browser software on our website - meaning our online resources can be read aloud in more than 50 different languages.

disability

Over the year 16% of people who complained to us told us that they had a disability - most commonly mobility, circulatory and manual dexterity issues. Many of these people didn’t need us to adapt our service to meet any particular communication needs.

But to make sure we’re accessible - and there aren’t any barriers to using us - we ask everyone who complains to us if they need us to provide information in a different format. Over the past year, we’ve communicated in a different format 3,412 times - including using bold print, colour paper and simplified text.

People’s disabilities and different needs - and how financial businesses have responded to them - continued to feature in a number of complaints that were referred to us during the year.

case study

Miss K received several letters from a debt collection company. They said she’d run up significant debts on her credit card - and she needed to repay the full amount.

Miss K’s mother explained to the card provider - a bank - that Miss K had been forced to take out the card by her abusive ex-partner. Her mother said the ex-partner had taken advantage of Miss K because of her learning difficulties. But the bank refused to write off the debt.

We saw from the bank’s records that Miss K’s mother had told them about her learning difficulties. She’d offered to provide medical evidence - but the bank had told her that it wouldn’t make a difference to their answer.

During our involvement, the bank accepted that if they’d had this evidence, they would have reached a different conclusion. They agreed to write off the debt and close the account - as well as making sure Miss K’s credit file wouldn’t be affected. 

This year we continued to develop our employees’ understanding of the range of disabilities and health conditions experienced by people who use our service. This helps us ensure we’re sensitive to when we might need to do things differently - and are able to offer appropriate support.

For example, we’ve continued to build relationships with Macmillan, Mind and the National Autistic Society - who provide us with regular informal training. Maintaining these links means that, as part of sorting out complaints, our employees can identify and signpost people to organisations who offer specialist support.

black and minority backgrounds

Our research shows that someone’s ethnic background doesn’t have a bearing on the outcome of their complaint - or the likelihood of their appealing against our answer if they’re unhappy with it.

On the other hand, we continued to see some variation in the types of complaints people from different backgrounds bring to us. For example, 68% of complaints from people who said they were Black/Black British were about PPI - compared with 44% for people who said they had an Asian background.

the ethnic background of consumers who complained to us

the ethnic background of consumers who complained to us %
non-white
%
white
2016 9 91
2015 12 88
2014 11 89
2013 12 88

This year we saw a decrease in the proportion of complaints from people who said they had a non-white background.

On the other hand, awareness of our service among Black/Black British people is 25% higher than the level two years ago. So this year we continued to work with black publications like the women’s lifestyle magazine Pride - featuring in a range of articles related to everyday money matters like saving up for holidays.

the age of people who complained to us

  • 1% - under 25
  • 10% - 25 to 34
  • 23% - 35 to 44
  • 28% - 45 to 54
  • 20% -55 to 65
  • 18% - over 65

The proportion of people bringing complaints to us from each age group has remained consistent again this year - with the highest proportion of complaints being brought by people aged 45 to 54.

PPI remains the most complained-about financial product among people in most age groups - apart from those under 25.

Including complaints about PPI, people aged between 35 and 65 accounted for around seven in ten of the complaints we received. Our research shows that, in general, people in this age group tend to be more aware of their rights as consumers.

... highest proportion of complaints being brought by people aged 45 to 54

And between these ages, it’s likely people will experience a wide range of events - from travelling or buying a house, to running a business or planning for retirement - many of which involve financial products and services.

From our research, we know there are some differences in what people in different age groups complain to us about. There’s particular variation in the complaints brought to us by older and younger people.

the most complained-about products - by age group

ages most complained-about product
%
2nd most complained-about product
%
3rd most complained-about product
%
other products complained about %
under 25 bank accounts
42
consumer credit
18
car/motorbike insurance
16
24
25 to 34 PPI
53
bank accounts 22 consumer credit
7
18
35 to 44 PPI
71
bank accounts 13 house mortgages
3
13
45 to 54 PPI
71
bank accounts 11 house mortgages
3
15
55 to 64 PPI
69
bank accounts
12
house mortgages
3
16
over 65 PPI
45
bank accounts 17 house mortgages
5
33

For example, after PPI, term assurance and mortgage endowments were among the most complained-about products for people aged over 45 - whereas younger people are proportionately far more likely than any other age group to complain about problems with consumer credit products.

