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Phone Etiquette

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  • Phone Etiquette

    I have seen Collectors and Skip Tracers get in to a lot of hot water by not being careful on the phone. There are lawyers out there who make their money by suing people who work in the creditors rights industry. As professionals we need to make sure that our conduct is above board - and please understand that Accidents do happen.

    Hold Music

    If you put someone on hold, what is being played?
    Years ago while working at a collection agency, we had a complaint come in claiming racism. A person of color called and was placed on hold, it just so happened that at that moment, the hold music was a radio station and a news broadcast was on about a KKK member. Yes it was bad timing, but this guy was already uptight about calling in and then suddenly he hears something that sounded racist. A ton of apologies and a partial write off resolved that.

    We need to be careful what we play for hold music. Avoid anything that might contain offensive language of any sort.

    Did you hang up before talking to someone else?

    When you finish your call do you make sure you have hung up from the call completely?

    One Medical Collector called a debtor and left a phone message ''Ms. Doe, call Sally Generic at 888 111 2222" and she did not make sure that the call was disconnected.

    She called a few people around her and started reading from the debtors medical records about her problems with child birth and the medical procedures preformed. Even discussing her genatalia.

    All of this was recorded on her voice mail!

    Jobs were lost!
    The Agency lost a client!
    The Client, Agency and collector all were sued successfully.

    Background Noise

    What is happeining in the background?

    If you are working in a collection agency, skiptracing should take place away from the main collection floor. Too often collectors and skip tracers are working next to each other, often 6 to 12 in a row or maybe a few feet apart. The wrong background noise can reveal info that you do not want revealed. The sound of an active call center is a dead giveaway

    One agency was sued because the collector 3 feet way slammed a phone down and yelled "she is a B*tch" - a collector was on the phone with a lady who was recording and insisted that she was being insulted. She won!
    This is food for thought. More later.