Consumer service complaints procedure
Your right to complain
Every year over 900,000 people come to the Citizens Advice consumer service for help with a consumer problem. We provide practical and impartial advice on how to resolve your consumer problem.
On occasion clients may come away feeling unhappy with the service they received. Perhaps you had to wait a long time for us to answer your call. Perhaps you felt that the adviser did not give good customer service.
Sometimes things do go wrong and we know we are not perfect. But we do aim to be. That’s why we have a complaints procedure. Sometimes we can put things right. Sometimes we can only explain ourselves and apologise. But we want to learn from our mistakes and help improve our service for you and other clients.
We will treat your complaint confidentially, quickly and seriously.
What can I do?
It’s important that you tell us if you’re unhappy with the service you have received.
Please note the consumer service is unable to make a complaint for you to a Trader, take legal action or make a complaint to Trading Standards on your behalf.
Let your adviser know that you’re not happy and the adviser should be able to solve the issue straight away. If you’re still not happy with the response, you can ask to speak to the Team Leader.
If the Team Leader isn’t able to solve the problem, you can move to the more formal complaints process.
Making a formal complaint
There are several ways to make a formal complaint about the consumer service. You can contact the local Citizens Advice Delivery Centre Manager using the details below. They have 20 working days to respond to your complaint.
If you know your case reference number, please quote this when you contact us.
How to contact us
Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133
Textphone: 18001 0808 223 1133
To contact a Welsh-speaking adviser: 0808 223 1144
Please note the consumer service is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (except bank holidays).
Your complaint will be investigated by the Delivery Centre Manager under the direction of the chair of the local Citizens Advice Delivery Centre, or by the chair if you are complaining about the Delivery Centre Manager. They will aim to respond in full to your complaint in four weeks.
If it is upheld, you will get a full apology and, where appropriate, be given details of any action that is being taken to put things right. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can ask for a further review. The Citizens Advice Delivery Centre will tell you how to do this.
In some situations where more than one of our Delivery Centres may have been involved in helping you with your consumer problem, the National Citizens Advice consumer service operations team will coordinate the investigation of your complaint and respond on behalf of the Delivery Centres involved.
Review of your complaint
If you’re not happy with our response to your formal complaint, you can ask for a review within 20 working days of receiving our response.
This review of your complaint will be conducted by the National Citizens Advice consumer service operations team under the direction of the Citizens Advice Chief Executive. We'll review the complaint and how it has been handled and address how we can put it right. You will receive a response within 20 working days.
If you’re still not happy you can ask for your complaint to be looked at by an Independent Adjudicator.
Review by an Independent Adjudicator
Finally your complaint may go to a person who is entirely separate from the Citizens Advice network. This person is called the Independent Adjudicator. If you want to progress to this stage, you must do so within four weeks of receiving the Citizens Advice review.
Please note that an Independent Adjudicator will only look at whether we have followed our processes, not the outcome of an investigation.
If your complaint is about your local Citizens Advice Bureau not the consumer service
If your complaint is about your local Citizens Advice Bureau, we’d encourage you to contact them directly to tell them what’s gone wrong. There's more information about how to make a complaint on the Citizens Advice Scotland website.