Our Customer Charter
With an historic focus on servicing bank and lender clients, compliance is part of the culture at Burlington.
We were the first DCA to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide debt collection and debt administration services as a ‘principal’ business and we aim as a firm to align ourselves with the spirit of the regulatory regime that we operate within and to deliver fair outcomes for customers.
Our aim is to foster a relationship of trust and confidence between Burlington and its client’s customers and to this end, we have developed a Customer Charter that sets out what customers can expect when dealing with Burlington. View our Customer Charter here
At Burlington, we undertake a range of activities. We act as debt collectors for banks and lenders but we are also debt recovery solicitors and High Court Enforcement Officers. Our Customer Charter predominantly applies when we are engaging in debt collection activity under the Consumer Credit Act regulated agreements but we apply the Charter throughout a range of our activities.
Give consideration for Customers in financial hardship
We will give consideration to the circumstances of customers who are experiencing financial difficulty and treat customers with forbearance. This means that we will not pressurise customers to:
- Make one single or very few repayments or in unreasonably large amounts, when to do so would have an adverse impact on their financial circumstances;
- pay a debt within an unreasonably short period of time; or
- encourage customers to raise funds to repay the debt by selling their property, borrow money or increase existing borrowing.
We will work with customers to reach a sustainable repayment arrangement wherever the remit from our client allows us to do this. We provide an Online Budgeting Tool (that can produce a Common Financial Statement to help form the basis of a discussion of repayment options) and signposting to free Debt Advice agencies for Customers who need extra help to assess their finances.
We will always try to bring about the best outcome for the customer; which may, in some cases, mean returning assets on finance or selling goods to reduce the Customer’s liability under a finance agreement.
Encourage vulnerable Customers to seek advice
The debt collection process can be a daunting experience and in particular for people who are suffering from a mental health condition or other vulnerability that makes it difficult to understand the process or deal with the consequences of being in debt. We actively encourage Customers to disclose any relevant mental health conditions or vulnerabilities to us and to consider appointing an authorised friend, family member or advice agency to work with us. Details of these advice sources can be found here.
Where there is evidence of vulnerability, we will make allowances for Customers, which might include suspending activities to allow the Customer to take advice.
Work with Customers to resolve disputes
Where a Customer disputes either that they owe the debt or that they do not owe the amount claimed, we will actively work to resolve the dispute and to clarify any uncertainty for the Customer.
Deal with Customers in a clear and reassuring manner
When contacting Customers for the first time, we will ensure that they know:
- Who we are as a business and who they should deal with at Burlington;
- The name of the creditor we are representing;
- the reason for our contact and what action is required
We will do what we can to avoid confusion and to provide the customer with information to assist them with making decisions.
We will be mindful of the fact that the Customer may not have experience or competency in handling debt situations and we will not take advantage of Customers who may lack knowledge of the debt collection process.
Contact Customers at reasonable times and in a manner convenient to them
We will not contact customers at unreasonable times and will do our best to accommodate any special requirements that Customers may have as regards when and how we make contact. We will do our best to adopt contact methods that work best for the Customer, provided that the Customer continues to deal with us using the agreed method.
Safeguard Customer data and privacy
We will not disclose or threaten to disclose Customer personal data to third parties, except as legally permitted and reasonably required in order to legitimately to pursue a debt. We will take steps to ensure that we keep debt matters confidential.
Treat Customers with respect
We will treat Customers with respect at all times to the extent that we expect to receive the same treatment in return. We will deal courteously and professionally with Customers and will not discriminate unfairly on any grounds. We will listen and work to understand and appreciate individual Customer circumstances.
Deal effectively and thoroughly with complaints
We will investigate all complaints and will actively try to reduce complaint levels by looking at common causes and continually improving. Wherever possible, we will try to resolve complaints as soon as possible. Where a Customer requires that a complaint is investigated further, we will carry out that investigation. Where we are at fault, we will attempt to reach a resolution that meets with the Customer’s approval. More details regarding our Complaints Policy can be found here .