As an advice charity, we do the best we can to provide a high quality service to as many clients as possible. Our service is always in high demand, and many people in Hart District need our help.
An important part of our service is advising clients by appointment. Sometimes this is not necessary, such as if clients take away information to help themselves. However, some clients need an appointment to discuss the problem in more detail. Our service is provided by both volunteers and staff who try to do the best they can to help clients.
When clients miss appointments without giving us notice, it can have a serious impact on the service. This is because it leaves that appointment slot is unfilled. Consequently, the number of clients that we can see is reduced, and we are prevented from helping more people. For that reason, we have the following policy to deal with appointment problems:
If you are going to be late for your appointment
1 – 10 minutes late
Please let us know as soon as you can that you are going to be slightly late. We will try to keep your appointment open so that you are still seen by an adviser.
10 – 15 minutes late
If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, we might not be able to see you, because we have given your appointment to someone else. It will depend very much on the circumstances of that particular day.
15 – 45 minutes late
If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, we will assume that you are not going to attend your appointment. Because other clients will be scheduled in, it is unlikely we will be able to advise you, and you will need to return another day.
If you cannot attend your appointment
If you are not able to attend your appointment, please telephone 01252 878435 as soon as you can. This will allow us to give your “slot” to someone else. If unanswered, you are able to leave a message during the hours of 9:00 – 17:00. Alternatively, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or pop in before your appointment to let us know you can’t attend.
If it is your first cancelled appointment, we will try and give you another appointment as soon as possible.
If you miss ONE appointment
We understand that life can be complicated and that unforeseen circumstances do arise.
If you are going to miss a single appointment, please let us know, and we will try to reschedule it.
Please note that we are very busy, and it could be several weeks before another appointment is available. This is one of the reasons we advise all clients to attend their appointments, especially if their problem is urgent.
If you do not contact us to let us know you are not attending, we will note this on our computer system and assume that you no longer need our help.
If you miss TWO OR MORE appointments
After missing one appointment, we hope that you will make every effort to attend a second. If you fail to attend your second appointment, we will assume that you no longer need our help.
Unless there are exceptional circumstances, it’s unlikely that we will be able to offer you another appointment in the future. You would need to access our walk-in service again. Alternatively, you might find it more convenient to seek advice from another organisation.
If you miss THREE OR MORE appointments, or continually refuse our advice
If you consistently fail to attend appointments, or ignore our advice, we may exclude you from our service. This will only be done in the most serious circumstances. We will always notify you in writing if we intend to do this.
If Citizens Advice Hart District needs to reschedule your appointment
Whilst we make every effort to ensure you are seen as scheduled, occasionally we may need to reschedule your appointment. This could be because a volunteer or staff member is ill, or due to circumstances beyond our control.
If we need to reschedule your appointment, we undertake to:
- Contact you as soon as we become aware of the problem. We will always try to telephone you to let you know. This is why it is so important to leave us a telephone number or an alternative way of contacting you.
- If we cannot reach you by telephone, we’ll leave a voicemail explaining that there is a problem. We will request that you contact us on 01252 878435 to rearrange your appointment.
- If we haven’t heard from you by the end of the day, and there is enough notice, we will notify you in writing. However, in some instances, this may not be possible, for example if a volunteer has called in sick that morning.
- We will try to offer you another appointment at the same location, or one elsewhere if the issue is urgent.
We appreciate that your problem may be very urgent and that you may have nowhere else to turn. For that reason, we apologise for any inconvenience that rescheduling your appointment causes you.
Comments, suggestions and complaints
If you have any kind of feedback about our service or appointments policy, we want to hear it. Sometimes you may be very happy with the service, while other times you may be very unhappy. However, unless you tell us, it is difficult for us to know.
If you have any comments, suggestions, or complaints, then please write to us. This allows us to consider your feedback in detail. We will then respond to you in writing. In order to resolve the issue to your satisfaction, we will try to change the aspect of the service that you are unhappy with, or find another solution for you. For further details on how to make a complaint, please see our complaints leaflet here
If you have problems writing or communicating any feedback, please attend our walk-in service. We will then arrange for someone to take details of your feedback for further action.