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Complaints and disputes: procedural, information provision and reporting requirements

Guidance to licensees’ on policies, procedures and controls for handling customer complaints.

3 - Complaints handling requirements

Complaints procedures

Licence holders should put into effect a clear, written complaints process. This process should be in plain English, simple to understand and easy for customers to find and use, both in gambling premises and on operator websites.

Licence holders should consider whether to present this information or a summary of the information in a variety of ways. For example, to take account of customers who do not speak English as a first language or might otherwise find a written document hard to understand. Where licence holders produce marketing materials in languages other than English, they should also ensure complaints processes are available in those languages.

The process should make clear how a complaint can be made, to whom it should be addressed, and what essential information a customer needs to provide. Information about the complaints policy should also be set out within the licence holder’s general terms and conditions, including a link or signposting to the full policy if appropriate.

Licence holders should handle all complaints, except for those that can be resolved very readily on initial contact with the customer, in accordance with the complaints procedure.

Receiving complaints

Licence holders should accept customer complaints made in person, spoken or written, over the telephone or via email where facilities exist, or via third party intermediaries/support tools such as the online Resolver (opens in new tab) tool.

Where licence holders offer systems such as live chat, chat operatives should be provided with sufficient training and information to be able to recognise where complaints raised in such a fashion should be redirected to a formal complaints procedure.

Customers may wish to raise complaints via social media platforms. It is for the licence holder to decide whether they are equipped to properly respond to complaints made by social media, or whether they should direct customers using such media to the formal complaints process. The complaints process should include information about whether customers may raise complaints by social media.

Although we encourage operators to be open and transparent when handling complaints, we recognise that there may be occasions when licence holders may wish to ask customers not to share their complaint in public. For example, to the press or in online forums, before the licence holder has had opportunity to resolve the issue. For example, where there is an ongoing investigation, an operator may not wish information that may jeopardise the investigation to be made public.

Licence holders should take care that any restrictions they impose do not prevent customers from seeking help or advice where they need it. Restrictions should only be put in place where the reasons for doing so are fair and transparent.

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2 - Defining complaints and disputes
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4 - Time limits and escalation of complaints
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