Client Appointments Policy
V.3.0 – Note: This Client Appointments Policy refers to all types of client appointments, whether face-to-face (in person), online or by phone.
As an advice charity, we do our best to provide a high quality service to as many people as we can. Our service is always in high demand and many people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly need our help. An important part of our service is to advise people by appointment. Sometimes this is not necessary, as people may take away information and be able to help themselves. However, some people need an appointment to discuss their problems in detail. When people miss appointments without giving us notice, it can have a serious impact on the service because those appointment slots are unfilled. This reduces the number of people we can see and prevents us helping more people. For that reason, we have the following Client Appointments Policy to deal with appointment problems.
If you are going to be late for your appointment:
If you are going to be late, please telephone 0333 344 8385 as soon as you can.
- 1 – 10 minutes late – Please let us know as soon as you can that you are going to be a bit late – we’ll try to keep your appointment open so that you’re still seen by an adviser.
- 10 – 15 minutes late –If you arrive more than 10 minutes late it may be that the adviser cannot help you because we’ll have given your appointment to someone else. It’ll depend very much on the circumstances of that particular day.
- 15 – 45 minutes late –If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, we’ll assume you’re not going to attend your appointment. Also, because other people will be scheduled to be seen, it’s unlikely we’ll will be able to advise you and you’ll need to return on another day.
If you cannot attend your appointment:
- If you’re not able to attend your appointment, please telephone 0333 344 8385 as soon as you can. This will allow us to give your “slot” to someone else.
- If it is your first cancelled appointment, we’ll 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’re going to miss a single appointment, please let us know and we’ll try to reschedule another one as soon as we can.
(Please note the demand on our service is so high it could be several weeks before another appointment is available. This is one of the reasons we advise all people to attend their appointments, especially if their problem is urgent.)
If you don’t contact us to let us know that you’re not going to attend, we’ll note this on our computer system and assume that you no longer need our help.
If you miss TWO OR MORE appointments:
If you’ve already missed one appointment, we hope that you will make every effort to attend a second appointment. If you fail to attend your second appointment, we’ll assume you no longer need our help.
Unless there are exceptional circumstances, if you subsequently contact us, it’s unlikely that we will be able to offer you another appointment. You would need to access us again via phone (Adviceline), text, online or our walk-in service (where available). 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 our appointments, or if you continually ignore the advice that we have given, then we may exclude you from our service. This will only be done in the most serious of circumstances and we will always notify you in writing if we intend to do this.
If Citizens Advice Cornwall needs to reschedule your appointment:
While we make every effort to ensure you’re seen when your appointment is scheduled, there are occasions when we may need to reschedule your appointment because a volunteer or member of staff 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’ll always try to telephone you to let you know that there is a problem. This is why it is so important to leave us a telephone number or an alternative way of getting a message to you.
- If we can’t reach you by telephone, we’ll leave a voicemail (if you have told us that we can do this safely) explaining that there is a problem, with a request that you contact us on 0333 344 8385 to rearrange your appointment.
- If we haven’t heard from you by the end of the day, and if there is enough notice, we will notify you in writing of the need to reschedule. However, in some instances this may not be possible, as the problem may have arisen at very short notice, for example, if a volunteer has called in sick that morning.
- If we need to reschedule, we will try to offer you another appointment at the same location, or one elsewhere if urgency dictates this is necessary.
We appreciate your problem may be very urgent and you may have nowhere else to turn – for that reason we apologise for any inconvenience rescheduling your appointment causes you.
Comments, suggestions and complaints:
If you have any kind of feedback about our service or our appointments policy, we want to hear it. Sometimes you may be very happy with the service. Sometimes you may not be happy or you may be very unhappy with our service. However, unless you tell us, it’s often difficult for us to know.
If you have any comments, suggestions or complaints, please write to us at Citizens Advice Cornwall, 21 Dean Street, Liskeard PL14 4AB. This allows us to consider your feedback in detail and we’ll respond to you in writing. We’ll always try to resolve the issue to your satisfaction if we can – if we are able to, we’ll try to change the aspect of the service that you’re unhappy with, or try to find another solution for you.
If you have problems writing or communicating any feedback, please attend our walk-in service (where available) or contact us by phone (Adviceline) and we will arrange for someone to take details of your feedback for further action.