Business associates shaking hands over desk

How we handle complaints

We're committed to providing the best quality of customer service possible. If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our services, we'd like to hear from you.

How do I complain?

You can complain in person at any of HIE’s offices, by phone, in writing, or by emailing

It is easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly, so please talk to a member of our staff at the service you are complaining about. Then they can try to resolve any problems on the spot.

When complaining, tell us:

  • your full name and address
  • as much as you can about the complaint
  • what has gone wrong
  • how you want us to resolve the matter.

Contact details

Customer Service Team
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
An Lòchran
10 Inverness Campus

tel: +44 (0)1463 383 073

What happens when I complain?

We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint. 

Our complaints procedure has two stages:

  • Stage one – front line resolution
    We aim to resolve complaints quickly and close to where we provided the service. This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong, and immediate action to resolve the problem.

    We will give you our decision at stage one in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    If we can’t resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next. We might suggest that you take your complaint to stage two. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial decision.

  • Stage two – investigation
    Stage two deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage one and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.

    When using stage two we will:

    - acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days

    - where appropriate, discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for

    - give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

If our investigation is likely to take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.

What if I’m dissatisfied with the outcome of my complaint?

After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.

The SPSO cannot normally look at:

  • a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO)
  • events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago
  • a matter that has been or is being considered in court.

Contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Bridgeside House
99 McDonald Road

Freephone:  0800 377 7330


Getting help to make your complaint

We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you.

We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. If you have trouble putting your complaint in writing, or want this information in another language or format, such as large font, or Braille, tell us in person, contact us on +44 (0)1463 383073 or email us at

Woman in call centre wearing headset, customer service department


Sign up for all the latest news, information on investments and development opportunities from across our region.