Alzheimer's Society is committed to providing the highest possible quality of service and support for people affected by dementia and anyone interested in the work we do.
We take complaints seriously and appreciate that mistakes can be learning opportunities. We want to learn from any complaints so that we can put things right for you where they have gone wrong, and do better in the future.
Our definition of a complaint
A complaint is when someone lets us know that they are unhappy about any aspect of Alzheimer’s Society’s work. Some examples might be:
- the standard, inclusiveness, or appropriateness of service we provide
- something we have done, or haven't done
- a policy, campaign, or anything else we promote
- Alzheimer’s Society’s report, strategy, or position on a particular issue
- the behaviour, skills or knowledge of our staff, volunteers, and people acting on our behalf
- the way we have treated their personal information, including photographs.
Who might make a complaint?
Anyone who encounters Alzheimer’s Society or its services can make a complaint, such as:
- people living with dementia
- carers, family, and friends of people with dementia
- people working or volunteering for other organisations
- people who visit our offices or stands at events
- Alzheimer’s Society donors, fundraisers, and supporters
- volunteers who want to raise a complaint about something not directly connected with the service or role in which they volunteer.
Your contact with Alzheimer’s Society might be:
- face-to-face, such as in meetings, group activities, or at events
- online, such as in emails, using our website, social media, or Talking Point forums
- by telephone, text, or video call.
You do not have to be a registered service user to make a complaint.
How to complain
Complaints are handled by our Customer Care Team, who you can contact in the following ways.
- Call our customer care team on 0330 333 0804
- 8am to 10pm every day (except Christmas Day).
You can also make your complaint in writing by sending it to:
Customer Care Team
If you prefer, you can make your complaint to any Alzheimer’s Society employee or volunteer – either by telling them verbally or in writing.
How we manage complaints
We welcome all feedback, good and bad. If you have a bad experience with Alzheimer’s Society and tell us about it, we appreciate the opportunity to understand what’s happened and to improve your experience in the future.
What happens when you make a complaint
If you can, tell us who you are so that we can help resolve things with you. We promise to give you the time and support needed to explain the issue.
We will also record your complaint, even when:
- we resolve it immediately and don’t need to take any further action
- you make your complaint anonymously.
If we consider that someone is in danger, we will immediately refer to a manager, and follow our safeguarding policy and procedures.
As part of the complaints process we will:
- make sure that we tell an appropriate manager about a complaint immediately
- treat what you tell us confidentially and store your complaint securely, in accordance with privacy and data protection laws and our policies
- listen to what you tell us, respond to you, and when appropriate let you know any of changes we make, or lessons we learn as a result of your complaint.
Making sure we value, and learn from, complaints
To make sure we value and learn from complaints, we:
- deal with all complaints in a timely, appropriate, and professional way
- keep statistical information about the number, type and seriousness of complaints we receive
- provide regular reports to our Chief Executive and Board of Trustees about all the complaints we receive
- make sure our employees and volunteers know about our complaints policy and procedures.
Frequently asked questions
What happens when you make a complaint to the Customer Care team?
When you make a complaint to our Customer Care team, we will acknowledge your complaint within three working days. We will pass the complaint to an appropriate manager to investigate and tell you who to expect a response from.
Within two working days of being assigned your complaint, the manager handling the investigation will contact you to:
- introduce themselves
- confirm that they will provide you with a full response within 25 working days of your original complaint.
What happens where your complaint cannot be dealt with by the department or service responsible?
As complaints are an opportunity to learn and put things right, we want to make things better for you as soon as possible. So, where we can, we want the service or department responsible for what you are complaining about to have the opportunity to resolve it for you.
We know, though, that it is not always possible to do this. Where we need to ask a manager in another department or service to investigate your complaint we will always take into account:
- where the complaint was first dealt with in Alzheimer’s Society
- the seriousness of the complaint (including the risk to Alzheimer’s Society’s reputation).
What if I am still unhappy after I have been told the results of the investigation?
We aim to resolve every complaint as soon as possible. However, if you are still unhappy, we will pass your complaint on to another manager, usually more senior, to investigate.
The manager investigating the complaint at the next stage will:
- acknowledge your complaint within two working days
- send you a further response within 25 working days.
If we are still unable to settle the complaint we will advise you of any appropriate external body to whom you may refer the issue.
How to make a complaint about Alzheimer’s Society to other organisations
The Charity Commission regulates registered charities in England and Wales and deals with serious complaints where there is a serious risk to a charity or the people it aims to serve. Their advice is that you initially contact the charity with your complaint, although you do not need to wait for Alzheimer’s Society to complete its investigation before contacting them.
You can contact The Charity Commission in the following ways.
By website form
You can find out more about the type of complaints that the Charity Commission can consider by filling out:
- The Raising concerns about a charity form on The UK Charity Commision website.
- The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Contact form.
- You can contact The UK Charity Commission team on 0300 066 9197 (9am - 5pm Monday to Friday).
- For The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, contact the team on 028 3832 0220 (9am - 5pm Monday to Friday).
Complaints about fundraising
If your complaint is about fundraising, you can complain to the Fundraising Regulator.
Through the Fundraising Regulator's complaints page on their website.
You can call the complaints team on 0300 999 3407.
You can also make your complaint to the Fundraising Regulator in writing by sending it to:
2nd Floor, CAN Mezzanine
49-51 East Road London
Complaints about advertising
If your complaint is about advertising that you feel is offensive, deceptive, or inaccurate you can make a complaint online to the Advertising Standards Authority.
You can also call them on 020 7492 2222.