Treating Customers Fairly in Debt Recovery
March 2017

Pursuing our clients’ unpaid debt is always a sensitive issue and we’re keen to ensure their customers are treated fairly throughout the debt recovery process.

A good collection firm needs to outline what they consider to be fair treatment and outcomes when dealing with those in debt. These approaches should be outlined in the company’s policies so the desired results are achieved. Within Alex M Adamson we have clear policies that shape our assessment and response when dealing with customers.

Firstly, we have a Customer Care policy which includes guidelines on dealing with those in debt. The policy was initially inspired by the guidelines which are to be met by Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) members like ourselves when dealing with consumer credit cases. The key values that lie within these guidelines are to treat customers fairly through actions including speaking to customers the way you would expect to be spoken to, not interacting with minors, respecting confidentiality, avoiding unsociable hours contact and safeguarding personal documentation. We have extended that ethos in to all interactions at AMA to ensure all customers get the high level of service & respect that they deserve.

Our Fair & Ethical Business Policy further cements this approach by ensuring we treat customers fairly in all that we do. However treating them fairly doesn’t necessarily mean treating all of them in the same manner – each type of case needs a different approach.

In order to adapt our customer service approach for each individual case we ensure our operations & training enable our team to thoroughly identify different groups so they can take them on the correct journey to reach the best outcome in the fairest manner.

Within debt collection it is particularly important for staff to be able to identify any potential signs of vulnerability such as mental illnesses or financial difficulties and for firms to have the training and policies in place to guide their team on how to handle these situations in an appropriate and ethical manner. We operate with a Vulnerable Customer policy which outlines the approach to take where a customer has been identified as potentially vulnerable. This is guided by the Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG)’s guidelines on dealing with vulnerable individuals. In addition we’ve established a Customer Assistance Team, set up specifically to deal with more complex cases where there are signs of vulnerability such as multiple debts or mental health issues.

We believe it as a debt collection firm’s duty to treat client’s customers with the respect and service that they deserve when they are going through, for most, a difficult time. We take reputational risk as seriously as our clients & we do the upmost to ensure our values and practises allow us to treat out client’s customers in a fair and ethical manner.