In this Complaints Policy the following expressions have the following meanings:
“Appeal” means your request to escalate a Complaint from Level One to Level Two if you are not satisfied with the outcome at Level One;
“Appeal Handler” means an employee of Sapphire working at the Senior Management level who will handle Level Two Complaints;
“Business Day” means, any day (other than Saturday or Sunday) on which ordinary banks are open for their full range of normal business in England;
“Complaint” means a complaint about services sold by Sapphire, about our customer service, or about our employees;
“Complaint Handler” means an employee of Sapphire working at the Management level who will handle Level One Complaints;
“Complaints Policy” means this document;
“Complaints Procedure” means the internal complaints handling procedure of Sapphire which is followed when handling a Complaint.
“Level One” means the first stage in our complaints handling procedure under which your Complaint will be handled by a Complaint Handler; and
“Level Two” means the second stage in our complaints handling procedure under which you may appeal the outcome of a Level One Complaint. Your Complaint will be handled by an Appeal Handler.
2. Purpose and scope of this Complaints Policy
2.1 Sapphire welcomes and encourages feedback of all kinds from our customers. If you have a complaint about our services, our customer service, or about our employees, not only do we want to resolve it to your satisfaction but we also want to learn from it in order to improve our business and customer experience in the future.
The scope of this policy covers Sapphire Accounting Ltd and associated companies, Sapphire DNP and SASER Ltd.
2.2 It is our policy to resolve Complaints quickly and fairly, where possible without recourse to formal investigations or external bodies. In particular, the aims of these Complaints Policy are:
2.2.1 To provide a clear and fair procedure for any customers who wish to make a Complaint about Sapphire, our services, our customer service, or about our employees;
2.2.2 To ensure that everyone working for or with Sapphire knows how to handle Complaints made by our customers;
2.2.3 To ensure that all Complaints are handled equally and in a fair and timely fashion;
2.2.4 To ensure that important information is gathered from Complaints and used in the future to avoid such a situation arising again.
3. What this Complaints Policy Covers
3.1 This Complaints Policy applies to the sale of goods or the provision of services by Sapphire, to our customer service and to our employees.
3.2 For the purposes of this Complaints Policy, any reference to Sapphire also includes our employees.
3.3 Complaints may relate to any of our activities and may include (but not be limited to):
3.3.1 The quality of customer service you have received from Sapphire;
3.3.2The behaviour and/or professional competence of our employees;
3.3.3 Delays, defects or other problems associated with the sale of goods or services by Sapphire;
3.4 The following are not considered to be Complaints and should therefore be directed to the appropriate person:
3.4.1 General questions about our services;
3.4.2 Matters concerning contractual or other legal disputes;
3.4.3 Formal requests for the disclosure of information, for example, under the Data Protection Act;
4. Making a Complaint
4.1 All Complaints, whether they concern our services, our customer service, or our employees, should be made in one of the following ways:
4.1.1 By contacting us by telephone on 01625 539997 and choosing option 2 when prompted.
4.2. When making a Complaint, you will be required to provide the following information in as much detail as is reasonably possible:
4.2.1 Your name, address, telephone number and email address (We will contact you using your preferred contact method as your Complaint is handled);
4.2.2 If you are making a Complaint on behalf of someone else, that person’s name and contact details as well as your own;
4.2.3 If you are making a Complaint about a particular transaction, the specific details relating to this transaction will be required;
4.2.4 If you are making a Complaint about a particular employee of ours, the name and, where appropriate, position of that employee;
4.2.5 Further details of your Complaint including, as appropriate, all times, dates, events, and people involved;
4.2.6 Details of any documents or other evidence you wish to rely on in support of your Complaint;
4.2.7 Details of what you would like Sapphire to do to resolve your Complaint and to put things right. (Please note that whilst we will make every reasonable effort to accommodate such requests, we are not bound to take any action beyond that which we may be contractually or otherwise legally obliged to take)
5. How We Handle Your Complaint
5.1 Sapphire operates a two-stage complaint handling procedure. Following our Complaints Procedure, our aim is to always resolve Complaints to your satisfaction at Level One without further recourse to Level Two. If you are not satisfied at the end of Level One, you may escalate your Complaint to Level Two. If you are still not satisfied at the end of Level Two, Complaints may progress to External Resolution as detailed below.
