We believe in treating our customers fairly and respectfully, and we know most of our customers act in the same way to our team members when they’re on site and working. Unfortunately, we’ve recently seen some unacceptable behaviour that has led to our team members feeling upset, intimidated or threatened. We think our staff deserve better, and we’re asking all our customers to consider their behaviour and make sure they are aware of the impact their actions could have.
We have recently been made aware of people attempting to film our operatives when they are working, usually threatening to post the footage online.
Some of our team members have also been approached aggressively when they’re trying to complete jobs, with customers threatening violence or being violent towards them or their equipment.
When our team members are on a job, regardless of what they are working on at the time, they have a right to carry out their work without fear or intimidation from anyone. They are also entitled to take breaks and to use their mobile phones, which we provide to allow them to manage their workload, stay in touch with colleagues, and check on the progress of other jobs and supplies that they may be waiting for.
It's also likely that there will be some level of mess or disruption while work is taking place. This will be cleaned up when the work is completed.
If you film anyone from our team when they are working, or you approach them in an aggressive or intimidating manner, they will first ask you to stop. If your behaviour continues, they have our full support to leave any situation they feel unsafe or uncomfortable in, which will delay the work they are trying to complete while we investigate what’s happened and take appropriate action.
We will directly contact any customer who has filmed our team members or is behaving aggressively towards them. Under the terms of your tenancy agreement, this behaviour could be considered harassment. You not only have a responsibility for your own behaviour, but the behaviour of any other residents or visitors to your home.
If you feel our team members are behaving inappropriately or causing excessive disruption, please contact our customer services team using the details on our website and this will be investigated.
Harassment of our team members on social media
We’re also aware of an increased number of people taking to social media to name individuals and using disrespectful and inflammatory language to describe them. At times, we’ve also seen people sharing contact details of our team members and encouraging others to email or telephone them directly. This could be considered as harassment under the terms of your tenancy agreement, and is often also in breach of the community rules issued by social media networks.
We encourage our team members to report any social media comments where they are named so the comment can be removed by a moderator or the network itself, as they have a right to privacy and to protect their personal data. Where possible, our communications team will also message customers who have named someone or shared personal information about them and ask them to remove it. If individuals are named on our channels and we have the ability to do so, we will remove the comment ourselves. We have also reminded our team members that they are not required to give their surnames to customers if they don’t wish to, to protect their privacy.
We understand that customers may be frustrated and want somewhere to express their views, and we have no intention of interfering with anyone’s right to free speech. However, we do take the wellbeing of our team members very seriously and have a responsibility to make sure they are protected and supported so they can do their jobs to the best of their ability.
We know we don’t always get things right, and if you are unhappy with a situation involving our team members, we would always recommend following our complaints procedure, which is outlined on our website. All complaints are dealt with in the same way in line with guidance from the Housing Ombudsman. Posting publicly on social media doesn’t get you a faster or more favourable response – we will follow the exact same process regardless of how you report your complaint to us.
You can find all the information you need about our complaints procedure on our website: https://www.futureshg.co.uk/corporate/policies-and-compliance/how-are-we-doing/