In particular, payday loans made up a significant number of the complaints we resolved from younger people - but featured less prominently among the most complained-about products for people over 35.

Overall, complaints from people under 25 were less likely to be upheld. But this age group is more likely to complain about banking products - an area where we uphold relatively fewer complaints - and less likely to complain about PPI, where we continue to uphold a high proportion.

ombudsman decisions - by age group

  • 1% - under 25
  • 10% - 25 to 34
  • 18% - 35 to 44
  • 24% - 45 to 54
  • 19% -55 to 65
  • 28% - over 65

Once again this year, we were able to resolve nine in ten of the problems people referred to us after an initial investigation. Complaints from people aged over 65 were most likely to be decided at our second stage - with a significant proportion of people from that age group asking for a legally binding final decision.

This might be because of the types of financial services associated with later years. For example, given the amount of money involved in a pension - and the fact people’s financial security in retirement may depend on it - it’s perhaps not surprising someone would want to take a complaint as far as they could.

... we were able to resolve nine in ten of the problems people referred to us after an initial investigation

Equally, younger people - who’ve generally grown up communicating and finding answers using social networks - may prefer to resolve problems as quickly and informally as possible.

what people aged under 25 complained to us about

2015/2016 %
bank accounts 42
consumer credit 18
car/motorbike insurance 16
PPI 5
other 19

People under 25 were the only age group where PPI wasn’t the most complained-about product. In fact, complaints about PPI among the under-25s fell significantly this year - from 19% to just 5% of the complaints we received from this age group. This reflects the fact that mis-selling of PPI should already be a thing of the past for this age group.

Bank accounts continued to be the most complained-about product for under-25s - and compared with last year, accounted for 20% more complaints from this age group.

Our wider research suggests that 23% of people under 25 had experienced some kind of problem with a financial product or service - up from 10% last year. While this is broadly in line with other age groups, we continue to find that under-25s are less likely to go on to pursue a complaint.

To address this, we continue to focus on raising awareness of our service among younger people. This year, for example, we featured in publications including The Gap Travel Guide - and shared our insight into financial problems affecting younger people in the September 2015 issue of ombudsman news. We’ve also taken part in freshers’ fairs and worked with front-line student advisers.

case study

Ms H wanted a student account, but her bank said she needed to close her existing current account with another bank first. In the meantime, they told her to open a new current account with them.

Ms H closed her other account. But when she tried to upgrade her new account to a student account, her application was turned down. The bank said she couldn’t upgrade her account so soon after opening it - and apologised for telling her to open the new account.

Ms H wasn’t happy with the bank’s apology. She’d made several calls and trips to the bank over several weeks as a result of the problem. And she’d had to start university without a student account, missing out on several free offers - which she’d had to pay for separately.

Following our involvement, the bank offered Ms H £200 for the stress and inconvenience they’d caused her - as well as agreeing to open a student account for her.  

what people aged over 65 complained to us about

2015/2016 %
PPI 45
bank and savings accounts 17
investments and pensions 8
household/motor insurance 7
consumer credit 3
house mortgages 5
other 15

The proportion of people aged over 65 who referred complaints to us increased over the year. This age group now accounts for 18% of people who use our service.

In contrast to younger people, consumers over 65 are the most likely to pursue their complaint and request an ombudsman decision as the final stage of our process.

This could reflect the kinds of financial products involved. Older people bring proportionately more complaints about pensions and investments - and, given the sums of money involved, may want to take things as far as they can.

... shared our own insight report - age, complaints and the ombudsman - based on a detailed review of complaints we’d received

Over the year there’s been significant media focus on financial issues affecting older people - including new pension freedoms, powers of attorney and mortgage lending into retirement.

We’ve worked with the media to provide background information for a number of features and news stories - explaining the types of things we see going wrong, and how we can learn from them.

We also shared our own insight report - age, complaints and the ombudsman - based on a detailed review of complaints we’d received, looking at the kinds of problems we see that affect older people in particular.

And in ombudsman news in November 2015, we shared case studies of complaints we’ve resolved involving older people and retirement.

% of people over 65 who told us they had no internet access

% of people over 65 who told us they had no internet access %
2016 40
2015 47
2014 49
2013 54

Wider research suggests that the over-65s are more likely than other age groups to have no internet access.

