November 23rd 2020

When to Raise a Complaint

Raising a complaint is never an easy task and it can be a difficult decision to make. In our latest entry we offer guidance as to when to raise a complaint and detail the role of the OCCS in assisting and supporting throughout the complaint procedure.

You may be unsure as to whether the incident may warrant raising a complaint, you may have a close relationship with your optician or, simply, you may not know how to raise a complaint. Generally speaking, we can split the concept of a complaint into two areas:

  • A complaint directly to your optician
  • A complaint to the OCCS

Who to complain to is just as important as how to raise a complaint as, per our guidelines and advice, the two follow a natural progression.

Raising a complaint to your optician is the first port of call and, often, will lead to the issue being resolved and the achievement of a satisfactory outcome for all involved.

Should you be unsatisfied with either the service or prescription, a complaint can help to address your concerns and also give the practice the opportunity to improve how they operate in order to improve their service. Complaining may seem negative but it can provide useful feedback for improvement.

Weighing up if your issue requires raising a complaint and is deeply personal. The decision should be carefully weighed up based on how strongly you feel that you didn’t receive what was agreed or that something did not match your expectations.

Of course, it goes without saying that everyone will see this slightly differently and that there are no set criteria for reporting a complaint. However, we firmly believe that if the question arises in your mind as to complain or not then the complaint indeed may be worth raising.

Each practice will have an established procedure and process to deal with complaints. As we mentioned, the majority of the time this will resolve the dispute. Should, once a complaint has been raised, there be an unsatisfactory outcome or no progress, it may be worth contacting the OCCS for guidance and assistance.

We can assist with complaints about the goods you have received (glasses, contact lenses, etc.) and/or the service provided. This means we mediate consumer complaints (‘disputes’) arising between optical practices and patients.

These disputes can relate to the supply of spectacles, frames, lenses or contact lenses and the supply optical eyecare and dispensing provided by opticians (optometrists and dispensing opticians)

We will listen to the complaint and then gather information to understand what has happened. We will then work with both consumer and practitioner to reach a fair resolution. The service does not have any formal powers to force a settlement but by exploring why a consumer feels dissatisfied, and listening to both sides, we will support everyone involved to work towards a solution.

For more information and to speak to a member of our team, contact the OCCS on 0344 800 5071 or via enquiries@opticalcomplaints.co.uk

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