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Customer Service Standards

When you contact us, by whatever method, we will:

  • be polite, friendly and helpful
  • treat you fairly and respectfully
  • greet you promptly and deal efficiently with your enquiries 
  • tell you how we can help you, how long it will take and how we will keep you informed
  • try to get things right first time, and put them right if they go wrong
  • respect your privacy
  • listen to your ideas, and use your feedback to improve our services
  • We will use plain English, avoid the use of jargon, and explain any complex or technical terms.


When you contact us On-line or by email

  • We will acknowledge that we have received your on-line enquiry or any email messages sent to published departmental addresses, and we will aim to reply fully within 2 working days.
  • If we are experiencing high workloads, or your enquiry requires more detailed research before it can be fully answered, we will give an indication of when you can expect to hear from us and will include a contact telephone number to use if your enquiry is urgent.
  • Emails sent to individual officers will be replied to within 2 working days, or if the officer is unavailable an out of office message will advise when they will be available and provide an alternative contact to use if your enquiry is urgent.

Social media

  •  When you contact us through social media like Twitter or Facebook, our responses to post, comments and direct messages will depend on the individual service. Even if we do not reply, we are listening and will act on or pass on your comments as appropriate. In most cases, it will be better to contact us directly through this link 

When you telephone us

Calls to published numbers

  • We aim to answer calls to our published numbers within 45 seconds.  At busy times your call may be placed in a queue. If the waiting time exceeds 45 seconds we will offer a free call-back so that you don’t have to wait in the queue.
  • We will give a name if asked, and if we need to transfer the call we will tell you who we are transferring you to and check that they are available before putting the call through.

Calls to individuals

  • We aim to answer calls to individual officer extensions within 20 seconds.
  • If the line is engaged, or the officer not available, you will be able to leave a voicemail message. We will check our messages daily and messages will be updated regularly advising you when we will be available. We will respond to your voicemail messages before close of business on the next working day, or if we are out of the office, within 24 hours of our return.

Reception facilities

  • Reception areas will be well sign posted, clean, tidy and comfortable
  • Private interview facilities are available on request. Reception staff will have specialist training; they will be welcoming and approachable and will deal with our visitors' enquiries as soon as possible.

Visits to customer's home or property

  • We will make an appointment and let you know if we are delayed. We will clearly explain our reasons for visiting and on arrival we will show an identification card. Wherever possible, we will let you know what follow-up action you can expect.

What we ask of you

To help us deliver the best service we can, we ask that all customers:

  • Are courteous and respectful towards us
  • Provide any information we need as soon as possible
  • Let us know if you need a service to be provided in a different way to meet your individual needs

Help us to improve our service

  • We welcome your comments on the service we provide. We will use them to help us to improve our service.
  • If you would like to make a suggestion of improvement, you can complete our online form
  • If you think something has gone wrong, we need to know so that we can put it right. There is a formal Complaints procedure that is easy to use.

People when you need to speak to us, technology when you don’t

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