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 October 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 website 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.
The complainant was concerned that they were not permitted to take their own paper and pencils into the Reading Rooms when we re-opened post COVID-19 closure. All of our rules regarding the re-opening are under constant review. We decided that we would provide a single sheet of A4 paper and a pencil to those who need it.
The complainant was concerned that the Map and Large Document Reading Room remained closed when the building re-opened in July 2020. All of our rules regarding the re-opening are under constant review. A decision was made for the Map and Large Document Reading Room to partially re-open from 25 August 2020.


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 October 2020 Email I want to say an enormous Thank You to *** for setting up tonight’s successful AGM for the Kew Society. First responses have been very positive. It was so important that we had our AGM and without your help that would have been very difficult. Thank you for holding our hands and leading us through the webinar process last week. All the preparation paid off handsomely!
09 October 2020 Email I just wanted to let you know that I truly enjoy the Archives Jigsaw puzzles that you put into the newsletter. It is enjoyable sorting through the pieces of similar configuration and colour. Thank you and blessings.
07 October 2020 Email I’m so PLEASED, because the wonderful woman that runs the shop has been on my mind a lot. The stock there is splendid, and so thoughtfully displayed, and yet I cannot get down to buy anything by browsing the shelves and stands because I cannot dare get on the Tube. I will look at what’s online. THANK-YOU!


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