Among people who complained to us, the proportion of people aged over 65 who weren’t online fell for the third year running - but four in ten remain offline. So as we develop new ways of working, we continue to use more traditional channels as well - both to communicate with people who contact us and to raise awareness of our service.

promoting equality, diversity and inclusion

We publish our equality and diversity policy - which is set and monitored by our board and executive team - on our website. The commitments we’ve made around equality, diversity and inclusion are underpinned by our aim to provide a fair, impartial and trusted service.

We’ve continued to work with external experts to improve our understanding of a range of issues around equality and diversity - so we can support our customers and our own employees.

This has included working with Business Disability Forum and Stonewall, the charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We established new partnerships with organisations including Heart of the City and gender diversity campaign Opportunity Now. And we were recognised by Jobcentre Plus for our work to encourage people with disabilities to work for us.

... we were recognised by Jobcentre Plus for our work to encourage people with disabilities to work for us

We were especially proud to be named Public Service Organisation of the year, 2016, by the National Centre for Diversity.

Like last year, we’ve maintained our relationship with the East London Business Alliance - meaning our employees can take part in a range of volunteering opportunities in our local community. For example our ombudsman volunteers have been working with local charity, Headway - to make art from broken and discarded crockery and to help people with brain injuries regain confidence and communication skills.

the diversity of our own workforce

As a service for everyone in the UK, we want the people who work for us to be representative of a diverse range of communities and perspectives.

Over the year the make-up of our employees stayed broadly the same as last year - 45% are men and 55% are women. Women accounted for 50% of our non-executive board and 50% of our executive team. 55% of our ombudsmen are women.

56% of people working for us at the end of the year were aged between 25 and 34 - with 17% aged between 35 and 44, 10% aged between 45 and 54 and 5% older than 55. The age of our employees ranged from 18 to 71 years old.

36% of our employees say they are from a non-white background, 4% say they have a disability, and 3% have told us that they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

This year we’ve continued to support our employee-led networks. These promote discussion and understanding among people from different backgrounds - including different faith groups, LGBT people, carers, and people with direct and indirect experience of mental health issues.

levels of awareness of the ombudsman service

2015/2016 %
people who didn't recognise our name or know who we were 11
people who could name us without any prompting 19
people who said they definitely knew of us when they were told our name 51
people who said they may have heard of us when they were told our name 19

As well as understanding who’s using us, it’s also important we raise awareness of our service among the public in general. This helps to improve confidence in financial services - because even though most people won’t encounter problems, they’ll know we’re here to help if something does go wrong.

This year, 19% of people could name us unprompted - that is, they could specifically name us when our role was described. And the number of people with no awareness of us nearly halved - from 20% last year to only 11% this year. The groups who may have, or definitely had heard of us also increased from last year.

As part of our awareness-raising work - and commitment to making our service accessible in a range of different ways - we launched five animated videos this year, putting the work of the ombudsman into the context of a range of everyday situations. Each video reached well over 10,000 people online - with our original video, explaining the roots of “the ombudsman” and introducing our mascot Viking, Hakon now having been watched 170,000 times.

awareness of the ombudsman service across different groups of people

  %
men 91
women 87
18 to 24 years old 65
45 to 64 year olds 94
Asian consumers 76
Black/Black British consumers 73
White consumers 90
professional and managerial (AB) consumers 91
skilled and semi-skilled (C1/C2) consumers 89
unskilled (DE) consumers 86
people in Wales 91
people in Northern Ireland 93
people in Scotland 89
people in England 88

We continue to promote awareness of our service through our ongoing outreach with communities across the UK - as well as our work with the media, including social media. There’s more about how we do this in the sections sorting things early on and our insight and outreach.

This table shows awareness of our service among different groups of people. Awareness of the ombudsman has increased this year in nearly every group - and in most groups, nearly nine in ten people now have some awareness of us.

In Northern Ireland awareness is now 93%, compared to 66% last year. As well as continuing to meet businesses and community groups across Northern Ireland, we’ve now taken part for seven years in the Balmoral Show - one of Northern Ireland’s largest agricultural events - as well as regularly taking part in BBC Radio Ulster’s consumer show On Your Behalf, and advertising on public transport.

As we mentioned earlier in this section, even though awareness of our service is lower among younger people, it rose from 45% to 65% this year. Awareness among Black/Black British people remains higher than we’ve seen in previous years.

people who don't use our service

This year one in four people we surveyed said that they’d had a problem with a financial product or service - rising from less than one in five last year. Of these people, 71% told us that they went on to complain to the financial business involved. And 67% said they were satisfied with the business’s response.

