The new FCA are particularly concerned about the way vulnerable customers are treated in their brave new world. Too often the needs of the customers are overlooked in the headlong rush to collect money, and it seems that major lenders are moving further and further away from the consultative approach in favour of “we want our money and we want it now.”
Ethicall are proud of our reputation for handling sensitive cases – with our employed network of field operators, all of them credit industry experienced with in-depth knowledge of collections and distressed customers – Ethicall can makes the difference when it comes to dealing with difficult situations.
By way of example, here’s a real-life case study:
We were given a case where it was explained to us beforehand that one of the customers had attempted suicide twice in the past 6 months (Mrs A), Mr A had been in contact with the mortgage company a few months previously, he had explained that he had been finding it difficult to cope with running the household and the finances and would be in touch again soon to make an arrangement on the arrears. This had been the last contact. Our agent attended the property and was met at the door by Mr A who was visibly upset, after DPA and identification Mr A agreed to speak to our agent, during the discussion in transpired that it was Mr who had attempted suicide recently and he went on to explain that he had done so as his parents had died in an accident 12 months ago and he had suffered emotionally and financially, his parents used to provide him with childcare support and also give him money each month to help him meet his commitments, he had never had to budget or watch what he was spending as his parents always helped out (within reason). When this stopped he struggled with resolving childcare issues and also paying bills, he hid this as well as he could from his wife but when unable to pay for children’s school dinners and trips he became depressed, when he started to get letters from the mortgage company regarding arrears he attempted suicide. Our agent spoke with the customer for an hour about this, without mention of the mortgage arrears, before explaining to the customer that he may be able to help though budget planning. The agent explained the concept of budget planning to the customer and arranged to call back the following day when Mrs A would be available so they could sit down and go through everything. The following day Mrs A rang our agent pre visit to thank him as she explained that it already felt as if the mood in the family home had lifted, at the evening appointment our agent went through the income and expenditure forms and found that the customer could afford acceptable repayments to his mortgage whilst managing his finances on a weekly basis with a weekly allowance for luxury items. The customer were vastly overspending on items they did not need, in the past they had not needed to consider this and had spent regardless. The customers maintained this payment and the mortgage company asked us to complete a follow up visit 6 months later, upon which Mr & Mrs A explained they were now on top of everything and even had a savings account for emergencies, the customers and the mortgage company both commended our agent by email for his conduct, understanding and care in helping them resolve the situation.