Statement of Complaints Policy
Carlow Tourism CLG, is the marketing and tourism development company for County Carlow whose remit is to increase the number of domestic and overseas holidaymakers to the county and maximise economic benefits vis-à-vis job creation and revenue for the entire county of Carlow.
Carlow Tourism is committed to providing high quality services but equally promises to deal effectively with any complaints a user may have with the service provided by Carlow Tourism. Occasionally things can go wrong. When things go wrong Carlow Tourism believes it important to act quickly to resolve the situation. Complaints show the areas where the company is not achieving what people expect of us, and where we are failing to meet our own standards. Carlow Tourism welcomes all feedback and regards complaints as opportunities to improve the organisation’s services and review practices. Information about improvements made following previous complaints is readily available.
Carlow Tourism is committed to ensuring that all communications and dealings with members of Carlow Tourism, visitors to Carlow including the general public and supporters of tourism in Carlow are of the highest possible standard. Carlow Tourism listens and responds to views so that the organisation can continue to improve its level of service delivery. Carlow Tourism welcomes both positive and negative feedback.
In developing this complaints policy Carlow Tourism seeks to:
- Make it is as easy as possible to submit a complaint, where the need arises;
- Treat as a complaint any clear expression of dissatisfaction with the organisation’s operations which calls for a response;
- Treat every complaint seriously, whether made by telephone, letter, e-mail or in person;
- Deal with any complaint quickly and politely;
- Respond accordingly – for example, with an explanation or apology where we have got things wrong, and with information on any action taken;
- Learn from complaints, using them to improve work practices; and
- Monitor them at Carlow Tourism Board level
Carlow Tourism acknowledges that both the complainant and Carlow Tourism as a service provider have an equal voice and are of equal importance in the complaints process. The emphasis will be on a positive resolution of complaints at a local level where possible.
Carlow Tourism is committed to a complaint process that operates in the spirit of natural justice, fair, transparent, not prejudiced and impartial. In this regard the complaints policy is easily accessible and is available to view at the reception desk of Carlow Tourist Office.
To ensure the effective management of any complaints received, Carlow Tourism has appointed a dedicated member of the staff to handle complaints raised related to Carlow Tourism services. The Complaints Officer in Carlow Tourism CLG is the Chief Executive Officer.
Carlow Tourism is committed to resolving complaints in an effective manner, and uses an early approach to complaints wherever possible. When addressing a complaint, we will keep the complainant informed of progress in dealing with the complaint within the timeframes stated below.
Complaints are taken seriously within the organisation and are seen as a means to learn and improve the services offered. All complaints are logged in a complaints register and tracked until they are resolved. The Board of Directors considers the complaints register on a quarterly basis.
1. What is a complaint?
Carlow Tourism CLG regards a complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more members of the public about an organisation’s action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by Carlow Tourism CLG or on our behalf. A complaint may relate to things like:
- Delay in responding to an enquiry or request
- Failure to provide a service
- Standard of service
Carlow Tourism believes that every complaint both deserves and requires a response. All complaints are thoroughly and objectively investigated.
2. Right of complaint
Anyone affected by the way in which Carlow Tourism has carried out its functions, or anyone acting directly on such a person’s behalf may make a complaint under this policy for the management and handling of complaints about Carlow Tourism.
Carlow Tourism accepts complaints brought by third parties as long as they obtain appropriate consent from the service user, where possible.
Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated, as there is always the possibility that they are malicious and the anonymity of the complainant would not enable the principle of natural justice and procedural fairness to be upheld.
3. Informal resolution
Carlow Tourism believes it is best to deal with issues as soon as possible after they occur and in the easiest and most direct way. In the first instance, if the service user has a complaint, either in a face to face setting or over the phone, they should raise it with the person they are dealing with. He or she will try to resolve it there and then. However, a further period of five working days may be required in order to look into the issue fully. Where this is the case the person making the complaint will be informed of this situation.
If there are any lessons to learn from addressing the complaint, the member of staff will draw these to the attention of the CEO, who will in turn pass the learnings to the Board of Carlow Tourism at their next Board meeting. If the staff member cannot help, the complainant will be advised why and appropriately informed in order to progress the complaint onto a formal investigation, if the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome following attempts at frontline resolution.
Any staff member who is the subject of a complaint will not handle or respond to the complaint.
4. How to complain formally
Complaints in Carlow Tourism are accepted in a number of different ways as follows:
- You can ask for a copy of our complaint form from the person with whom you are already in contact. Information about the complaints policy and procedures are easily accessible at all times in the public reception area at Carlow Tourist Office
- You can get in touch with our Complaints Officer on telephone no. + 353 (0) 59 9130411
- You can use Personal Data Request Form
- You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can write a letter to the following address:
College Street, Carlow
- You can call to the office of Carlow Tourism at College Street, Carlow and make an appointment to see the Complaints Officer
5. Items for inclusion in a complaint
- Remember to state your name, address and telephone number (and e-mail, if applicable) and whether you are acting on behalf of someone else
- Briefly describe what your complaint is about, stating relevant dates and times, where possible
- List your specific concerns starting with the most important concern
- Be clear about what are you hoping to achieve (for example an apology, explanation, etc.)
