Commenting on Ofgem’s open letter to energy suppliers regarding restarting debt management activity, Carlos Osorio
, Director of Debt Recovery at TDX Group, an Equifax company, echoes the sentiment that in order for debt collection processes to be fair, they must take individual circumstances into account.
“After this prolonged period of paused activity around collections, one of the most common questions I’m being asked is how can businesses most effectively restart collections responsibly post-COVID.
“We know that the pandemic has had an enormous financial impact on many consumers and businesses, that people's circumstances may have changed considerably over the last four months, and that vulnerability is likely to be more present than ever before.
“In recent guidance Ofgem
stated it will not tolerate sharp practice or aggressive debt collection and we couldn’t agree more. TDX Group is a long term advocate that aggressive debt collection is counter-productive, making it less likely people will engage and putting vulnerable people at further risk. We’re also supporters of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institution’s call to end the outdated and harmful practice of sending threatening debt letters.
“Via our network at TDX Group, we’re in contact with over 60,000 customers in a typical week, trying to help them resolve overdue bills. Our ethos is that debt collection activity must be informed by customer data and insight, so the treatment can be tailored to individual customer circumstances, with agents are empathetic and supportive, ready to pivot on any new information provided to find the right outcome.
"As a result of the outbreak of COVID, we have enhanced our communication suites with customers on behalf of our clients and also accelerated our launch of the V+ service to cater for those most at risk of financial vulnerability. Better identification, leads to better treatment, which leads to better outcomes.
At TDX Group, we’re here to help clients in energy, and the wider utilities sector, post-COVID and have the solutions available to help them to resume recoveries in a way which helps to protect the most vulnerable.
Carlos Osorio, Director of Debt Recovery.