Unacceptable Behaviour Policy
Our customer service department goal is to support our customers’ enquiries and resolve their issues as swiftly and as practically possible. We believe that our customers have a right to be heard, understood and respected. Occasionally however, the behaviour or actions of individuals using our support service makes it very difficult for us to deal with their request. In a small number of cases the actions become unacceptable because they involve abuse of our staff or our process.
When this happens we have to take action to protect our staff. We consider the impact of the behaviour on our ability to do our work and provide a service to others. This policy explains how we will approach these situations.
Aggressive or abusive behaviour
We understand that many of our customers are frustrated about the issues they have raised in their complaint. If that anger escalates into aggression towards our staff, we consider that unacceptable. Violence is not restricted to acts of aggression that may result in physical harm- it also includes behaviour or language that may cause staff to feel afraid, threatened or abused, and may include threats, personal verbal abuse, derogatory remarks and rudeness. We also consider inflammatory statements and unsubstantiated allegations to be abusive behaviour.
Unreasonable behaviour or demands
Behaviour or demands become unacceptable when they start to (or when complying with them would) impact substantially on the work of the customer support staff.
The following are some examples of unreasonable behaviour or demands, which is not an exhaustive list:
• Refusing to specify adequately the grounds of a complaint, despite offers of assistance
• Refusing to cooperate with the customer support investigation process
• Refusing to accept that certain issues are not within the scope of our remit
• Insisting on the complaint being dealt with in ways that are incompatible with our procedures or with good practice
• Making unjustified complaints about staff who are trying to deal with the issues, and seeking to have them replaced
• Changing the basis of the complaint as the investigation proceeds
• Denying or changing statements made at an earlier stage
• Introducing trivial or irrelevant new information at a later stage
• Raising numerous, detailed but unimportant questions and insisting that they are all answered
• Submitting falsified documents
• Making excessive demands on the time and resources of staff with detailed emails and expecting immediate responses
• Submitting repeat complaints with minor additions/ variations that the customer insists in making ‘new’ complaints
• Refusing to accept the decision made by customer support staff; repeatedly arguing points with no
• Repeatedly demanding responses within an unreasonable timescale
• Insisting on seeing or speaking to a particular member of staff or manager when that is not
possible or necessary
• Insisting that we use the telephone as a method of contact, when it is not our policy to do so.
An example of the impact would be that the demands or behaviour take up an excessive amount of
staff time or resources and in doing so disadvantages other customers.
Examples of how we manage aggressive or abusive behaviour
The threat or use of physical violence, verbal abuse or harassment towards our staff is likely to result
in a termination of all direct contact with the customer.
Incidents may be reported to the police. This will always be the case if physical violence is used or
We will not accept any correspondence that is abusive to staff or contains allegations that lack
We will tell the customer that we consider their language offensive, unnecessary and unhelpful and
ask them to stop using such language and state that we will not respond to their correspondence if
the action or behaviour continues.
Customer Support staff will end the customer's support ticket without further warning if they
consider the customer to be consistently aggressive, abusive or offensive.
We will make a written record of all such contact. Customer support staff have the right to make this
decision, to inform the customer that their behaviour is unacceptable and to end support.
If the behaviour persists, in extreme situations, we will inform the customer that their name is on a
‘no personal contact’ list. This means that we will refuse support for all further customer support