Your feedback and our response

We welcome your feedback as it helps us to improve what we do and continue to deliver high quality services in line with the Customer Service Excellence standard. You can contact us directly with your feedback.

Comments and requests updated February 2019

What you said What we have done
The complainant was disappointed that when they telephoned they could not reach our operator. The complainant did not have a touch tone telephone, so could not select the option as instructed. We investigated the telephone issue and found that there was no way to contact the operator without selecting an option. We made a change to the telephony system and now, if not selection is made the call defaults to the operator.
I wanted to renew my reader’s ticket, and felt the information provided on the back of the reader’s card was out of date and misleading. We reviewed and updated the information on the rear of a reader’s ticket. The new tickets contain a link to our website, where reader’s ticket information, including a full list of the proof of identity and addresses that we currently accept, can be found.
Prior to my visit, I had tried to get a statement from my bank and was unsuccessful. Their standard policy is 10 working days to process the request and I was visiting before it would arrive, could you add this information to your site. We added ‘If you bank online most banks will provide a printed statement on request for free or at a small charge, please be aware that they might take several days to dispatch a statement to you’ to the ‘Proof of your address’ section under ‘Obtaining a reader’s ticket’ on our website.


Here are some examples of our compliments, which we receive in a number of ways, including email, feedback form and letter, to telephone calls, social media and in person.

Date received How received Summary of compliments
7 February 2019 Email I came to the National Archives for several days between 30, January and 7, February 2019 for research in the reading rooms. As a PHD student at Bordeaux University, I was visiting the National Archives for the first time. I went through many documents regarding Chagos Archipelagos. I travelled every day from Euston London to Kew Gardens… not so nearby!
However, I spent a great time  during my research thanks to the service provided by the crew.  I was deeply impressed by the great professionalism from the staff members. Please allow me to relate an episode which I’ll always remember and I won’t hesitate to tell during my presentation. During one of those days, when the Archives closes at five instead of seven, I didn’t pay attention to my watch and stayed at the café on the ground floor. When I noticed many people getting out, I rushed up to get my stuffs. One of your colleagues from the checks (I don’t know his name but I’m sure he remembers me as he kept reminding me the time the other days) was very kind to me and accompanied me to get back my computer etc. I had to travel for long to come everyday, but the nice staff and the availability of all documents motivated me and made my day.
I’m deeply touched with your devotion and I wanted to convey my sincere thanks to you all. I would be very grateful if you could convey my special thanks to that gentleman who accompanied me to get my things back. I won’t miss coming back again for further research work.
I apologise if this email took an informal character but on my last day (yesterday) to the archives, I was moved when leaving and thought of thanking you by email. I wish you all Good luck for the coming days, months and years. I hope to see you very soon.
Thanks again !
7 November 2018 Email I was able to visit and inspect a document although another reader had it booked out after the staff very kindly contacted him and established that on the day I wished to see it he was not planning to visit himself. They telephoned me back and I was able to make my visit as planned. During the visit I was not using the document supports correctly and a member of staff corrected me in a very polite and helpful manner, such that I am sure I will not make the same mistake again. All this on top of the usual excellent service as on previous visits when using the reading room.
7 September 2018 Your Views Everybody was so helpful – this is a wonderful resource. I took part in the behind the scenes tour – enlightening! I’ll be back!!


Here are some examples of our complaints, which we receive in a number of ways, including email, feedback form and letter, to telephone calls, social media and in person. Have a look at our Transparency page if you want to know more about complaints.

Summary of complaint and date received Background information Action taken
The complainant was disappointed to learn that they were not allowed to bring their large suitcase in to the building. They had checked the web site prior to their visit and not found any notices. Large suitcases, bags and other items too big to fit into our lockers are no longer allowed into our building.  This change is being introduced for safety and security reasons, and is in line with arrangements at similar institutions across London. Our lockers can accommodate items with a maximum size of 43 cm x 42 cm x 24 cm We apologised that the information was not easy to find and explained why the decision had been taken. We added a news story to the front page of our website and further information can be found on the visit us section of our web site.
The complainant was unhappy with the decision to remove the self-service camera and printing system from the Reading Rooms.  The services are being withdrawn 11 December 2017.  Following a review of our self-service cameras and printing system, a decision was made to withdraw the services. This is due to a continuous decline in usage and the cost to replace and upgrade the systems. We explained the reasons for the changes and supplied details of the new service that is being introduced. Users can bring in their own devices to take images of our records or use our Record Copying service to get copies of original records. We have introduced a new download tool, which allows users to download and send digital images via email without charge.
The complainant was dissatisfied as they felt at no point during the first set of transactions were they made aware that a further cost over and above what had already paid would be required to obtain copies of documents from the archives. Users can order copies of our records from our Record Copying online service. There is a two stage process to obtain copies, the page check and the actual copy order. We explained the system, where the details can be found and other options available. The complainant subsequently decided to place the order.