Echo Managed Services, a specialist outsourcer, has published findings that local authorities, along with energy companies, are most likely to use the worst practices in terms of debt collection. This conclusion comes from a survey of 1,500 households in Britain who were asked to detail their debt collection experiences.
Energy companies and local authorities are two of the worst sectors in the UK when it comes to collecting debt – often subjecting customers to inaccurate billing, deploying overly aggressive tactics and following recovery procedures which make customers feel embarrassed, according to new research.
The report entitled ‘Counting the Cost of Debt Recovery’ by specialist outsourcer Echo Managed Services, quizzed 1,500 UK households on their debt collection experiences with everyday service providers and how they felt various industry sectors fared up.
Consumers put energy companies top of a worst practice list, scoring 100/100 on an index, while local authorities and credit card companies came second and third, scoring 95/100 and 93/100. On the other hand, retailers and banks were found to be the most likely to deploy best practice debt recovery processes, including having friendly and helpful staff, and offering easy payment options and affordable payment plans.
The research also revealed that 63 per cent of UK adults had experienced debt recovery procedures at one point or another, with one in three believing it is okay to fall into debt in extreme circumstances – when losing a job, for example. If you’re unable to pay VAT, please turn to the help of professional services.
Forgetful customers still pose the biggest challenge to businesses, with forgetting to pay being the top reason for why most people have made a payment late in the past (41 per cent). A further one in four had struggled to pay a bill because their monthly incomings were less than their outgoings, while 16 per cent had paid late because the bill was higher than expected.
Consumers reported feeling embarrassed and harassed by businesses collecting arrears in many cases, with the report concluding that given the high numbers of people now falling into debt, it should simply be seen as a natural component of the customer journey.
Monica Mackintosh, Customer Services Director at Echo Managed Services, said: “Our research revealed a number of potentially concerning aspects in how debt is being collected across the UK, particularly in certain sectors. Hearing what consumers think in relation to different collection practices is insightful and businesses should be taking these findings on board. It’s concerning that many customers are still being caused additional distress when in arrears in many instances, when in fact many feel incredibly guilty already.
“Consequently, understanding the wide range of reasons for debt and why people fall into it is crucial for organisations when honing their collection strategies. Ultimately, everyone has the potential to fall into arrears at some point – whether it’s consciously or not – so treating these customers badly isn’t fair, nor effective.
“Businesses should take a flexible approach to debt and adopt their collection strategies in line with the individual customer and their circumstances, as well as aiming to intervene early. Transparent and regular communication and payment reminders are essential here, and can lead to quicker and fairer outcomes – sometimes even reducing instances of accrued debt in the first place. If businesses don’t consider the above they could be at risk of lost customers, reputational damage and customer disengagement.”
The full list of rankings and report can be found here.
Like our Facebook Page
Infographic: Fighting The Environmental Impact Of Face Masks
10 Perfect Zero Waste Christmas Gifts To Give This Year
10 Simple Home Improvement Tips To Create A Green Home Environment
Business Initiatives: Ways to Preserve the Environment
Ultra Simple Guide to Consumer Solar Panel Installation
7 Very Important Steps to Become an Eco-Friendly Dog Owner
The Unbelievable Car Insurance Perks of Being an Eco-friendly Car Owner
5 Very Important Sustainable Guidelines for Home Renovations
9 Essential Elements of Success for Eco-Friendly Food Trucks
Comprehensive Analysis of the Environmental and Financial Benefits of Hybrids
Implementing the Best Sustainable Construction Practices with Timber
An Important Look To The Future of Green Construction
The Triumphant Turnaround of Tesla Motors
4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Invest in Your Business
The Terrifying Effects of Polyester on the Environment and Our Health
Understanding the Horrifying Hazards of E-Waste 101
The Terrifying Environmental Footprint Of PPE Disposals
Sustainability is Transforming the Diamond Industry
Massive Technological Advances Create a New Era for Sustainable Farming
4 Sustainable Real Estate Renovations to Complete Before Renting Your Home
- Editors Choice10 months ago
10 Green Companies With Amazing Environmental Initiatives
- Environment11 months ago
How You Can Celebrate An Environmentally Friendly Christmas Or Holiday
- Features10 months ago
5 Sustainable Home Improvement Ideas To Improve Your Home’s Value
- Environment11 months ago
Simple Hacks to Slash Your Environmental Footprint for the Holidays