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Jo Geraghty

Director

Calling time on premium calls

Date added: 17th Apr 2014
Category: Customer Experience

How much do you really care about your customers?  Not a lot if the latest call from the FCA is anything to go by.  The FCA has raised concerns that customers who call financial services firms for help or to make a complaint are in some cases being charged premium rates.  Whilst every financial services firm has to have a ‘free’ channel for complaints, some firms rely on this channel being online or by post; not the best option for a customer who wants to talk through a problem.

The FCA has therefore launched a consultation which will examine whether firms should offer a service which includes calls capped at basic rates.  Responding to the consultation Which? Executive director, Richard Lloyd, said “Some of the biggest banks have already dropped costly calls so there is no reason why others shouldn’t follow their lead. We’d like to see all financial services firms change to basic rate lines as soon as possible, and not wait until new rules come into effect.”

The question of call charges sits right at the heart of customer care.  By charging premium call rates for complaints or queries, a business is effectively announcing that it has little regard for its customers’ concerns.  The marketing blurb may say otherwise but it is with our actions that we are judged and expecting customers to pay heavily to put right business mistakes is not customer care in any book.

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