Customer case management policy for unacceptable customer behaviours and actions

Why have a customer case management policy?

There is not normally a limit to the contact that people have with us, however, the council may, on occasion, need to put restrictions in place due to ‘unreasonable customer behaviour’. The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman recommend that councils adopt a framework for managing unreasonable customer behaviour and those guidelines have been followed in this policy.

The common view of unacceptable behaviour is when a customer is abusive either verbally or physically. However, there are also other behaviours which unreasonably impact on the business of the council and affects service delivery to other customers. For example:

  • where a customer makes constant requests for complex information* without apparent good reason
  • inappropriate content in, or excessive usage of, electronic communication on the same matter
  • where they are acting in a manner to cause annoyance without the intention of resolving their query

It is particularly this type of behaviour on which staff need guidance in order to deal with the effects on the council and themselves. It is in instances like this these that the customer case management policy may be invoked to help guide staff in ensuring consistency and fairness in dealing with these matters.

* This refers to information outside of that covered by the Freedom of Information Act, 2000. The LGO provides guidance, outside of the scope of this policy, when dealing with unreasonable repeat requests relating to the Act. The Act gives rights of public access to information held by public authorities. However, section 14(1) of the Act protects public authorities from those who might abuse the right to request information.