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The charity making life better by water

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 then we would like to know.

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.

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. However, if we have been unable to do this for you and you wish to make a complaint please read our 'Making a complaint' leaflet, it explains what you can expect.

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

Is there anything you can't complain about?

We always welcome 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 or public consultations, 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.

Waterways ombudsman

It might be that you still feel we have not fully resolved your complaint after receiving both our initial complaint response and our review. If this is the case then you can ask the Waterways Ombudsman, within 12 months of receiving our review of your complaint, 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 Trust's complaint process.

Unacceptable or Persistent Contact policy

We believe that individuals have a right to be heard, understood and respected. We work hard to be open and accessible to everyone. Occasionally, the behaviour or actions of individuals using our service makes it very difficult for us to deal with their contact. In a small number of cases the actions of individuals become unacceptable because they involve abuse of our staff or our processes. We also consider the impact of the behaviour on our ability to do our work and provide a service to others.

Actions that result in unreasonable demands on, or unreasonable behaviour towards, our staff are considered unacceptable. The threat or use of physical violence, verbal abuse or harassment towards our staff is likely to result in immediate termination of all direct contact with the individual. We may also report incidents to the police if physical violence is used or threatened.

Other actions we may consider taking to protect our staff and services include actions such as limiting contact to telephone calls at set times on set days, restricting contact to a nominated member of staff, seeing the individual by appointment only or restricting contact from the individual to writing only.

Except for such immediate decisions taken at the time of an incident, decisions to restrict contact are only taken after careful consideration of the situation by a more senior member of staff, for example a regional director, head of service or service manager. Wherever possible we will give an individual the opportunity to change their behaviour or action before a decision is restricted.

When a decision to apply this policy has been made, we will always provide the reason in writing* as to why a decision has been made to restrict future contact, the restricted contact arrangements and, if relevant, the length of time that these restrictions will be in place. This ensures that the individual has a record of the decision.

*This can be supplemented if written communication is not the most appropriate form for the individual.

Last Edited: 12 April 2023

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