Organisations seeking to create a value-added vulnerable customers programme should have robust policies and procedures in place to deal with promotions and marketing.

Campaigns should be clearly formatted in a way that aids customer satisfaction. Brochures or website text should be clear and appropriately displayed for ease of reading.

Staff should be trained not to target vulnerable customers with marketing material where there are notes on file that suggest such items may be inappropriate or cause confusion.

Allowing customers, the opportunity of cooling off periods and the right to cancel within agreed timeframes normally fourteen days is advisable.

Care should be given not to use stereotypical images to advertise products, unless there is good reason.

Check for unfair contract terms and clarity of the contracts to be used. Can they be understood by all elements of an organisation’s customer base.

It is important to look at any penalty charges for non-standard use of a product or service. Such activities could severely impact upon a vulnerable customer.

Focus should be paid to the contract term and whether these are fair and appropriate for all types of customer. If in doubt consult with appropriate third parties. 

Do all the customers have access to the most competitively priced products and services. If a certain demographic is excluded this could be construed as inadequate treatment of customers by some regulators.

By adopting BS18477 the British Standard for service provision a business can be assured that it has sought to align with the premier Standard for handling vulnerable customers. In addition, BS18477 can be assessed by BSI a leading UK certification body.

For further information and to book your BS18477 – Inclusive Service Provision survey please contact: Marcus J Allen at Thamer James Ltd. Email: marcus@thamerjames.co.uk

Marcus has twenty years’ experience in delivering Governance, Risk and Compliance solutions to over two hundred organisations within the UK. Marcus holds the respected Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association and holds a master’s degree in Management Learning & Change from the University of Bristol.