We acknowledge that clients from time to time find themselves in stressful or upsetting situations, and this can cause people to act out of character. In many cases, a client’s anger is directed not at the Advice Centre but at the University, landlord, or other agency. However, in some cases clients display unacceptable behaviour towards Advice Centre staff.
Physical or verbal abuse
Physical or verbal aggression, behaviour or language that causes staff or other clients to feel afraid, threatened or abused.
Advice Centre staff have the right to choose to end an abusive or aggressive telephone call. Similarly, if written or emailed correspondence is considered aggressive, abusive or offensive, the client will be informed that any further correspondence of that nature will not be dealt with.
If physical violence is used or threatened, the police will be called.
This category includes: unreasonable persistence after the client has been told that the Advice Centre cannot help with the enquiry, continually contacting the Advice Centre about the same issue, or bombarding the Advice Centre with many different issues, imposing unreasonable timescales for dealing with a problem, and demanding services that the Advice Centre does not provide.
Where it is felt that the behaviour of a client under either of the above categories is adversely affecting the work of the SRC Advice Centre and the service to other clients, a decision may be made to restrict contact with that client.
For example, we may ask that the client contacts the Advice Centre only in writing, or only on certain days at a set time. We may exclude the client from contact with Advice Centre staff for a period of time.
Wherever possible, the client will be given the opportunity to modify her/his behaviour before this decision is made.
If the client feels that s/he has been unfairly dealt with under the Unacceptable Behaviour Policy, s/he may appeal in writing to the SRC President.