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Complaints Procedure

Last updated: May 22nd 2022.

This document is a part of the TeenHelp Terms of Service. For other information governing the usage of services provided by TeenHelp, please click here

In this section:
> Stage 1: First complaint
> Stage 2: Appeal
> Stage 3: Final Appeal

We actively encourage you to provide us with feedback, both positive and negative, to help us to improve our services and ensure everybody is able to have the most positive experience on TeenHelp.

Things don't always go right and when they don't you need to know who to contact and how to resolve an issue. Below is the procedure we will use to address any complaints that are made about TeenHelp, our staff or our services. This includes how you can dispute Moderator actions that you feel are unfair for us to resolve. This page describes who is accountable for complaints and which steps need to be taken to make them.

We will try to address your concerns as quickly as we are able to. Because TeenHelp is run entirely by volunteers we can't guarantee you will get a response within a certain time frame, and the more complex your complaint the longer it may take, but we will respond as soon as we are able to. You should hear back from us within a few days at the latest, though some more complex decisions may take us a week or two to come to a decision.

We have three stages of complaints:

Stage 1: First complaint

What it is: A first complaint means that you haven't reported an issue before.

Who is responsible: The first time you report an issue it will be addressed by someone who is responsible for that area. This will normally be a Moderator or a Project Officer.

What will happen: This person will address your concerns in the way that they see fit, which may be taking action to correct a problem, supporting a volunteer to improve their skills or similar changes. They will follow the relevant guidance including Terms of Service and written procedures in order to make their decision. All first complaints must be dealt with by the suitable volunteer.

I want to make a first complaint:

  • If you know who the right person is to contact, you can contact them directly yourselves. Many areas have the correct Moderator listed, or you may find the right person on our Staff List (here).
  • Most site areas have a dedicated report button next to them, such as posts and blog entries, which is usually the easiest way to contact the area Moderator.
  • If you would like to report issues with a user please use the Report a user form (here).
  • If you would like to submit concerns about a member of Staff, you can use our Volunteer feedback form (here).
  • If in doubt, please complete our Complaints form (here) and we'll make sure the right person gets it.

Stage 2: Appeal

What it is: If you're not happy with the outcome of your first complaint, for example you don't feel the issue has been resolved, you can appeal.

Who is responsible:

  • If your complaint is to do with site moderation (for example you've reported a user who has been causing problems or would like to challenge a moderating decision such as an infraction or ban), then your complaint will be handled by our Lead Moderators.
  • If your complaint is about any other issue (such as quality of advice), it will be handled by our Team Leaders.

What will happen: During your appeal you will be expected to explain what you have done so far during stage 1, for example who you've spoken to and what they've said. They will review your complaint and what happened in your first complaint, they also review previous communication such as how decisions were explained. They will then decide whether it was dealt with appropriately and let you know what actions, if any, they take as a result of your complaint.

I want to appeal a decision: Please complete our Complaints form (here)

Stage 3: Final Appeal

What it is: If you have already appealed a decision and are still not happy, you can make a final appeal.

Who is responsible: Final appeals will be handled by the Project Coordinators.

What will happen: During this stage you will again be expected to explain what you done so far, who you have contacted and what decisions have been made. It will be helpful at this stage to outline why you feel the decision made in stage 1 and 2 is wrong, for example has part of the Terms of Service been ignored? It is not usually enough to simply disagree with a decision, there has to be a reason why you feel the previous decisions made were incorrect. The Project Coordinator will use all of this information to review the circumstances and make a final decision. This decision is final and once made will not be reviewed again unless significant additional information becomes available.

I want to make a final appeal: Please complete our Complaints form (here)

If you have any issues completing the complaints form, please email us at contact@teenhelp.org

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