Accessibility Passengers Corporate

Unreasonable Complaint Behaviour Policy & Procedure

1. Scope and Purpose

Scope: This policy is designed for anyone who facilitates any part of the complaint policy and procedure, and anyone who uses the complaint policy and procedure to provide feedback to Bristol Airport.

Purpose: Bristol Airport is committed to listening to all feedback given to us. It is equally committed to providing a pleasant and safe environment for its colleagues to work in. This policy and procedure outlines what Bristol Airport consider is unreasonable behaviour and the actions it will take in response.

2. Definition of Unreasonable Complaint Behaviour

Bristol Airport consider unreasonable complaint behaviour to be when customers pursue their complaints in a way which can either impede the investigation of the complaint or cause offence to the staff facilitating that process.

The Customer Relations Team manage several cases at any one time; using their time and resources as effectively as they can. They cannot do so if someone tries to dominate their attention with frequent, lengthy contacts and repetitive information.

Bristol Airport will not tolerate deceitful, abusive, offensive, threatening or other forms of unacceptable behaviour from complainants, either face to face, via telephone, in writing or via social media.

Below are examples of unreasonable actions and behaviours. This is not an exhaustive list.

  • Refusing to specify the grounds of a complaint, despite offers of help.
  • Refusing to cooperate with the complaint’s investigation process.
  • Refusing to accept that certain issues are not within the scope of a complaint’s procedure.
  • Insisting on the complaint being dealt with in ways which are incompatible with the adopted complaints procedure or with good practice.
  • 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 many detailed but unimportant questions, and insisting they are all answered.
  • Submitting falsified documents from themselves or others.
  • Adopting a 'scatter gun' approach by sending the same complaint to various staff at Bristol Airport and their Business Partners.
  • Making excessive demands on the time and resources of staff via frequent phone calls, emails, or letters, whilst demanding immediate responses.
  • Submitting repeat complaints with minor additions/variations whilst insisting it makes them 'new' complaints.
  • Refusing to accept the decision; repeatedly arguing points with no new evidence.
  • Electronically record meetings and conversations without the prior knowledge and consent of the other person involved.
  • Have insufficient or no grounds for their complaint and be making the complaint only to annoy (or for reasons that he or she does not admit or make obvious).

3. Unreasonable Complaint Behaviour Procedure

Stage 1

In the first instance, when we consider someone’s behaviour to be unreasonable, we will explain why and ask them to change it. We will also advise them that if the behaviour continues, we will terminate the communication.

If the behaviour immediately threatens the safety and welfare of our staff there will be no warning, communication will be terminated, and we may report the matter to the Police or consider taking legal action.

Stage 2

If the complainant persists in their unreasonable behaviour, Bristol Airport may restrict their access to our services. The sort of restrictions which may be imposed could include, but not restricted to,

  • limiting telephone calls to specified days and limited times.
  • limiting contacts to one form only (for example, a maximum of one letter or email a week).
  • requiring contact to take place with one named staff member.
  • requiring the complainant to enter into an agreement about their future behaviour before their case proceeds.

Stage 3

If the complainant continues to behave unreasonably or overrides the restrictions that have been placed upon them, Bristol Airport may consider refusing access to Bristol Airport, terminate all contact with them and end the complaint investigation.

4. How the Procedure will be Implemented

Bristol Airport does not take the decision to implement the Unreasonable Complaint Behaviour Policy lightly.

At stage 1 the member of staff facilitating the complaint will manage the warning; they will then record this on the Customer Relations Management (CRM) system. If the behaviour is serious enough to inform the Police, or take legal action, they will inform the Customer Relations Manager, who will update the records.

At stage 2 the member of staff will raise the issue with the Customer Relations Manager; whose decision it will be as to how the restriction will be implemented. The details will be updated on the CRM system and a communication will be sent to the customer, along with a copy of this policy, outlining the action that has been taken and the reason why. This will be reviewed after six months.

At stage 3 the Customer Relations Manager will discuss the issue with the Head of Customer Operations, for authorisation to ban the customer from contacting or entering Bristol Airport. The length of this ban and the reasons for it will be communicated to the customer, along with a copy of this policy. The details of this ban will be placed on the CRM system. It will be reviewed at the end of the ban period.

5. New Complaints

New complaints from people whose behaviour has previously been deemed unreasonable will be treated on their merits. Restrictions imposed in respect of an earlier complaint will not automatically apply to a new matter.