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 August 2020

What you said What we have done
The complainant was concerned that we had not made any changes to our digital services when we made the decision to close the building during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular paying for downloads. Our Executive team reviewed the situation and decided to offer free downloads of records on our web site from 24 April 2020. Registered users are able to order and download up to ten items at a time, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. The limits are there to try to help manage the demand for content and ensure the availability of our digital services for everyone.
I wanted to renew my reader’s ticket, and felt the information provided on the back of the reader’s card was out of date and misleading.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.
The complainant had trouble using the keypads on the lockers and found that the instructions were too small. We created a larger print version of the instructions and placed them around the locker area.


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
21 July 2020 Email Thanks to your staff for everything they have done to support the reopening of the Archives from 21 July. It is fine that it is only a partial opening, it is a wonderful start.
02 July 2020 Email I am availing of the free downloads offer. I’m doing family research and finding lots of what are to me invaluable family records in the archives. A big THANK YOU for this generous access and download offer.
03 June 2020 Email Thank you for everything you are doing to help keep us amateur genealogists and historians sane at this difficult time! Registering with you was very easy; and definitely worthwhile! I miss being able to visit you in person; your staff are so helpful and enthusiastic: visiting makes my occasional visits to London even more enjoyable (I wish I lived closer…!) In the meantime however, being able to access your records on-line is definitely “the next best thing”. Stay safe and well everyone, and “Thank You” again.


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 with the quality of the audio during one of the webinars. They also raised concerns regarding the post-talk survey including the wording of questions and lack of a comments box at the end of it. We have been holding regular webinars during the building closure (COVID-19). We apologised for the audio issues and explained that a high quality recording of the webinar will be available via our Archives Media Player. We passed the complainants comments regarding the survey to our Customer Insight team, who corrected the issues, which were system quirks we had not identified. We thanked the complainant for taking the time to notify us of the issues they had identified.
The complainant struggled to book an appointment to view documents. They had attempted to do so in the morning but there were technical issues so took a break. When they tried again later, all the places had been booked up for the week. The National Archives re-opened to visitors with a limited service on 21 July 2020. The service is limited according to risk assessments we carried out over the building and our services. We apologised for the inconvenience caused to the complainant and explained that we had to deal with serious systemic issues over the weekend.

The issue had an effect on the booking system which meant it opened later than scheduled. We also explained that we intend to do a full review of seat numbers and document allowance once two weeks of re-opening has occurred.

The complainant voiced concerns that the trial changes to document ordering, which start in March, would adversely affect researchers ability to carry out research projects. On 7 January 2020 we announced that we will be making changes to same-day document ordering. From Tuesday 31 March 2020, as part of a six-month trial, readers will be able to order a maximum of 12 documents for the same day, plus up to 12 documents in advance (a maximum of 24 documents per reader per day). There will be five document ordering slots available each day, with documents being delivered at set times. We explained the background to the trial and detailed the research that underpins these trial changes.

External Feedback

Below is a selection of external feedback sites where users can leave independent feedback about our services:
The National Archives on Trip Advisor
Google Reviews