Complaints policy

We take complaints about our services seriously and view them as an opportunity to: a) identify and apologise for any mistakes or inadequacies in our systems; and b) implement improvements to our services. 

Who can complain

For your feedback to be treated as a formal complaint, you must be complaining about a specific service you, or someone you are representing, received from Brake, and which you consider fell below acceptable standards. General comments about Brake's work or opinions on issues we deal with will not be treated as complaints, but can be submitted to us through our comments form.

How to complain

Complaints should be sent to generalmanager@brake.org.uk, with the subject labelled COMPLAINT. Please email us from an email account you regularly monitor so we can reply. Please include your full name and phone number.

Alternatively, if you do not have email access, write to General manager, Brake, PO Box 548, Huddersfield, HD1 2XZ, enclosing an address we can reply to.

What to put in your complaint

Your complaint must provide full details as you understand them of what you think we didn't do very well and why, how that affected you, and what you think we should do now, so we have all the necessary information to hand from the beginning. So, for example, if you are complaining about an aspect of a conversation you held with a Brake helpline officer, it helps if you tell us exactly when that conversation took place and, if you remember their name, who you spoke to, what happened, and what you think should have happened.

How we investigate your complaint

Complaints are responded to by Brake's general manager, in consultation with relevant team leaders and our team protocols. Complaints are responded to with careful consideration of a) our existing protocols and systems and what should have happened, b) the facts of what happened and how you were affected, and c) whether there is anything we could we do better in the future and what improvements we can implement.

Brake has to consider use of its resources when investigating complaints and planning any subsequent improvements. The amount of staff time Brake can commit to addressing any particular area of work will depend on strategic priorities and funding. For example, Brake may decide an improvement to our work is desirable but can be delayed, rather than urgent and requires attention now. This may also affect the amount of time we can engage in discussion with a complainant on any particular issue at any particular time.

When you will hear from us

Brake believes it is important to respond to complaints in a timely manner. If you are making a complaint about Brake we aim to send you a response within 10 working days. If it is not possible to respond fully within that timeframe for whatever reasons, you should receive a response within 10 working days explaining this is not possible and advising you that we require another 10 working days. In either instance, your complaint will be responded to within 20 working days. If you do not receive a response then it may be that your complaint has not been received. In that instance, please call 01484 559909 or email your complaint labelled LOSTCOMPLAINT to generalmanager@brake.org.uk and admin@brake.org.uk

If you are unhappy with our response

If you are not satisfied with the first response you receive, you can reply explaining why you feel our response is inappropriate and your complaint will be reconsidered within a further 20 working days in consultation with the charity's chief executive.

Derogatory correspondence

Sadly, Brake receives, from time to time, derogatory, offensive and even occasionally threatening, correspondence from extremists, often motivated by their opposition to life-saving road safety measures. This is particularly the case during media campaigns in which we state our support for traffic laws and their enforcement. We reserve the right not to reply to correspondence that we consider malicious or time-wasting in intent and not in any way related to helping us improve our professional standards of operation. We also reserve the right to refer to the police any correspondence we consider offensive or threatening.