How to behave whilst making a complaint
We understand that making a complaint can be as a result of a stressful and distressing event or situation that has taken place. The customer complaints team are experienced in dealing with members of the public who are particularly emotional and we will treat you with respect, listen to you and assist you to make the process of raising a complaint a clear and understandable process to follow.
If, during your dealings with us you demonstrate a behaviour that we find unacceptable or you do not communicate with us in a respectful manner you will be advised in writing. If this behaviour takes place during a telephone conversation, you will be warned once and if you continue to demonstrate unacceptable behaviour the call will be ended with no further warning.
We will not tolerate:
- Abusive language from anyone
- Either verbally or in writing
This will also include:
- Personal verbal abuse
- Derogatory remarks
- Or rudeness
We also consider inflammatory statements and unsubstantiated allegations to be abusive behaviour
This type of behaviour may cause staff to feel:
- Or abused
We have a duty of care to our staff to support them in carrying out their duties in a:
- Tolerant working environment
The Local Government Ombudsman provides the following definition of unreasonable and unreasonably persistent complainants:
"Those complainants who, because of the frequency or nature of their contacts with an authority, hinder the authority's consideration of their or other people's complaints."
We consider vexatious or persistent complaints and correspondence as:
- behaviour which is obsessive, persistent, harassing, prolific, repetitious
- displaying an insistence on pursuing groundless or unjustified issues and/or unrealistic outcomes beyond all reason
- displaying an insistence upon pursuing complaints or issues in an unreasonable manner
- a "scatter gun" approach, with copies of letters being sent to several people on a regular basis, often including the media, an MP, a Corporate Director and the Leader of the Council
Based on the behaviour of the customer and the circumstances of the complaint, the customer complaints team will consider taking further action by applying the vexatious procedure.