- State your preferred method of communication
It will assist the Complaints Officer if extra information and/or copies of relevant documents are attached to the complaint.
All complaints will be handled in the strictest of confidence. A complainant has the right to appoint an advocate to assist them in making their complaint and to support them during the complaint process.
6. Dealing with your complaint
Carlow Tourism aims to acknowledge a formal complaint within five working days and let you know the process for dealing with it.
Carlow Tourism will ask you to tell us how you would you like us to communicate with you and establish whether you have any particular requirement for example, if you have language difficulties. All complaints will be dealt with in an honest and open way.
Carlow Tourism ensures that the submission of a complaint does not in any way adversely impact the ongoing interaction of the complainant with Carlow Tourism CLG.
If an individual is making a complaint on behalf of another person, Carlow Tourism will need their agreement to allow you to act on their behalf.
Carlow Tourism will tell you who will investigate your complaint. If your complaint is straightforward, the company will ask somebody from the organisation to look into it and get back to you. In some cases, if the complaint is serious, Carlow Tourism may ask someone from outside the organisation to investigate.
Carlow Tourism will set out to you our understanding of the complaint and ask you to confirm that we have the correct understanding of the nature of the complaint. Carlow Tourism will also ask you to tell us what outcome you are hoping for if this has not already been included in the items you submitted when making a complaint.
The person assigned to look at your complaint will usually need to see the files that Carlow Tourism hold that are relevant to your complaint. If you do not want this to happen, it is important that you tell us beforehand.
If there is a simple solution to your problem, Carlow Tourism may ask you if you are happy to accept this.
We will aim to resolve concerns as quickly as possible and expect to deal with the vast majority of complaints within 10 working days (using your preferred method of communication).
If your complaint is more complex we will:
- let you know within this time why Carlow Tourism thinks it may take longer to investigate
- tell you how long Carlow Tourism expects it to take,
- give you regular updates every 20 working days on any progress made
In some instances, Carlow Tourism may ask you to meet you to discuss your complaint. Occasionally, mediation or another resolution method may be suggested to try to resolve disputes.
When investigating your complaint, Carlow Tourism will look at relevant evidence. This could include files, notes of conversations, letters, e-mails or whatever may be relevant to your complaint. If necessary, Carlow Tourism will talk to the staff member or others involved and look at our policies and any guidance.
If the complaint is formally investigated, Carlow Tourism will let you know what we found in keeping with your preferred form of communication. This could be by letter or e-mail for example. If necessary, we will produce a longer report and explain how and why conclusions were reached.
If Carlow Tourism finds that we got it wrong, we will tell you what and why it happened. If we find there is a fault in the company’s systems or the way we do things, Carlow Tourism will tell you what it is and how we plan to change things to stop it happening again.
If we got it wrong, we will always apologise for the error.
9. Appeals process
If you are not happy with the response received, you may get in touch again by writing to the Chairperson of Carlow Tourism, c/o Carlow Tourism, College Street, Carlow who will ensure that the appeal is considered at Board level. S/he will respond within two weeks of the date of the next Board meeting.
If after receiving the final decision on a complaint, that you remain dissatisfied with the decision or the way the complaint has been handled, Carlow Tourism will advise relevant contact details for the Ombudsman as you may wish him/her to consider the issue. Carlow Tourism will advise on how to do this when sending you the final decision.
Quick Guide to Carlow Tourism Complaints Procedure
Customers can complain in person, by phone, completing our online form, by email or in writing.
We have a two-stage complaints procedure. We will try to deal with customer complaints at source, but if it is clear that the matter will need a detailed investigation, we will inform the customer and keep them updated on progress.
Stage 1: Informal Resolution
We will try to resolve your complaint as it arises. We will always try to resolve your complaint within five working days.
If you are dissatisfied with our response, it can be escalated to Stage 2.
Stage 2: Investigation
We will look at the complaint at this stage if you are not satisfied with our response in Stage 1.
We will formally respond to your complaint within ten working days and if this is not possible due to the complexity of the complaint we will let you know this. Accordingly, we will give you regular updates every twenty working days on any progress made.
We will give our decision as soon as possible and within thirty working days
Stage 3: Appeals Process
If not happy get in touch again by writing to the of Carlow Tourism who will ensure that the appeal is considered at Board level. If still unhappy after the final decision the complaint can be referred by the complainant to the Ombudsman. Carlow Toursm will advise the process when sending the final decision.