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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: telephone contact: telephone technique: how to deal with angry and abusive callers

Due to the nature of the work we do in Debt Management you may find that, on occasion, you are dealing with an angry or abusive caller.

You should firstly try and diffuse the situation yourself by speaking in a calm and professional manner. If this does not work, where possible, you should pass the call to your manager. If the customer continues to be aggressive or abusive, you should follow the rules on terminating the call; see DMBM511100.

Debt Management does not expect you to deal with verbal assaults or threats of any kind and so it’s vital that these calls are reported to your manager. You should also note the record to help your colleagues in the future and to avoid Field Force calls to this customer.

If the call has affected you, you must speak to your manager who will report the call and undertake a risk assessment.

After the call you should note the record accordingly. If you have to leave the building you should leave your note until you return but securely lock your workstation. The notes on the record must reflect accurately the call and the reason for termination.

For accurate-noting guidance, see DMBM900500.

Where the customer makes abusive remarks you should follow the rules in the guidance for staff within HR62086 regarding rude or abusive behaviour, threats of violence or violence towards staff.