Skip to content

Dealing with Debt Responsibly

A recent survey into debt collection asked 1.500 British households to describe their debt collection experiences and the results were rather alarming. It seems that local authorities and energy companies are the most likely to use irresponsible and unfair practices when it comes to collecting payments owed to them. The “Counting the Cost of Debt Recovery” report wanted to find out how people in the UK fell about how everyday services providers treat their captive customers – after all, everybody needs to use local authority services (which are funded by Council Tax) and utility services such as electricity, water, gas and telecoms.

According to those surveyed, energy companies are at the top of the worst practice list, scoring 100/100 – bad news for all the energy providers here in the UK. Local authorities came a close second, scoring 95/100 and credit card companies came in third with a score of 93/100. All of these are accused of inaccurate billing processes, using overly aggressive tactics and following recovery procedures which resulted in customers feeling embarrassed and helpless at the way in which they were treated.

According to research, a massive 63% of UK adults have experienced debt recovery procedures at some point and one in three believe that it’s okay to fall into debt in extreme circumstances, such as losing a job. We’ve been experiencing a recession here in the UK for several years which has led to many job losses so getting behind with payments has been unavoidable for so many of us.

However, when you look at the other side of the coin, those surveyed revealed that retailers and banks are the most likely to use acceptable practices when undertaking the debt recovery process. This includes offering easy and convenient payment options, affordable payment plans and employing and training staff to offer a friendly and helpful service. Great customer experiences like this can make so much difference when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Embarrassing and worrying customers only makes their experience worse and any company that does so will find their customers using an alternative provider if at all possible. Customers who feel harassed by a business that is collecting arrears are likely to ensure that once the debt has been cleared they will avoid using that company in the future – not a particularly useful tactic when it comes to retaining customers.

So many people confessed to merely being forgetful when it comes to late payments which we can probably all relate to as our lives are so busy in this rapidly changing world. Others disclosed that they struggle to pay bills because their monthly income was less than their monthly spending or that a particular bill was just so much higher than they had expected, resulting in a difficulty in finding such a large amount. Again, these are circumstances that most of us can sympathise with.

Here at Access Credit Management we offer a service that is tailored to avoiding litigation wherever possible and use our expertise to negotiate a solution that is designed to bring results for our clients. We use our experience and communication skills to successfully resolve problem debt situations, offering our commercial clients the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we take your good reputation seriously and would not do anything that would cause a negative impact on your business.