We take your complaints, suggestions and concerns seriously. Here is some recent feedback you gave us, and how we responded. Contact us to make an enquiry or to give your comments and suggestions.

Comments and requests updated September 2015

  • What you said What we have done
  • 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 for obtaining a reader's ticket on our website.
  • [From a User Advisory delegate] The additional text box (found under 'Special requirements') in Advanced orders doesn't allow you to add enough text We have increased the character limit making it easier to use this form
  • [From a User Advisory Group delegate] Could you improve the information on easily accessible document lockers in the document reading room?

    We have improved the information on our advanced orders web page about document lockers and access

  • You asked why it was so difficult to contact the Bookshop The Bookshop now has a direct line, which is 0208 392 5394
  • [From a User Advisory Group delegate] It is often difficult to find an available bag locker at comfortable height for users who cannot bend or stretch

    We displayed new signs in the locker room, encouraging those who are able to use the high and low lockers

  • A user arrived to find the Bookshop was closed and that the website did not show that the shop closed at 1700 on late night opening (1900)

    We had the shop opening hours added to the web site


We receive complaints in a number of ways, including emails, feedback forms and letters, as well as telephone calls and in person. You can also read previous months' complaints.
  • Summary of complaint and date received Background information Action taken
  • The complainant was dissatisfied with some of the changes made to Discovery, our online catalogue, and asked for justification of certain decisions. 3 July - reference: 8919 Work to improve the functionality of Discovery, our online catalogue, is ongoing We investigated some of the processes and explained that the user is at the forefront in the design and development of Discovery.We continue to improve Discovery using users' feedback.
  • The complainant was not satisfied with the quality of the fish and chips served in the restaurant and concerned that a bulk order made in advance had not arrived on the day of the visit. 3 July - reference: 8933 Users can request bulk orders for fifty consecutive pieces from a series in advance We apologised for the administrative error that led to the problem with the bulk order and measures were put in place to minimise the risk of a similar error taking place in the future. There was a problem with the fish and chips on the day and we provided a complimentary voucher as a gesture of good will.
  • The complainant was not satisfied with the outcome of a paid search of our records and requested a refund. 9 July - reference: 8959 Users can request that The National Archives carry out a paid search. We charge for the staff time to carry out a search to determine whether we hold the specific information requested in our records. We investigated and while there was no issue with the quality of the paid search, we authorised a refund as the team failed to follow the correct procedure. This resulted in an incorrect fee being charged which we did not consider acceptable.
  • The complainant was not happy with the amount of notice given that we were closing at 1700 hrs due to industrial action on the London Underground, instead of 1900hrs. 9 July - reference: 8996 There was a strike that closed the entire rail network in and around London on that day. We apologised for any inconvenience caused and confirmed that a news story had been up on the website from the day before, but the closure information only went live on the day. We received assurances that key messages about opening times would be displayed in advance (at least 24 hours).
  • The complainant was dissatisfied with the manner of a member of security staff observed during their visit. 13 July - reference: 8995 Security staff patrol the Reading Rooms to enforce the Rules for Reader's and protect the collection We asked for specific details from the complainant which were subsequently received. As no specific incident was reported, the member of staff was made aware of the comments for the purpose of learning from the feedback and avoiding similar situations arising in the future.