Unreasonable customer contacts

This page outlines our policy for identifying and dealing with unreasonable customer contacts.

We define unreasonable contact as:

Contact from customers which because of the frequency or nature of the contact may hinder our consideration of the complaint or enquiry, or the service to others.

We do not expect our people to tolerate behaviour that is intimidating, abusive or offensive, or undermines their safety or wellbeing and that of others.

We’ll let you know if we believe your contact is unreasonable and we may require you to contact us in a particular way.

A contact may become unreasonable for any of the following reasons, for example by:

1. Causing distress to our employees (including our supply chain) that undermines their safety or wellbeing

This includes using abusive, threatening or offensive language or behaviour. Unfairly targeting a National Highways employee or supplier and making derogatory comments relating to a person’s protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act (2010).

2. Refusing to follow our complaints process

Insisting on a complaint being handled in ways which are incompatible with, or outside the scope of our complaints process.

For example, making unrealistic demands such as setting unrealistic timescales for a response or insisting that only personal contact with the Chief Executive is acceptable.

3. Refusing to be specific or unreasonably continually changing the basis of your complaint

Changing the basis or aspects of the complaint as the investigation proceeds making review or resolution problematic.

Sending follow-up questions before we've had time to fully investigate and respond to the original contact and insisting that all such questions are answered whether or not they are related to the original complaint.

4. Adopting a 'scattergun' approach by sending your complaint to different people

Trying to circumvent the complaints process by submitting complaints through different routes about the same issue in the expectation of receiving a different response.

5. Making unreasonably excessive demands on our resource while a complaint (or enquiry) is being investigated

For example, making numerous phone calls or emails to our people and expecting an immediate response to frequent, detailed or lengthy enquiries via telephone or email while an existing complaint is being looked into.

6. Submitting repeated complaints on the same issue

Refusing to accept the outcome, despite receiving a full response and explanation, even after the full complaints process has been completed.

This is not an exhaustive list and if we feel any additional behaviour is unreasonable, we'll take appropriate steps to address the situation.