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Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Have Your Say

If you would like to help us shape our services, we would appreciate your feedback.  For more information, please visit:

You Said, We Did

To see examples of improvements as a result of your feedback, please visit:

Our Complaints Performance


Complaints Handling

It is important that we understand your experience of dealing with Aberdeen City Council.  Sometimes we make mistakes and your feedback will let us know where we need to make improvements; we will try to make it right when something has gone wrong.

We use a Complaints Handling Procedure which explains what a complaint is, who can complain and why, and how long we have to respond to your complaint.

You can complain in a way that is convenient for you - you can use our Online Form, send it by email, write to us, call or do it in person at any Council office.  Please see the 'Contact Us' section (above right) for details.

Common Issues

Complaints about the following issues are dealt with differently, and not under our Complaints Handling Procedure.  We will pass on these complaints to the correct team where possible, or you may wish to contact them directly.  For more information, please use the links provided below:

  • Social Work Comment or Complain: Social work complaints relating to a care service we provide are dealt with under a different, statutory procedure.
  • Care Inspectorate: Complaints regarding care providers are dealt with by the Care Inspectorate, please contact them directly.
  • Car Parks and Parking Charges: If you don't think you should have received a Penalty Charge Notice or Bus Lane Fine, you have the right to appeal.
  • Antisocial Behaviour Investigation Team (ASBIT): If you are experiencing antisocial behaviour from your neighbours, ASBIT may be able to help. 
  • Area Housing Offices: If there are any issues regarding communal areas in your Council-owned building, your local Housing Office should be notified.
  • Outside bodies: Organisations, such as Sport Aberdeen, have their own complaints procedures.  Please contact them directly.

Complaints Handling Procedure

Our procedure has two stages, Frontline Resolution (Stage 1) and Investigation (Stage 2).  When we receive a complaint, we determine if it will be dealt with as a Stage 1 or Stage 2. 

Stage 1: Frontline Resolution

Straight-forward complaints are usually dealt with at this stage.  We have up to 5 working days to respond and this may be done in person, by telephone, letter or email.

Stage 2: Investigation

This stage is for more complicated issues, or if you are unhappy with how we dealt with your Stage 1 complaint.  When we receive a Stage 2 complaint, we send you a formal acknowledgement within 3 working days.  You will then receive a full written response within 20 working days, from the Director of the service responsible.  If the issue is quite complex, we may need more time.  If this happens, we will let you know.

Answering your Complaint

When you make a complaint, it is logged and the department concerned look at what has happened and what should have happened.  When possible, the issue will be dealt with there and then.

We will tell you if your complaint is upheld or not upheld, and explain any changes made as a result of your complaint.  If we have done something wrong, we would say your complaint is upheld.  If we have followed our procedures, or the service is as expected, we would say your complaint is not upheld.  Regardless of the outcome, your feedback will be used to help make our services better, or it will be considered when we review policies and procedures.

For more information, please see the 'Useful Information' section (above right).

Still Dissatisfied?

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is an independent body who can review the complaints made to us.  If you are unhappy with our response to your Stage 2 complaint, the SPSO can help.  

You can contact them for advice and they may investigate the issue to see if we could have done things differently.  They may suggest improvements or give us advice on how we could do better.

If you haven't completed both stages of the complaints procedure, the ombudsman may ask you to do this before they get involved.

For more information, please see the 'Scottish Public Services Ombudsman' section (above right).