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Customer service

Standards which detail the level of service you can expect from Oxfordshire County Council.

Customer service standards

A quick guide to the level of service you can expect from Oxfordshire County Council.

Our commitments

  • We will ask for permission to collect and share your information within the council, and keep information about you as accurate and up to date as possible, with your help. If the information we collect is personal data, we will comply with the Data Protection Act.
  • We will consult with you regularly, welcome your involvement, take your views into account and provide feedback.
  • We will ensure that all documents are written in plain English.

When you telephone us

  • We will answer our main contact numbers as quickly as we can. 
  • We will ensure your call is directed to the person or team with the best skills to help you.
  • Staff will give their name and department when answering the telephone.  
  • If we pass your enquiry on to another department, we will pass on your details and the nature of your query so that you do not have to repeat it to another person.
  • If we have to transfer your call, wherever possible we will transfer you to a person not a voicemail.
  • We aim to answer telephones and avoid the use of voicemail.  Where voicemail is used staff will respond to messages in 24 hours, will leave a greeting to indicate when they are away from the office and an alternative contact person.

When you write to us

  • We will acknowledge all letters within five working days of receipt.  A full response will usually be given within ten working days. If this is not possible we will let you know when you may expect a reply.
  • Acknowledgements to emails will be made within two working days with a full response within ten working days.
  • When we contact or reply to you we will include contact information and a named member of staff.

When you use our website

  • We will have an accessible and useable website, with up to date information. We will make it easy for you to find what you want on the website.
  • When you contact us via a web form we will acknowledge receipt of the contact via email when you provide an email address.
  • We will continually work to improve technology to enable you make payments, complete forms and make bookings online.

When you visit us

  • We will keep offices open and available to the public from 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am until 4.00pm Fridays.
  • You will be able to identify staff by a badge displaying the council logo, their name and department.
  • Reception staff will greet you promptly. If the person you need to see is not available, you will be contacted within the next working day to arrange an appointment.
  • If you have an appointment with us we will do our best to see you at the appointed time.
  • All reception areas will be clearly signposted and will include a seated waiting area for customers and private interview facilities.

If we visit you at home

  • When we visit you we will do our best to see you at the appointed time.
  • You will be able to identify staff by a badge displaying the council logo, their name and department.
  • We will let you know what we will do as a result of the visit and the timescales.
  • If we visit you without a prior appointment, we will provide a clear explanation of why we are visiting you.

If we fail to meet your expectations

  • The council values complaints as an opportunity to improve the way we serve the people of Oxfordshire.
  • We have a Complaints Policy. This states that when we receive your complaint we will acknowledge it in writing within five working days and say how we propose to resolve it. After investigating your complaint we will normally give you a response within ten working days of our acknowledgement.
  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome after the Initial Review, you should let us know why within 28 days. We will acknowledge your concerns within five working days. We will then make a further investigation and reply, normally within 20 working days of our acknowledgement.

What we expect from you

  • Oxfordshire County Council pledges to treat its customers fairly and honestly, with dignity and respect. Our staff have the right to receive the same respect in return.
  • We will not tolerate the use of physical or verbal violence in any form, including the use of foul and abusive language against our staff.  We will consider withdrawing services from customers if they abuse our staff and we will support staff who wish to pursue legal action where it is appropriate.