Advice on how to report an incident or register a concern for customers or consumers

Customers, consumers and the general public are the ‘eyes and ears’ of regulators in this modern, digitally connected world.

This BBfA site is provided to help all businesses recognise that a compliant business is a sign of a good business. Modern regulation is working hard to reduce bureaucracy and the burden of compliance for business, but not at the cost of risk or other harm to their customers and consumers.

If you, as a consumer or customer, feel that the behaviour, conditions or actions of a business do not meet required standards, then you can use this site to find the appropriate regulatory body and contact them to report your concerns. We would ask you to be patient if you report an issue as not all bodies are equipped to deliver a rapid response, but nevertheless we are keen to hear from you if you feel you have a valid issue.

Reporting  a business creating a public nuisance

Public nuisance arises when consumers want to complain about businesses creating excessive noise, bright artificial light, vermin, litter, dust, smoke or odour. If you, as a customer, local citizen or another local business have concerns that a business is genuinely creating public nuisance, then you should in the first instance share your concern with the business who may not be aware of the regulatory and environmental commitments, or even aware of the problem your are experiencing. In the vast majority of cases that business will fix the problem. If they don’t then read on…

But before you submit a concern we would ask that you read the checklist below, BEFORE contacting the relevant body:

  • If your issue is based on hearsay or you have no personal experience or evidence of your concern …
  • If your issue relates to a non regulated incident (like a waiter being rude to you in a restaurant) …
  • If your issue is related to incidents that occurred some time ago …
    • We ask you to take this up directly with the business concerned


  • If your issue has, or continues to put you or other members of the public at risk
  • If a business is clearly contravening regulatory guidelines (you can check this by browsing the relevant regulatory pages or accessing support documents available from this site)
  • If your working environment is unsafe for you or other members of the public
    • We ask you to contact the relevant regulatory body listed in this site. Mostly this will be your local authority, however some regulations are managed nationally. Please review the relevant pages to identify the right contacts

One final request. Please act responsibly. In a digital world it is all too easy to create nuisance claims that have little foundation and can directly harm business reputations. Do take care as anonymous reports will NOT be acted upon, and untrue claims that damage the reputation of a business can result in action against people reporting.


Howard visited a local restaurant. This is displaying a five star hygiene rating in the window. However on  the evening that Howard and his family visited they had some concerns about the cleanliness of the restaurant. There appeared to be mouse droppings on the carpet and one meat dish was served partially frozen in the centre. When Howard got home he looked up the restaurant at the Food Standards Agency only to find that the restaurant actually has a 1 star food hygiene rating. So Howard immediately reported the business to the local authority food standards team who were then able to visit the restaurant and get the owner to instigate corrective action on a number of areas. The restaurant now legitimately displays a five star rating and Howard has now confidently returned to the restaurant to enjoy a meal.

Cherie was annoyed when a neighbour, who parked a commercial van outside their house further down her street, would be loading the van every morning with tools, making a noise and disturbing her. She contacted the local authority to make a nuisance claim and also reported the neighbour for illegally running a business from home. Both reports wasted authority time as the neighbour was legitimately running a carpentry firm as a sole trader. When contacted by the local authority they found that the neighbour was loading his car early every morning as five weeks previously someone had broken into his van and stolen all his tools, so he had no option but to load the van every morning from his secure garage. However having heard this was causing some annoyance he took care to load the van quietly every day. The business owner said, “if only whoever reported this had had a word with me directly I would have taken action immediately to be quieter”.

David saw a clearly marked business vehicle dumping building waste near a public park. He managed to photograph and video the activity and reported it to crimestoppers who had other evidence of illegal fly tipping from this business. The evidence from David helped strengthen an investigation into this business and they were later successfully prosecuted, making use of the evidence David supplied.

Alison was concerned when getting her car fixed at a local garage that she saw them emptying spent motor oil into what looked like a normal drain entry. She contacted her local authority environment team who called into the garage to investigate. It quickly became apparent that the drain was in fact leading directly to special purpose containers that store spent oil before appropriate disposal. To ensure that no other customers had similar concerns the drain entry was appropriately labelled by the garage.