Among the 33% of people who weren’t satisfied with the business’s response,
38% didn’t take things further - either by referring their complaint to us or to another organisation such as the FCA or the courts.

... one in four people we surveyed said that they’d had a problem with a financial product or service

This is less than last year - when 51% of people said they hadn’t taken things further. And more people this year - 48%, compared with 33% - said they’d referred their complaint to us.

People aged between 45 and 54 were the most likely to pursue their complaint - with 73% of people in this age group saying they would take further action of some kind, including referring the matter to us.

why people didn’t pursue a complaint -
even if they were unhappy with the business’s response

2015/2016 %
"I didn't think it would achieve anything" 31
"I found it too stressful" 22
"I didn't think it was worth my time" 14
"I found the financial business difficult to deal with" 9
"I had other more important priorities" 5
"It didn't seem worth it for the money involved" 6
other reasons 13

Once again this year, the majority of people who chose not to pursue a complaint said they didn’t think it would achieve anything, or they found it too stressful. These two reasons together accounted for why more than half the people we asked didn’t pursue a complaint.

The number of people who told us they didn’t think a complaint was worth their time increased from 10% to 14% this year. There’s more information on how we try to sort out complaints as quickly as possible - including how we work together with businesses at an early stage - in the section sorting things early on.

trust

We’re here to help put things right and help people move on when something has gone wrong. And we know this can’t happen unless people trust us to give a fair answer.

Our research this year found that 75% of adults across the UK said they would trust our service - up from 71% last year. By comparison, wider research suggests that levels of consumer trust in financial services more generally remains at 50%.

Among people who knew of us, but hadn’t ever used our service, 14% said they would trust us completely. Among people who’d used our service, 65% said they would trust us completely - a level that’s remained consistent for the past two years.

how we were rated by people on their first contact with us

2015/2016 % who agree % who expressed no view % who disagree
you gave me clear and honest answers and let me know where I stood 84 11 5
you got to grips with things and used common sense 83 13 4
you listened to me and cared about what I had to say 86 9 5

how we were rated by people whose complaints we investigated

2015/2016 % who agree % who expressed no view % who disagree
you gave me clear and honest answers and let me know where I stood 95 3 2
you got to grips with things and used common sense 93 4 3
you listened to me and cared about what I had to say 91 3 6

how we were rated by people who pursued their complaint to an ombudsman - the final stage in our process

2015/2016 % who agree % who expressed no view % who disagree
you gave me clear and honest answers and let me know where I stood 70 12 18
you got to grips with things and used common sense 62 13 25
you listened to me and cared about what I had to say 68 10 22

We ask people who’ve used our service for feedback on their experience at different stages in our process.

Some people tell us they feel the financial business they’re complaining about has taken a “tick box” approach to dealing with their concerns. So this year we reviewed and updated the questions we ask about our own service, to help us better understand how people feel we’ve treated them.

Among people who called our helpline, more than eight in ten rated us positively - agreeing that we’d listened, got to grips with the problem, and given clear and honest answers. This rose to more than nine in ten among people whose complaints we needed to investigate further.

... Among people who called our helpline, more than eight in ten rated us positively

While a large majority of people still responded positively, our ratings were slightly lower among people who had pursued their complaint all the way to an ombudsman. This could reflect the fact that these people had generally waited longer for their problem to be finally sorted out - which we know has a significant bearing on how people feel about their experience.

how the outcome of a complaint affected people's views about of our service

It’s perhaps not surprising that the majority of people whose complaints we upheld told us they were happy with our service. Overall this year, nine in ten people whose complaints we upheld said they’d recommend us to friends and family - compared with four in ten people whose complaints we didn’t uphold.

But it’s encouraging that more than half of people who didn’t get the outcome they were hoping for still felt positively about the service they’d received from us.

In our surveys, of those people who felt they’d got the outcome they’d hoped for:

  • 91% gave us positive feedback on the level of service we provided - a very similar number to last year.
  • 4% - like last year - gave us negative feedback, telling us they thought our service could be better.
  • 5% didn’t express a view.

Of those people who felt they hadn’t got the outcome they’d hoped for:

  • 57% gave us positive feedback - a rise of 16% on last year.
  • 31% gave us negative feedback - a decrease of 20%.
  • 12% didn’t express a view.

Overall, 75% of people rated their experience of our service positively.