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Creditfix LB 03-2017

Half of Consumers Won’t ask for Help from Credit Card Provider

Over half of British consumers are reluctant to ask their credit card provider for help if they fall into debt, due to feeling there is a stigma attached.

Despite general advice on debt suggesting that benefits can be had by seeking assistance, 52 per cent of consumers in the UK were found to shy away from talking to their credit card company.

The research carried out by Echo Managed Services surveyed 1,000 UK residents on their experiences, knowledge, and attitudes to household arrears.

The study found that among those reluctant to talk to their card provider, 59 per cent attributed the stigma to social stereotyping and their own feelings of shame or embarrassment. while another 36 per cent blamed their reluctance on the way in which their provider operates. The remaining 5 per cent named both as contributing factors.

The survey also found that when consumers went through the debt recovery process with their provider only 25 per cent of customers felt valued, whilst 60 per cent felt that they were not valued and even reported some advisers making assumptions about why they had fallen into debt or being overly aggressive.

Worryingly, the percentage of those who felt not valued has risen by 12 per cent since research carried out in 2016.

Customer services director at Echo Managed Services, Monica Mackintosh, said: ‘Debt affects a huge cross-section of people, for many different reasons, so it?s crucial that credit card providers work hard to understand the issues of every single individual and help them to find a balanced resolution.’

She continued: ‘The findings also highlight just how important it is for organisations to stand out as approachable and helpful. Ensuring all communications convey this is vital; across verbal and written contact, as well as the general tone of information available on a company?s website. Reflecting on current practice and being more customer-centric can help organisations to both minimise customer debt and its effect on their reputation.’

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