What should you pay attention to when hiring a collection agency?
It will happen to you: the collection agency you do business with is suddenly unreachable or does not pay your money.
E-Legal regularly receives new clients who indicate that they are not satisfied with their previous collection agency or have had bad experiences with their previous collection partner. When choosing a collection agency, trust is usually the most important aspect: To whom do you trust your money?
In the jungle of hundreds of collection agencies in the Netherlands, it is not always easy to find the right collection partner. Even collection agencies that at first glance have hundreds of positive reviews turn out to be incompetent in practice. Therefore, in this article we will give tips to increase the chances of hiring a good collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau).
It is important to pay attention to the following points when hiring a collection agency.
One important aspect is whether they employ people who are actually legally literate. It is true that anyone in the Netherlands can start a collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau). Therefore, it happens that people with wrong intentions or without the right knowledge start a collection agency to make quick money. So make sure you do business with people who know about it. Someone who has a university law degree is given the title “master of law” and may use the letters “mr.” in front of his or her name. Make sure there is at least someone in the organization who holds this title and ask for it if necessary.
One way to recognize a good lawyer is by his writing style: texts contain as few and preferably no spelling mistakes as possible. Look at the texts on the website and assess their quality.
When did the agency start?
Investigate how long the collection agency has existed: In times of crisis, collection agencies spring up like mushrooms. As quickly as they appear, they can disappear again. With your money! So make sure you find a reliable collection agency that has been around for a long time. This way you avoid doing business with a collection agency with wrong intentions.
Trustworthiness of a collection agency
Further to the previous tip: If you search for a debt collection agency through Google, you will see the paid ads first. Chances are, if you click on a collection agency listed under the ads, you’re doing business with a collection partner that has been around for a long time. After all, it takes a lot of commitment and time to end up in a spot in the top 10 on Google.
Keep in mind that even a collection agency with hundreds of positive reviews does not have to offer good service! Collection agencies that provide poor service get negative reviews. Unfortunately, collection agencies have been known to compensate for these bad reviews with many, self-made and, of course, positive reviews. These reviews are not real! So Google the debt collection agency’s company name and look at the reviews critically.
See how many people are employed. Many collection agencies are so-called one-person agencies: These are run by only 1 person. However, there are also collection agencies that pretend to employ many people, when this is not the case. There are even debt collection agencies that photoshop their company logo onto company buildings, making it look like they are dealing with a large organization. In this way they try to give the office a more trustworthy image, but practice proves otherwise.
Connectivity and reach
Call the collection agency and see how easy it is to reach. If you are connected directly to an employee, this indicates that the office is occupied full time. If you are connected to an outside switchboard that can only leave messages, this indicates that you are dealing with a smaller office. A small office is not necessarily bad, but it increases the likelihood of problems.
Offer the collection agency transparency through online file insight: A good collection agency is transparent in its services. You can track online the correspondence conducted between the collection agency and the debtor, payments received are posted and can be seen etc.
Finally, Google on the address where the collection agency is located. Does the office have a physical address or is it registered at the address of a corporate warehouse or some other shadowy address where one can rent virtual offices. In the latter case, it is often just a mailing address and the company is not actually located there.
Whatever agency you hire, make sure that you are doing business with a solid debt collection partner that complies with the law, acts with integrity and employs people with knowledge of the business. An agency that not only thinks about its own income, but if possible also takes into account maintaining your client and reputation. Always realize that the collection agency is an extension of your own business!
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