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 August 2014

  • What you said What we have done
  • Breakfast served on a Saturday was not available as advertised at 08.30 hrs We spoke with our caterers and they changed their process to ensure breakfast items are available from the advertised time
  • Clear plastic bags used to carry items into the reading rooms were splitting and allowing items to fall on to the floor We checked the specification of the bags with our suppliers and agreed to increase the quality to a stronger more durable bag
  • You asked why it was so difficult to contact the Bookshop The Bookshop now has a direct line, which is 0208 392 5394
  • Documents sent to print only stay in the queue for two hours - can this be increased? The time documents remain in the queue has been extended from two hours to 11 hours
  • Can you clarify the rules about bags on the poster at the foot of the staircase?

    We have amended the poster to point users to the free lockers on the ground floor where they may store bags, coats and so on


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
  • Staff reported to be using the invigilation room to cut through to the counter area - disturbing users researching in the Document Reading Room 7 June - reference: 5382

    Document Services staff can access the invigilation room to access the counter area We explained why staff can use this route and how it helps with invigilating the records accessed in that area.
  • The complainant requested an estimate of a record that had been opened following a FOI review. This request was abandoned as the record had not yet been released 5 June - reference: 5413

    Records that are opened following an FOI review need to be processed before they are available for copying We explained that the record was not opened until after the first request was received and the request was abandoned. A subsequent request made a few days later was successfully completed.
  • Request by letter for payment to use The National Archives' images in a publication was felt to be discourteous by the complainant 6 June - reference: 5415

    Finance team use industry standard stock letters to follow up on outstanding payments against invoices We apologised to the complainant for any upset and have reviewed the stock letters to ensure they meet our expected standards for correspondence.
  • The complainant was disappointed that they were not able to get a reader's ticket as they did not have the correct identification 10 June - reference: 5431

    Users wanting to access original records need to apply for a reader's ticket We explained why we require certain kinds of proof of identity to obtain a reader's ticket and that the requirements are set on the advice of the Metropolitan police.
  • The complainant was not able to order off site records in advance as an error message appeared on the web form 13 June - reference: 5464

    Users can order off site records in advance of their visit - they take three working days to arrive We apologised for the inconvenience and explained how the specific references needed to be entered, so that they could be ordered in the future.
  • Complainant felt staff behaviour was inappropriate 21 June - reference: 5490

    Our service standards are published in 'Our Promises' online and on site and explain what we expect from our staff and users We requested further details of the incident so that we could fully investigate - no further correspondence was received.
  • The complainant had not received a response from staff following two letters 20 June - reference: 5495

    Users can ask for guidance or advice on their research We apologised that the response prepared by staff was not received and offered detailed records advice.
  • The complainant was not able to access Record Copying estimate details after help and assistance from staff 21 June - reference: 5484

    Users can order copies of our records from Document Services We investigated and found no errors with the login area or site. We offered to telephone the complainant to discuss the specific problem they were experiencing. No reply was received, to take up this option.
  • Download does not contain medal record but a card saying the record has been moved to another document reference 21 June - reference: 5485

    Users can search and download digitised records via Digital Downloads We investigated and refunded the fee as the document was not contained in our open records. Discovery was amended to show this. We offered further records advice and advised the complainant to contact the Ministry of Defence as some of the records are still retained by them.
  • The complainant telephoned the office and was allegedly informed that we are open on Mondays - they arrived to find the office closed 24 June - reference: 5508

    The National Archives has been closed on Mondays since January 2010 We requested more information from the complainant relating to the call so that we could fully investigate and access the call recording - no further correspondence was received from the complainant.
  • The complainant was dissatisfied with the delay in receiving paper copies of a document that was on the Web Archive 24 June - reference: 5509

    Users can search the UK Government Web Archive to locate archived web pages and information We apologised to the complainant for the delay in sending out the record that was available on the Web Archive. We had not updated them on what was happening with their request. We explained the reason for the delay as we needed to seek advice from the originating department. We apologised for not keeping the complainant updated on what was happening.