Debt Solutions Are a Service, Not a Sale
Freeze Debt are lobbying for the prevention of the sale of debt solutions, which requires a ban on the use of outbound call centres by Insolvency Practitioners (IPs).
The debt industry has, over the past few years, seen an unprecedented increase in the number of IVAs issued. This has happened in line with the rising population of call centres entering the debt industry. At some point in this process, debt solutions stopped becoming a service, and became a product chased by ruthless call centres – whose backgrounds include PPI, accident claims, and utility switching.
The core issue through with the way debt solutions are provided is the lack of customer care. The user needing debt help has become a sales number on a spreadsheet, and turned debt advisors into sales agents chasing commission.
Lack of compliancy
The data used by offshore call centres to IPs, in most cases, cannot be verified, with a small chance of said data being compliant with GDPR and individual privacy.
Lack of care
People struggling with debt are being hounded at a time when they already may be feeling vulnerable. This can lead people to rush into solutions that may not be right for them.
Lack of responsibility
Nobody is currently taking responsibility for the actions of the debt packagers. IPs are placing accountability onto regulated firms and the FCA, with the latter passing this over to the ICO and over governing bodies.
Lack of awareness
Offshore call centres are the debt industry's dirty little secret, and they hide in plain sight. Many may no the aware that they even exist, but others are willingly turning a blind eye.
Debt package providers like these are a huge cause of stigma and give the debt industry a bad name. We believe that that steps needed to be taken in order to move towards a better, more inclusive, and safer debt industry.
Getting rid of outbound, offshore call centres to ensure that customers are contacted lawfully and willingly. This added regulation will provide a duty of care towards customers, as their best interests are being catered for.
Holding the industry accountable for where the case has originated e.g. must show clear GDPR-compliance with a clear communication timeline. Big fines and license removals should be a consequence of unlawful cases and a refusal to change practices.