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Learning from complaints – January-March 2023

The cost-of-living crisis and economic uncertainties is putting a huge strain on all of us right now, so it’s no surprise that we’ve seen more complaints than usual over the last few months. 

What’s important, of course, is that not only are we supporting you when you have a complaint, but that we learn from what you’re telling us so that we can take steps to stop them from happening again. 

Extra volume 

Between January and March, we received 865 complaints about our services, and while we always do our best to answer them all on time and work with you to get them resolved, this volume has meant that some of them have taken longer than we’d like to deal with. 

We understand the frustration this can cause, so to help us deal with the extra volume, we’ve recruited new people to our complaints team so that we have more capacity to support you. You’ve also told us that when you have a complaint, you find that speaking directly to a member of our team is more helpful, so our new team members are also helping us to reach out to more customers. 

We’re also changing the way we work, and we’ve created a new commitments tracker which gives us a clearer view of all the complaints we have, how we plan to resolve it, and who we need to speak to keep things moving forward. 

Following our merger with Greenoak, we have a new group of customers to deliver services to, and we’ve recently reviewed our self-assessment against the Housing Ombudsman complaint handling code to make sure that we’re able to fully deliver our service to everyone. You can find that here. 


We know that when something goes wrong at home, you just want it fixed and it can be frustrating when there are delays or when you're not sure what’s happening. This has been reflected in a lot of the complaints we’ve had from you, and we’re looking at ways we can keep you better informed about what’s happening when you report a repair to us.  

To do this, we’re piloting a new system that is designed to give us a more detailed view of complex repairs, which will help us to keep you updated about the progress of your repair. 

One of the main reasons that we see delays to repairs, is the cost and availability of raw materials such as wood, which has meant that there is a big backlog of parts such as doors. We are working hard to find ways to get around this but, based on your feedback, we need to be better at managing your expectations when these delays happen. 

During the winter, we often see an uplift in reports of heating failures, which places a big demand on parts for appliances such as boilers. When this happens and we can’t fix it straight away, we are able to bring in some temporary heaters to keep you warm. However, especially during the cost-of-living crisis, we appreciate that these can be costly to run and we offer compensation when these are needed. Some of you have told us that getting this compensation sorted can be tricky, so we’re reviewing our policy on temporary heaters to make sure that everyone at Stonewater understands it, making it easier for you to know what to expect. 

Knowing what to expect, especially when you’re allowing people into your home, is also something which we know is important to you. To make sure that everyone gets a fair and consistent service from us and our partners, we’re currently trialling some bespoke training with our contractors to make sure they understand what we expect from them when they come to your home.  

Managed moves 

Our new re-housing panel is now in place, and its job is to consider each managed move request individually. The panel is made up of people from across Stonewater, ensuring a clear and consistent approach to managed moves. 

Making a complaint 

We know that if you don’t speak or read English well, it can sometimes be a bit daunting to make a complaint. This quarter we got our complaint guide translated into the ten most common languages in the UK and they’re available on our website.   

If you need the guide in another language, or need any support in accessing our complaint service, please let us know and we’ll be happy to help. This includes if you need accessible formats or any other reasonable adjustments.   

If you feel like you need to make a complaint, then you can: 

  • Talk to a member of our team 
  • Visit our website and complete a form 
  • Call us on 01202 319 119 
  • Email 
  • Send us a direct message on Twitter or Facebook 

OR write to us at: 

Stonewater Suite C, Lancaster House Grange Business Park Enderby Road Whetstone Leicester LE8 6EP 

You can find out more about making a complaint with us on our website here.  

If you’re a Greenoak customer, you can: