DAMMING REPORT FROM THE OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING

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size5

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Post by size5 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:48 am
Absolutely Luke. It only takes one unguarded comment, perhaps from someone who may still be wet behind the ears as it were rather than a "bad apple" and the backlash could potentially be very significant. This is why the likes of the DRF are working very closely with their members to ensure at least a minimum level of competence via recognised qualifications before their staff are allowed to liaise with potential clients.

I would also point out that the mystery shoppers are actively seeking fault, in effect guilty until proven innocent rather than the other way round. I have been doing this job for 12 years now, and I continue to learn something new almost every day. Whilst we all strive for perfection unfortunately we also have to acknowledge that it is very difficult to achieve, I have certainly made a few mistakes in my time, as I am sure have others.

Regards.
Last edited by size5 on Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Andrew Graveson

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Post by Andrew Graveson » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:49 am
But the difficulty Michael is that so much of the industry has been behaving so poorly for so long that this had to happen.

A painful time now perhaps... but in the long run both the public and good debt advice companies (of all types) will be much better off if standards are raised to where they need to be.
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lukeofyorkshire

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Post by lukeofyorkshire » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:53 am
Yeah I think this will act to finally get rid of the cowboys. But continued vigilence is going to be needed to stop the8 from springing back up under the guise of a differnet name (As seems to happen at the moment).

Here's to a brighter future!
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Michael Peoples

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Post by Michael Peoples » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:10 am
Andrew. If the OFT could not publish the names of the companies they should have said nothing at all until the review stage and they start to revoke licences. The public does not know whether these firms were warned over minor things or serious and potentially fraugulent acts. The public do not know who are the good firms because the names of the bad ones were not published.

Effectively the whole industry has been tarnished and any people out there in trouble will be loathe to contact any company and instead will be forced into the arms of unqualified local advice centres or the bank funded 'free' sector.
Michael Peoples | McCambridge Duffy Insolvency Practitioners
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lukeofyorkshire

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Post by lukeofyorkshire » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:14 am
I agree Michael Peoples with you. It is typical of a Government Funded Body to do a half-a**ed job and just make it harder for people out there to seek help.

I do despair if at how the public sector is run sometimes with no thought to the wider consequences.
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Andrew Graveson

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Post by Andrew Graveson » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:27 am
I do understand your point Michael but I think the OFT are probably caught between a rock and a hard place on that issue.

I'd also suggest that the industry as a whole has done much to tarnish its own name without needing any help from others.

Very unfair today on good companies who are trying to do the right thing. But probably a point from which the industry can now move forwards more positively.

I was included in an email yesterday from a senior person in a very well-known IVA company that included the following comment that I think sums things up really well:

"Let's hope we can now move on and demonstrate our levels of compliance so that we're not such an easy target in the future".
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Adam Davies

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Post by Adam Davies » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:35 am
Hi
Were all debt management companies mystery shopped , or just a selection ?
I have to agree with Michael that the report has tarnished the whole industry and the piece on BBS TV yesterday was squarely aimed at commercial debt management companies.
Anybody using or thinking of using a commercial company would have felt very worried.
There was the usual statement that you can use "free companies" such as the National debtline and The CCCS
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Andam Davies
 
 

Andrew Graveson

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Post by Andrew Graveson » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:47 am
But for as long as rogue and weak debt management companies continue to exist the media, and regulators, and the charity debt advice sector will forever be able to point an accusing finger towards commercial debt management plan companies in general (which affects us all).

OFT action, robust trade associations and committed debt management companies can collectively start to change the existing perceptions for the future.

That's when we can more credibly explain the benefits that we offer compared to the other "free" sources of help that are available (and which are pretty much exclusively endorsed by the media today).
Andrew Graveson
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nomoremoney

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Post by nomoremoney » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:05 pm
I have little faith in Regulation in Credit and Finance. Ed Milliband have lambast the lack of City regulation...allowing Bankers to go 'Gordon Gekko'X100 and leaving the mess for taxpayers.

OFT....now didn't they lose to the Banks on the Bank charge case!

There is TOO MUCH money to be make on DMP and IVA and so bad practices are coming in as in Retail Banking.Some IVA firms are FT companies[guess who]

Now OFT isn't as powerful as you think.I think we have another mess to resolve -the Industry on top of the DEBT....double whammy
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Michael Peoples

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Post by Michael Peoples » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:38 pm
How would society react if the Church announced that they knew of a certain number of priests who were abusing children but they were not going to name them? Or the Law Society said it knew that a number of it's members were ripping people off but again they were not going to say who. Or the FSA said they knew that a couple of major banks were near to collapse and everybody could lose their entire savings but they would not give any more details.

This would cause pandemonium and I truly believe that this report has severely tarnished an entire industry. Why did they not keep their mouths shut until they started to revoke licences or issue written warnings? While I accept that there are abuses within this industry, I do not accept that scaring every potential client into the arms of dubious advice agencies is the way to go.
Michael Peoples | McCambridge Duffy Insolvency Practitioners
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If you would like to talk to me about proposing an IVA or have any questions at all please visit www.mccambridgeduffy.com
 
 

lukeofyorkshire

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Post by lukeofyorkshire » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:42 pm
Michael Peoples wrote:

How would society react if the Church announced that they knew of a certain number of priests who were abusing children but they were not going to name them? Or the Law Society said it knew that a number of it's members were ripping people off but again they were not going to say who. Or the FSA said they knew that a couple of major banks were near to collapse and everybody could lose their entire savings but they would not give any more details.

This would cause pandemonium and I truly believe that this report has severely tarnished an entire industry. Why did they not keep their mouths shut until they started to revoke licences or issue written warnings? While I accept that there are abuses within this industry, I do not accept that scaring every potential client into the arms of dubious advice agencies is the way to go.
I think that perfectly sums it all up!
1st payment Oct 2008, last payment Dec 2013. Certificate received March 2015 due to PPI claim.
 
 

Andrew Graveson

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Post by Andrew Graveson » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:49 pm
Hi Michael,

I do accept and understand the arguments you're putting forward.

In my opinion there is a pretty strong alternative view as well but it seems to be winning little support around here!!

With that in mind I think I'm going to drop out of this one now.
Andrew Graveson
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Michael Peoples

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Post by Michael Peoples » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:58 pm
Andrew.

I think we all agree and a bit of healthy debate is useful. The exercise carried out by the OFT may have been a good one with honest intentions but it is the way it has been handled that I find most annoying.

Your view is as valid as anyone's and to be fair probably not too far removed from my own. You are right that we are now 'flogging a dead horse' but maybe next time round the OFT will be more careful about what information [or lack of it] that they issue to the public.
Michael Peoples | McCambridge Duffy Insolvency Practitioners
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kallis3

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Post by kallis3 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:29 pm
I quite agree Michael.

Once the review is finished then the whole findings should be published so we can see whether or not it was due to incompetent office staff or something far more serious. It would also be interesting to see if any of these companies have managed to turn themselves around.

I think we have all been victim to bad advice, poor information from the office staff. Perhaps if there were structured training things might be better.
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nomoremoney

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Post by nomoremoney » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:31 pm
OFT and FSA= "not fit for the purpose of regulation against bad practices"

New Labour believed in self regulation of Banking and Credit industries.....hahahahh

Review over or not....nothing will change.

That's life..
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