5.2 Level One:
5.2.1 Upon receipt of your Complaint, the Manager most appropriately able to help with your problem will log the Complaint in our internal system and will acknowledge receipt of it in writing within 24 hours.
5.2.2 When we acknowledge receipt of your Complaint we will also provide details of your Complaint Handler. This may be the manager to whom your original Complaint was directed (as above) or your Complaint may be assigned to another appropriate member of our team.
5.2.3 If your complaint relates to a specific employee that person will be informed of your Complaint and given a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond. Any communication between you and the employee in question should take place only via the Complaint Handler and we respectfully ask that you do not contact the employee in question directly concerning the Complaint while we are working to resolve it.
5.2.4 If we require any further information or evidence from you, the Complaint Handler will contact you as quickly as is reasonably possible to ask for it. We ask that you use reasonable efforts to supply any such information or evidence quickly in order to avoid delaying the complaints handling process. If you are for any reason unable to provide such information or evidence we will use all reasonable efforts to proceed without it, however, please be aware that we will not ask for further information or evidence unless we consider it important to the successful resolution of your Complaint.
5.2.5 We aim to resolve Level One Complaints within 48 hours, however in some cases, particularly if your Complaint is of a complex nature, this may not be possible. If this is not possible for any reason you will be informed of the delay, the likely length of the delay and the reasons for it.
5.2.6 At the conclusion of the Level One complaints procedure, regardless of the outcome, we will provide you with full details of our investigation, our conclusions from that investigation, and any action taken as a result. You will also be reminded of your right to appeal our decision and escalate the complaint to Level Two in the form of an Appeal.
5.3 Level Two:
5.3.1 If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your complaint at Level One, you may appeal the decision within 7 days, and have the complaint escalated to Level Two. Appeals are handled by senior-level Managers.
5.3.2 Appeals should be directed to your original Complaint Handler who will forward the request to an appropriate Appeal Handler. Receipt of Appeals will be acknowledged in writing within 24 hours. When we acknowledge receipt of your Appeal.
5.3.3 If your complaint relates to a specific employee that person will be informed of your Appeal and given a further opportunity to respond. Any communication between you and the employee in question should take place only via the Appeal Handler and we respectfully ask that you do not contact the employee in question directly concerning the Complaint while we are working to resolve it.
5.3.4 If we require any further information or evidence from you, the Appeal Handler will contact you as quickly as is reasonably possible to ask for it. We ask that you use reasonable efforts to supply any such information or evidence to us quickly in order to avoid delaying the complaints handling process. If you are for any reason unable to provide such information or evidence we will use all reasonable efforts to proceed without it, however, please be aware that we will not ask for further information or evidence unless we consider it important to the successful resolution of your Complaint.
5.3.5 We aim to resolve Level Two Complaints within 7 days, however in some cases, particularly if your Complaint is of a complex nature, this may not be possible. If this is not possible for any reason you will be informed of the delay, the likely length of the delay and the reasons for it.
5.3.6 At the conclusion of the Level Two procedure, regardless of the outcome, we will provide you with full details of our investigation, our conclusions from that investigation, and any action taken as a result. Our decision at this stage is final.
6. Confidentiality and Data Protection
6.1 All Complaints and information relating thereto are treated with the utmost confidence. Such information will only be shared with those employees of Sapphire who need to know in order to handle your Complaint.
6.2 We may ask for your permission to use the details of your Complaint (with your personal details removed) for internal training and quality improvement purposes. If you have given such permission, you may revoke it at any time by contacting your complaint handler.
6.3 All personal information that we may collect (including, but not limited to, your name and address) will be collected, used and held in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and your rights under that Act.
7. Questions and Further Information
If you have any questions or require further information about any aspect of this Complaints Policy or about our Complaints Procedure, please contact Sapphire by post at Deanway Technology Centre 2, Deanway Trading Estate, Wilmslow Road, Handforth, Wilmslow, SK9 3HW, by telephone on 01625 539997, or by email at Admin@sapphireaccounting.co.uk.
8. Policy Responsibility and Review
8.1 Overall responsibility for this Complaints Policy within Sapphire and the implementation thereof lies with the Managing Director.
8.2 This Complaints Policy is regularly reviewed and updated as required.
8.3 This Complaints Policy was adopted on 01/09/2016.
8.4 This Complaints Policy was last reviewed on 01/05/2021.
8.5 This Complaints Policy is due to be reviewed next on 01/05/2022.
Anthony Stevens, Operations Director