Complaints and Dispute Resolution Policy

1. Purpose
Locality Planning Energy Pty Ltd (LPE) recognises the value of customer complaints as an important tool in managing customer expectations. In order for LPE to respond appropriately to complaints, the complaints should be properly assessed as part of an ongoing complaints management process.

2. The purpose of LPE’s Complaint and Dispute Resolution Policy is to:

  1. Recognise, promote and protect customers’ rights to complain about their dealings with LPE.
  2. Ensure that an accessible complaints management process is in place
  3. Take appropriate action to resolve complaints as required.
  4. Provide a mechanism for resolving complaints in a timely, efficient and courteous manner
  5. Record, assess and review complaints on an ongoing basis in order to improve the services offered by LPE.

3. Objective

  1. The objective of this Policy is to embed an effective and efficient complaints management process that is aligned with LPE’s business values, core vision and strategic objectives.
  2. This Policy applies to all employees of LPE and all individuals who undertake complaint handling for LPE or services facilitated by LPE.
  3. In developing this Policy, LPE have adopted industry best practice and ensured that the customer complaints management process is compliant with the Australian Standard AS ISO 10002-2006 ‘Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling in organisations’
  4. The Policy is also supported by the various LPE corporate policies and procedures that form part of our broader Governance Framework, in particular, LPE’s:
    1. Customer Charter.
    2. Risk Management Policy.
    3. Code of Conduct.

4. Policy Statement

  1. LPE recognises that all individuals have the right to complain, have their complaint heard and be treated with dignity and respect. Any individual who makes a complaint also has the right to not be discriminated against as a result of making the complaint. This means customers will not be treated unfavourably, including in the way LPE communicates and provides services both during the resolution of the complaint and once the complaint is resolved.
  2. LPE recognises that complaints can often highlight gaps in our processes and encourages customers to raise issues so that they can be addressed.
  3. The guiding principles from the AS ISO 10002-2006 ‘Customer Satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling in organisations’ apply to LPE in the following manner:

Commitment - The LPE Board, Senior Management, and employees are committed to an integrated dispute resolution system and providing the necessary support and resources for the system to operate effectively.

Resources – LPE has deployed the necessary resources to ensure that the Internal Dispute Resolution process operates effectively and efficiently, and that complaints are managed by staff are competent to deal with complaints that are received.

Visibility – LPE informs its customers of its complaints management process through its customer charter which is provided to all customers of LPE. This document is available at all times to prospective or current customers. Employees who also receive and/or manage complaints have a thorough understanding of the LPE complaints management process and can provide this information to customers upon request.

Accessibility – All individuals have the right to make a complaint to LPE by any reasonable means (eg. telephone, email, online and in writing). Responsiveness – LPE deals with and responds to complaints promptly and keeps complainants informed of the process and the progress of their complaint.

Objectivity – Each complaint is addressed in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner. LPE recognises the need to be fair to both the complainant and any employee involved in the handling of the complaint.

Charges – LPE does not charge customers for the lodgement and processing of complaints.

Confidentiality – All complaints are recorded and dealt with in the strictest confidence. Personal information of the complainant is accessed only as necessary, and only for the purposes of addressing the complaint. All personal information is treated by LPE consistent with its obligations under the Privacy Act and LPE’s Privacy Policy.

Customer-focused approach – LPE is committed to the efficient and equitable resolution of complaints, and acknowledges each individual’s right to complain.

Accountability – Complaints are reported to Senior Management and to the LPE Board as considered appropriate. An overview of complaints statistics is reported to the LPE Board’s Audit and Risk Committee for review, together with information on the LPE complaints management process.

Continual Improvement – LPE has established a complaints tracking system to ensure that systemic problems are identified, classified and analysed. The LPE Internal Dispute Resolution process is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure it is delivering effective outcomes. Complaint Root Cause Analysis Reports are also produced on a monthly basis and distributed to the management groups who are responsible for the resolution of complaints.Policy Statement

5. What happens when a Complaint is made?

5.1 When a complaint is received by LPE:

  1. LPE will accurately record the details of the complaint as part of LPE’s complaint management process, give it fair and genuine consideration and seek to achieve a fair outcome
  2. Complaints are allocated to a complaints handling officer, for a single point of contact for the complainant.
  3. LPE will inform the customer that it is obliged to handle a complaint made by a customer in accordance with the LPE Complaints and Dispute Resolution Policy which a copy of which can be provided to the customer on request.
  4. LPE will enquire into the complaint within a reasonable timeframe, having regard to the nature and complexity of the complaint.
  5. LPE will keep customers informed of any progress.
  6. LPE will treat the complaint respectfully and handle all personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act and LPE’s Privacy Policy
  7. If appropriate, LPE will make changes to remedy the situation to prevent the situation reoccurring.

5.2 What happens if the complainant is notsatisfied with the outcome?

  1. If a complainant is dissatisfied with a decision, they can request to have their complaint reviewed by an LPE representative at a higher level to the initial LPE representative who handled the matter
  2. If the complaint is not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction, the customer may take their complaint to the relevant external dispute resolution body (i.e. the relevant Ombudsman).
  3. If a customer feels that their complaint is not being addressed they may contact the relevant Energy Ombudsman at any time.

6. Ombudsman

Energy and Water Ombudsman in each state is a free and independent service that can provide information, advice and assistance to customer who feel any complaint is not satisfactorily dealt with.

Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland
(EWOQ) http://www.ewoq.com.au
Freecall 1800 662 837

All our customers in NSW have the right to contact the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) at any time for independent advice and information. However, we do hope you will contact us directly to allow us the opportunity to rectify any issues. EWON’s contact details are below.

Energy and Water Ombudsman New South Wales
(EWON) http://www.ewon.com.au
Freecall 1800 246 545

7. Non-discrimination

Anyone receiving a service or enquiring about a service with LPE has the right to make a complaint to LPE if they are not satisfied with LPE’s services or policies. LPE will not discriminate against anyone as a result of that person making a complaint.

8. Definitions

LPE – Means LPE Energy Limited and each of its related bodies corporate.

Complaint – In accordance with the AS ISO 10002- 2006 definition: an expression of Dissatisfaction made to LPE where a response or resolution is expected (either explicitly or implicitly). The expression of Dissatisfaction may be related to LPE’s products, services, policies, procedures or the complaints management process. It is to be differentiated from an ‘Enquiry’.

Dissatisfaction – The customer expresses displeasure, disappointment, unhappiness, anger or frustration regarding their experience.

Employee – Any employees, contractors and thirdparty agents of LPE.

Enquiry – A request for information about LPE products or services that does not reflect Dissatisfaction and is generally any question or concern that is resolved through the customer’s initial contact, when LPE provide appropriate information or referral which satisfies the customer, or any query that needs an answer from another business unit/person where no Dissatisfaction is expressed.

8. Review 

The Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis, according to schedule of the Audit and Risk Committee.