Responding to Consumer Complaints Responding to Consumer Complaints The Credit by ramhood3


									                                             Responding to Consumer Complaints

Responding to Consumer Complaints                                        As COSL provides members responses as they are to consumers,
                                                                         responses must be:
The Credit Ombudsman Service Limited (COSL) dispute resolution                •    Clear and concise;
service exists outside the legal system and provides COSL                     •    Understandable - members must use plain English. If the
members and consumers with the opportunity to quickly resolve                 consumer has difficulty with English, members must attach a
credit disputes.                                                              translation in the consumer's first language; and
                                                                              •    Professional, not emotive, abusive or argumentative;
When responding to consumer complaints, members must provide
clear, concise and comprehensive responses to COSL and                   Your response must clearly state what position you are taking on the
consumers.                                                               complaint:
                                                                              •    If you accept the complaint without offering redress, give
Below are some tips on making a good response to COSL. By                          reasons for your position; or
following these guidelines, members can minimise delays during                •    If you accept the complaint and are offering redress, explain
the dispute resolution process and avoid unnecessary stress for                    what redress you are offering the consumer, giving details of
both members and consumers.                                                        its form or amount. Give reasons for your position; or
                                                                              •    If you do not accept the complaint but are offering redress,
What to do when you receive a consumer's complaint from                            explain what redress you are offering, giving details of its
COSL                                                                               form or amount. Give reasons for your position; or
                                                                              •    If you reject the complaint, give reasons for your position.
COSL members are required to respond to COSL within 21 days
of receiving a consumer complaint. The response is then                  Responses should include a chronology of events and a list of the facts
forwarded to the consumer for their consideration.                       on which you and the consumer both agree. This might alleviate any
                                                                         "them and us" focus during dispute resolution. Members can respond
Before responding to a consumer complaint, members should:               either paragraph by paragraph to the consumer’s complaint or issue by
     •    Read the complaint in full and identify the relevant           issue or they can respond in chronological order.
          issues raised by the consumer. If the basis of a
          complaint is unclear, ask COSL in writing as soon as           Things to avoid in your response
          possible if the consumer could clarify any issues you're
          uncertain about;                                               The EDR process is open and transparent. Information received by
     •    Make a list of the consumer’s concerns and prepare a           COSL from consumers and members is exchanged between the
          chronology of events;                                          parties. Thus, a delay by either the consumer or the member, or a
     •    Obtain all relevant information and documents including        failure by either party to provide a comprehensive response, can
          internal diary notes;                                          lengthen the time taken to finalise complaints.
     •    If delays are likely in obtaining information or providing a
          response, contact COSL as soon as possible and
          explain why there could be a delay and when you expect         Members’ responses should not:
          to respond; and                                                   •    Jump from point to point without any order or relevance;
     •    If you need to apply for an extension of time, members            •    Fail to respond to all the issues raised;
          must make a written application to COSL with supporting           •    Be emotive, haranguing, abusive or use argumentative
          documentation within 21 days of receiving the complaint.               language;
                                                                            •    Amount to personal attacks on the consumer; or
                                                                            •    Swamp COSL with documents, or fail to identify relevant
                                                                                 documents or fail to explain the relevance of documents.
COSL has published a policy, COSL Policy Guideline EDRP 9,
about allowing members extensions of time. Members can view              Why should I bother making a good response to a complaint?
this policy on the COSL website at                                              A good response to COSL represents your organisation as a
                                                                         professional one that respects its clients. A good response will also:
COSL has also issued a policy about timeframes which members                  •    Help COSL better understand the issues and your case;
must follow, COSL Policy Guideline EDRP 5. This is also available             •    Speed up the dispute resolution process;
on the COSL website.                                                          •    Reduce the risk of parties becoming frustrated and "digging
How to construct responses                                                    •    Demonstrate that you are committed to acting in a
Clear, concise and timely responses are essential from consumers                   professional manner at all times, even if you are the subject
and members and will reduce the time taken to resolve complaints.                  of a complaint; and
                                                                              •    Increase your opportunity to retrieve what might otherwise be
Members’ responses should clearly state if they accept or reject a                 a lost business relationship.
complaint and provide all the reasons for their position.

Members must provide all relevant documents with their responses
and clearly label them, even if the document is not favourable to
their case.

Membership Office                                                                      Case Management Office:
PO Box A252, Sydney, NSW 1235                                                          PO Box A252, Sydney, NSW 1235
Tel: 02 9273 8455 Fax: 02 9261 2792                                                    Tel: 02 9273 8400 Fax: 02 9261 2798
Email:                                                  Interstate Callers: 1300 780 808

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