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How to complain

February 17, 2016

Find out how to complain about a piece that appeared online or in print and how the process works

The Recycler Ombudsman can look into complaints about articles in our magazine and the online services that we control. The Recycler Ombudsman looks at complaints and queries against The Recycler Editorial Code.

The Recycler follows the IPSO Editor’s Code of Practice and is reviewed annually, or if any material changes in law and forms the basis of The Recycler Editorial Code.

Before contacting The Recycler Ombudsman, you should read through The Recycler Editorial Code to understand whether the ombudsman is the correct route for your complaint. The Recycler Editorial Code handles complaints in 16 areas. They are:

  • Accuracy
  • *Privacy
  • *Harassment
  • Intrusion into grief or shock
  • *Reporting Suicide
  • *Children
  • *Children in sex cases
  • *Hospitals
  • *Reporting of crime
  • *Clandestine devices and subterfuge
  • Victims of sexual assault
  • Discrimination
  • Financial journalism
  • Confidential sources
  • Witness payments in criminal trials
  • *Payment to criminals
  • The Public Interest

Where there are asterisks above, The Recycler Editorial Code recognises that complaints should be weighed against a judgment as to whether the story is in the public interest.

The job of The Recycler Ombudsman is “to collect, consider, investigate, respond to, and where appropriate come to a conclusion about readers’ comments, concerns, and complaints in a prompt and timely manner, from a position of independence within the paper”. The Recycler Ombudsman won’t look at complaints that fall outside of The Recycler Editorial Code and is tasked to resolve substantial complaints and queries from individuals who feel we’ve breached The Recycler’s editorial standards and he reserves the right not to consider complaints:

  • From anyone not personally and directly affected by the matter which forms the subject of the complaint.
  • That are trivial, hypothetical or otherwise vexatious or insignificant.
  • That are without justification (such as an attempt to argue a point of view or to lobby).
  • About advertising (unless in exceptional circumstances).
  • About reader offers.
  • That are legal complaints.

 

How to complain

Please read The Recycler Editorial Code to understand whether The Recycler Ombudsman can consider your complaint. You can then email The Recycler Ombudsman office directly on [email protected] or write to The Recycler Ombudsman, The Recycler, Wittas House, Two Rivers Estate, Witney, OX28 4BH, United Kingdom. Please include the following information:

  • The article you’re complaining about.
  • The date on which it appeared.
  • Whether the article appeared in print or online (and whether through a browser or via one of our mobile apps).
  • The nature of your complaint in no more than 500 words.
  • Which part of the Editorial Code it breaches.

When making a complaint, you agree to respond promptly to any request for further information. Our complaints process is free of charge, regardless of outcome.

We reserve the right to amend this policy as required. We will publish the current policy on our website. Your complaint will be considered against the published policy on the date of receipt of your complaint.

What happens to your complaint?

Once we’ve received your complaint, you should receive an automated reply acknowledging receipt. If your complaint is being taken up, we aim to contact you within 48 hours.

We aim to give a substantive response to your complaint within 28 days of receiving all the necessary information to allow us to investigate. However, this may take longer in more complex cases where more information is required, or where journalists are away or unreachable.

If we receive multiple complaints about the same issue we may not respond to all.

If The Recycler Ombudsman believes there to have been a breach of The Recycler Editorial Code, he will suggest an appropriate remedy. Corrections and clarifications will appear on the relevant web page and/or in the newspaper.

We will always aim to handle your complaint fairly, courteously and with respect. We expect the same behaviour from complainants and reserve the right to decline to consider complaints that are abusive or gratuitously offensive.

If at any stage of your complaint we do not hear back from you within 28 days, we will consider your complaint satisfied and closed.

Appeal process

If you are unhappy with our final response to your complaint The Recycler Ombudsman will direct you to IPSO.

Useful links

IPSO

Editors Guide