A guide to customer care

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1 A guide to customer care putting you at the heart of what we do

2 Our commitment to you We want to make sure: 2 You get a service you can use easily; You have a say in how we provide our service to you; You are treated as an individual; You get an exceptional standard of service; You are kept up to date; and We keep the information we have about you safe. You can ask us for a copy of our Customer Care Policy. Gentoo recognises and welcomes the fact that everyone is different and we take positive steps to identify and meet your individual needs. We will treat you fairly and with respect, regardless of your age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, belief or sexual orientation. We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment and will take action to challenge anyone who does not uphold our principles. Customer care service standards We are committed to giving you an excellent level of service. After speaking to our customers, we have written a set of service standards, which tell you what you can expect from us. When you phone us, we will: Aim to answer your call within 20 seconds; Make sure the first member of staff you speak to either deals with your request, puts you through to the right person or arranges for the right person to call you back at a convenient time; Aim to make sure you are not waiting longer than 20 seconds if we transfer your call; and Aim to return your call within one working day if you leave a message.

3 When you send us an enquiry by , text message or letter, we will: Let you know we have received your letter within five working days and let you know who is dealing with your enquiry; Respond to your letter within 10 working days; Let you know we have received your within two working days and tell you who will be dealing with the enquiry, and; Respond to your s and text messages within five working days. When you visit our offices, we will: Make sure they are accessible and welcoming; and Make sure you are not kept waiting for appointments or let you know why there is a delay and offer an alternative. When we visit you at home, we will: Try to arrange a convenient time to visit; and Make sure our staff show you their photo identification. When you make a complaint, we will: Deal with your complaint quickly and fairly; Confirm that we have received your complaint within two days and let you know the name of the person handling your complaint; Deal with your complaint as soon as we can; Aim to resolve and respond to your complaint within 10 working days or agree an appropriate timescale with you; Learn from your feedback. 3

4 We will check our performance by: Keeping a record of our performance; Carrying out mystery shopping (where we ask someone to pretend to use a service so we can measure how well it is provided); and Testing our services. In addition, we will: Ask for your feedback; and Listen to your comments and use them to improve our products and services. Information we keep about you and your right to see it We keep personal information about you. There is a law called the Data Protection Act that sets out rules on how we deal with personal information. The act says that people who record and use personal information must be open about how they use the information. As a customer, you are usually allowed to see the information we keep about you. We will make any changes needed to ensure our performance keeps to these standards. 4

5 We want to make sure: We protect your information in line with the Data Protection Act; Our system for processing and sharing information keeps to the eight Data Protection Principles; and Our staff are trained to a high standard so they can carry out their responsibilities in line with the law. You can ask us for a copy of our Data Protection Policy. The information we have about you We keep different information that you see, including: Information you may have given us, for example: When you registered for housing with Gentoo; When your tenancy began; When we have worked together, for example to resolve a complaint or incident of anti-social behaviour. 5

6 Looking at the information we have about you The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to make sure personal information we have about you, either on paper records or on computer, are accurate and up-to-date. If you want to see this information: You will need to write to us. We will arrange a convenient date for you to look at the information we hold about you. We will remove any information that you are not allowed to look at. You must provide proof of your identity such as your driving licence, rent card or a household bill. We currently provide this service free of charge, but we may charge you a small administration fee of 10 in some instances. 6

7 The information you will not be able to see: We cannot let you see your personal information if: It includes information about another person who does not want you to see their information, such as a member of your family, a health professional or a member of our staff. It is about your physical or mental health. It would have a negative effect on preventing or detecting a crime. 7

8 Please tell us if you need help to read or understand this information. Interpretation services are available. Contact the Communications Team on ( (0191) Contacting us If you need any more information, please; (0191) Text ask along with your question to business for neighbourhoods GS8 July 2013

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