Our Complaints Handling Policy and Process
Credit Solutions is committed to achieving the highest possible standards in all areas of our business. We actively promote the timely and efficient handling of complaints in a fair and objective manner and abide by industry standard benchmarks.
A complaint refers to any expression of dissatisfaction made to us that relates to our services where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected. If you would like to make a complaint please telephone us on 0800 275 526 and speak to one of our staff, who will do their best to assist you.
We will handle any complaints promptly and fairly and provide you with information on avenues for resolving issues if we are not able to reach an agreement with you. If our staff member is not able to resolve your complaint they will refer the complaint to a manager.
Alternatively, you can make a complaint in writing by:
Writing to us at: PO Box 302-261, North Harbour, Auckland 0751, New Zealand
Emailing us at: email@example.com
We will endeavour to respond to any written complaint within 7 business days.
Where a complaint cannot be resolved within 30 business days, you can request that the matter be referred to a member of our Internal Dispute Resolution Team who will treat your complaint as a dispute and endeavour to resolve it as timely and effectively as possible.
Our Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) Policy and Process
A dispute refers to a complaint that we have not been able to resolve to your satisfaction.
The Dispute Resolution Process is available at no cost to you. We will keep you fully informed throughout the process and will reply to you within 15 business days provided we have sufficient information to deal with the dispute. Where we need further information, we will agree on an alternative time-frame with you.
What information we need from you
To enable us to process a complaint/dispute in a timely manner, we need full and relevant details in relation to the matter:
Your full name, address, contact phone number and email address.
Full details of the complaint/dispute, including (where applicable) the nature of your complaint, the account to which the complaint relates, any applicable reference numbers for easy identification, the name(s) of our client or member of staff involved, and any action taken by you or us to date.
How we investigate complaints/disputes
All complaints/disputes will be dealt with by Credit Solutions in an objective, fair, reasonable and unbiased manner. All complaints/disputes received will be assessed on its severity, safety, complexity and impact. While we will request your contact details to assist us resolve the matter, complete privacy and confidentially will be taken to address each complaint. Your contact details will only be collected and stored so we can get back to you in a timely manner.
For more information please contact us on 0800 275 526
Our External Dispute Resolution Policy and Process
If we are unable to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction within 45 days we will inform you of the reasons for the delay and that you may be able to escalate the complaint or dispute to our client directly for resolution, or to an External Dispute Resolution scheme.
There are external dispute resolution options which may be available, those which are applicable will depend on which client and industry the dispute relates to but some examples may include.
- the New Zealand Commerce Commission
- the formal legal process, including: the courts, mediation, arbitration, and small claims tribunals
Our Team is here to assist and can provide further information as it relates to your individual circumstances.
For more information please contact us on 0800 275 526.
Our Financial Hardship Policy and Process
At Credit Solutions, we understand that if you are experiencing financial hardship, you may find it difficult to pay your account. We recognise we have an ongoing social obligation to ensure vulnerable customers are treated with fairness, integrity and compassion. If you find yourself in this situation, we are committed to working with you and our client to find an appropriate payment solution that is effective and sustainable.
We apply an approach consistent with Debt Collection guidelines that encourage flexibility on the part of organisations attempting to collect outstanding debts. A flexible approach involves negotiating a sustainable repayment arrangement, that takes into account your income, others bills and makes allowances for reasonable additional living expenses.
Financial hardship is when you are willing but unable to meet your contractual financial obligations because of unexpected events or unforeseen changes that has had an adverse impact on the income or assets used to meet these obligations. Examples may include:
- Changes in income or expenditure;
- Changes in employment status (such as losing a job or having hours reduced);
- Significant life events such as a relationship breakdown or death in the family;
- Injury or illness; and
- Emergency events or natural disasters
We acknowledge that, if you find yourself in financial hardship, you can reasonably be expected to recover your financial position if appropriate assistance or arrangements are provided.
Financial hardship assistance is intended to bridge the time between when your circumstances change (and cannot meet your normal repayments) and the time when you can start paying your debt in full – either because your original financial situation is restored (e.g. re-employed after a period of unemployment) or because a new repayment arrangement is agreed which you can meet.
Financial hardship does not include circumstances where you choose not to meet an unpaid financial obligation for which you are liable.
Identifying financial hardship
Our clients may consider the following when determining whether you may be in financial hardship:
- You may have requested information about alternative payment arrangements;
- Your payment history may indicate that you have had difficulty paying your accounts in the past;
- You may have had a change of circumstances that adversely affects your finances;
- You may have, through self-assessment, identified your position regarding affordability;
- You may be eligible for Government funded concessions;
- You may have received advice received from an independent financial counsellor;
- Your total income after tax (take home pay);
- The number of properties you own;
- The number of children or dependants you have;
- Your current financial commitments including any existing debt;
- You may have a medical condition or disability impacting your earning capacity.
Although the above list is an indicator of possible hardship, you will be treated in accordance with your individual circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
How we will deal with cases of financial hardship
In cases where financial hardship is demonstrated we will:
- Work with you and our client to help you through your financial difficulties, which may include referring you to a not-for-profit financial counsellor to get independent advice and support;
- Assess your reasonable offers to pay by instalments based on the maximum amount you are able to pay;
- Make allowances for reasonable non-discretionary living expenses items such as mortgage payments, rent, food, utilities, medications and clothing, when assessing the maximum amount you can pay;
- Suspend any non-legal debt collection and recovery action where you are seeking financial counselling assistance or similar, for a reasonable period as agreed between you, our client and us;
- Not knowingly accept payment arrangements for an indefinite period which do not reduce the principal balance outstanding;
- Liaise with our client about the ability to stop charging interest and fees (where these are levied) in circumstances where they are unaffordable or have the effect of increasing your debt.
In assessing whether financial hardship is demonstrated we will take into account:
- The reason for your hardship (such as illness, unemployment, relationship breakdown);
- Evidence of employment – such as payslips, tax returns, contracts;
- Evidence of other income – such as bank statements;
- Evidence of your financial position – assets (such as bank accounts, motor vehicles, furnishings) and liabilities (such as loan agreements and statements, credit card statements);
- Evidence of your medical condition – such as a medical certificate from a doctor, disability support pension;
- Other evidence that may support your application for financial hardship assistance.
For more information about our Financial Hardship Policy and Process, please contact us on 0800 275 526. Alternatively, you can write to us at PO Box 302-261, North Harbour, Auckland 0751, New Zealand or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org