UKGC publishes tips on how to handle complaints

UKGC publishes tips on how to handle complaints - Banner

There are 12 new tips for licensees to help with the complaints

After reviewing 34 licensee complaints, The UK Gambling Commission has published tips on improving complaints handling and how to handle complaints reminding licensees of the existing rules and guidance.

This comes after a review of complaints policies that found a huge number of areas for improvement. As previously mentioned, 34 licenses were analysed from a range of sectors looking at how accessible and easy they were to use.

8% of gamblers have never made a complaint

The UKGC has announced that this work will also complement the Government's Gambling Act Review and will look at how to improve consumer redress agreements within the gambling industry. Despite the delay to the Gambling Act Review, the UKGC is getting on with the job.

According to the UKGC's publication, Understanding Consumer Complaints, 8% of gamblers have never made a complaint and 4% report that they wanted to make a complaint but did not.

There are many supposed reasons for this with the main one being the perception that making a complaint is a tedious process and that licensee may be purposefully difficult to reach.

What are the tips?

Most of the policies reviewed met the basic requirements improve by the government but there are still areas for improvement. There are over 12 tips from the UKGC on the good practice for handling complaints with tips for licensees. 

  • Include a link to your complaints procedure on your homepage
  • Use plain English and avoid jargon or legalese
  • Have a short and clear process for complaints
  • Tell people what information you need to investigate their complaint
  • Include details of the 8-week time limit for resolving complaints or issuing a final response
  • Be clear when you have given a final decision or reached ‘deadlock’
  • Include clickable links and check that they work
  • Utilise technology, such as webforms and decision-trees, to help guide people through the complaints process but always have alternative methods of contact available
  • Be accessible for all, including vulnerable people, and make adjustments where required
  • Keep a virtual paper-trail
  • Utilise Resolver and other consumer support tools
  • Provide clear signposting to ADR providers

These tips should help licensees improve their complaint handling whilst also reminding them of the requirements around complaints handling under social responsibility code 6 of the licence conditions and codes of practice.

“Improve outcomes for both them and consumers,” says UKGC

Ian Angus, Director of Policy at the Commission says: “Good complaints handling is vital in the gambling industry. We want consumers to be able to easily find and understand policies and be able to raise their complaints without any barriers.”

He added: “We know gambling businesses receive around 200,000 complaints every year, and while the Government’s review of the Gambling Act will consider where these can be escalated to, the majority will still need to go through the licensee’s complaints process first. We want to help them handle these well, to improve outcomes for both them and consumers.”