Complaints, compliments & feedback

We welcome your feedback about the way that we work. If you have had a good experience we would love to hear from you. Equally, if your experience was not what you had hoped and you would like to make a complaint we would also like to know.

We always try our best but sometimes we still get it wrong. When this happens, your feedback helps us to put things right and learn from our mistakes.

We have a clear procedure for handling complaints because it is important to us that all complaints are treated seriously and resolved promptly. 

It is always best if you can let us know straight away as most complaints can be sorted out for you quickly by a member of staff. If you wish to make a complaint please read our 'Making a complaint' leaflet, it explains what you can expect. 

Alternatively, should you wish to leave us a compliment about our staff or our services or some feedback to help us improve, here's where you can find details about the ways to contact us.

For information on what you can expect from ourselves and how we deal with our customers, read our Customer service standards.

Waterways ombudsman

It might be that you still feel we have not fully resolved your complaint after receiving both first and second level responses within our complaints procedure. If this is the case then you can ask the Waterways Ombudsman, within 12 months of receiving our second level response, to consider your complaint. Contact details can be found on the Waterways Ombudsman’s website.

It is important to note that the Waterways Ombudsman will normally only investigate complaints which have first exhausted the Canal & River Trust complaint process.

Unreasonable behaviour policy

We are committed to dealing with all customers and members of the public fairly, impartially and in a proper and considerate manner. We do not normally limit the contact that customers or the public have with us, whether in person, by telephone, by email or on social media. However, we will not tolerate behaviour or communications that are unreasonable; by which we mean those behaviours or communications which are offensive, abusive or threatening, for example.

In addition, from time to time our staff may fall short of the expectations of our customers. This could be because we have failed, or been slow, to act; or it may be because a complainant’s expectation of us goes beyond that which we can deliver. Occasionally, however, a complainant hinders our consideration of their complaints through their frequency of contact with us and exceptionally, we will take action to limit their contact.

In any circumstances outlined above, we will take action by implementing our unreasonable behaviour policy.

Is there anything you can’t complain about?

The Canal & River Trust always welcomes feedback and suggestions for improvement. However, there are certain instances where we won't accept a complaint.

We're unable to investigate a complaint if it's:

  • An anonymous complaint
  • About one of our policies, though your feedback will be noted. For example, our license terms and conditions, licence enforcement policy or our end of garden mooring policy. This does not affect your right to pursue a legal claim outside of the complaints process where you have grounds to do so. If you do wish to pursue a claim, we would suggest that you seek your own legal advice
  • To do with legal issues or commercial disputes, though this does not affect your right to pursue a legal claim outside of the complaints process where you have grounds to do so. If you do wish to pursue a claim, we would suggest that you seek your own legal advice
  • A complaint that has already completed the Trust's complaints procedure where you are not presenting any new evidence which may affect the original outcome


If you have purchased goods or services on-line from us, then you can also access this complaints procedure set out below by registering with the EU Online Dispute Resolution Platform 

Last date edited: 4 November 2019