The Premier of Ontario has declared a province-wide state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order in response to rising COVID-19 variant infection rates.
To establish a process that describes how the Corporation of the Town of Oakville (the town) manages complaints and compliments efficiently, fairly, effectively and uniformly.
This procedure applies to all complaints and compliments made by a customer about a town employee, member of a town committee and volunteers acting on behalf of the town.
A compliment is an expression of approval made by a customer about a town employee’s behaviour or conduct.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made by a customer about services, actions or behaviour by a town employee. Examples may include perceptions of:
A customer complaint is distinct from:
There are some complaints that this procedure does not address:
A compliment may be made in a number of ways:
The compliment will be shared with the employee and will be acknowledged as part of the town’s employee recognition program. It is important to celebrate and recognize staff for their dedication and contributions to the success of the town's overall mission, vision and values.
A complaint may be made in a number of ways:
The complaint should include the following components:
All complaints should be submitted in a timely manner to ensure individuals involved are able to properly address any concerns. Staff will follow the Customer Service Standards Procedure to ensure a timely response.
Any complaint that contains profanity, rude or inappropriate language will not receive a response.
Complaints will be dealt with in a confidential manner according to the Municipal Freedom of the Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Information will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Complaints should be resolved informally, if possible. Staff will communicate with the customer to resolve the issue. Departments are responsible for receiving, recording, and ensuring the resolution of complaints in a timely manner, in accordance with the town’s Customer Service Standards. The goal of any complaint is to resolve the issue in a timely manner and in a way that reflects the town’s commitment to customer service excellence.
Where a complaint is not resolved informally, a customer may escalate the complaint.
The supervisor or manager and where appropriate the director or commissioner shall gather the relevant information to identify appropriate action:
If it is determined that the complaint should be discarded (e.g., it is a service request or duplicate), or if the complaint is pending (e.g., due to insufficient detail), the customer will be notified.
The department supervisor or manager, or where appropriate director or commissioner should consult with all relevant staff, including Human Resources where appropriate, to determine what happened and identify appropriate action to resolve the complaint.
In cases where more than one town department is involved in the complaint, the department, which interfaces with the customer (i.e., the department that serves the customer directly), should ensure coordination of resolving the complaint. That department will be responsible for tracking progress and keeping the customer informed throughout the process until the complaint is resolved in accordance with town policies and procedures and any relevant provincial or federal legislation.
Any complaint that is found to be frivolous or vexatious in nature will be dealt with in accordance with the Customer Conduct Procedure.
Internal review of complaints may not always result in resolution and a complainant may seek external review. There are a number of accountability/complaint bodies that receive and investigate complaints from the public about the conduct of public sector agencies (e.g., the Office of the Ombudsman).
Frivolous – means a complaint that is reasonably perceived by the town to be (a) without reasonable or probable cause (b) without merit or substance, or (c) trivial.
Vexatious – means a complaint that is frivolous and which is pursued in a manner that is reasonably perceived by the town to be (a) malicious) (b) intended to embarrass or harass the recipient, or (c) intended to be a nuisance.
Employees are responsible for:
Customers are responsible for:
Management is responsible for:
Human Resources is responsible for:
Procedure Number: G-COM-003-002
Parent Policy: G-COM-003
Author: Strategy, Policy and Communications
Effective Date: 2019 Sep 23
Review by Date: 2024
Last Modified: 2019 Sep 23
Customer Service Standards and Customer Conduct Policy and Related Procedures
Ethics and Efficiency Hotline Procedure
Employee Code of Conduct
Council Code of Conduct Policy
Accountability and Transparency Policy and related procedures
Accessible Information and Communications Procedure
Public Notice and Engagement Policy
Online Communications Policy
Translation and Interpretation Procedure
Social Media Guidelines Procedure
Electronic Messages and Anti-Spam Compliance Procedure
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
Ontario Human Rights Code