How to complain - for domestic consumers

Information on our complaints process

RECC’s role in helping to resolve complaints about domestic installations is set out below. First of all we establish from the consumer what s/he sees the unresolved issues to be, and we clarify what s/he would see as a reasonable outcome to the complaint. We then present the consumer's account and desired outcome to the RECC member, requesting that they provide a report into the situation. Once we have this we attempt to negotiate between both parties in pursuit of a fair and satisfactory conclusion.

In the event that a resolution is not reached, however, there are further options open to the consumer, the details of which are set out in the Code. Please note that if you decide to take legal action against the company we will not be able to take your complaint forward.

Please note also that if your complaint relates in any way to the technical aspects of the installation of your system or the products installed, we will ask for your permission to refer the complaint to the relevant MCS Certification Body, whose responsibility it is to resolve these complaints. When a complaint requires investigation by both the MCS Certification Body and RECC, RECC’s involvement will normally begin once the Certification Body’s involvement has concluded.

In the event that you are seeking compensation from a RECC member, please be aware that RECC can only address requests for compensation of actual loss suffered. Requests for compensation regarding unsubstantiated loss (such as inconvenience or loss of earnings) are not within our remit to pursue.

Procedure

The expertise of members together with the high standards of service set out in this Code should ensure that the overwhelming majority of the energy generators supplied are advertised, sold, installed and maintained in a way that is compliant with the Code. Occasionally, however, problems can and do occur.

This scheme has been set up with the intention of providing a means of complaint resolution that should be cheaper, faster and more effective than court action. Nothing in this Code prevents the consumer from seeking a legal remedy to their complaint, if they consider this to be the more appropriate action. A diagram showing the complaints procedure can be found below.

If a consumer has a complaint about a member, both parties should use the following procedure:

  1. the consumer must tell the member he or she agreed the contract with about any complaint they have as soon as possible, and no later than three months, after they have first noticed the problem;
  2. the member will consider the details of the complaint and report the findings clearly to the consumer within seven working days of receiving the complaint;
  3. if appropriate, the member will arrange to inspect the consumer's system, within seven days of receiving the complaint and within 24 hours where a consumer is without heating or hot water as a result of the situation that has led to the complaint;
  4. the member will try to find an agreed course of action to resolve the complaint speedily and effectively to the consumer's satisfaction;
  5. if the consumer is not satisfied with the remedy offered by the member, and the complaint is about technical aspects of the installation of a system, they should direct it to the relevant MCS installer certification body (see here for their contact details);
  6. if the consumer is not satisfied with the remedy offered by the member, and the complaint is about any other issues linked to the Consumer Code, they should direct it to the scheme administrator by filling in a complaints registration form online (however if the consumer is unable to fill in the online form, they may request a hard copy version by contacting the RECC office);
  7. the scheme administrator will log the complaint and acknowledge receipt of the notification within seven days;
  8. the scheme administrator will notify the member that a complaint has been logged with RECC;
  9. as soon as reasonably possible, the scheme administrator will contact the member to request a report on the situation and an explanation as to how they intend to resolve the complaint speedily and effectively;
  10. if a complaint cannot be sorted out through the above procedure, the member or consumer can use the conciliation service set out in section 9.2 of the Code, with the scheme administrator’s agreement;
  11. members will not take action through the courts without first trying to solve the problem as set out in this section and, if appropriate, through the conciliation service as set out in section 9.2 of the Code.

The consumer may give their permission for a friend or relative to deal with a complaint on their behalf. In this case, members must co-operate fully with this person. However, please note that RECC is not set up to communicate with either party’s legal advisors.

In the event that the complaint is of a technical nature, the scheme administrator will seek the consumer's consent for the details to be shared with the relevant MCS certification body and the relevant trading standards department.

Please note that we will not share your personal data with any other body under any circumstances unless you specifically give us your permission to do so in writing. We comply with the key principles of the Data Protection Act 1988. See the relevant guidance from the Information Commissioner in this respect.

Conciliation service & Independent arbitration

Please click the following links for information on our Conciliation service & Independent arbitration.

Complaints process

The way we handle your complaint will depend to some extent on its nature and when we receive it. The diagram here shows you how we decide on the process, and how we work jointly with MCS and the certification bodies to resolve complaints.

Click here to download this diagram as a PDF

Complaints Diagram