Treating Customers Fairly
Here at Carfound, we pride ourselves on the service we provide to all of our customers and we take this policy very seriously each and every time we interact with a customer be it online, over the phone or in person. This document sets out the standards we must keep because of regulations as well as standards we strive to keep to be the best.
Our mission is to be the most trusted, reliable and recommended vehicle sourcing firm in the UK by developing a positive internal culture and to maintain excellent standards every day.
Our pledge to treat every customer fairly can seem vague so we've created this document to make it a little clearer so that you know what to expect when dealing with us, as well as what we expect when dealing with you.
What does Treating Customers Fairly mean?
The FCA offer guidelines on what companies in the finance industry need to do to be able to comply, they expect the following outcomes:
Outcome 1: Consumers can be confident that they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture.
What we do: We do this by arranging regular training and refresher sessions for all of our staff and not just our customer-facing members.
Outcome 2: Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified consumer groups and are targeted accordingly.
What we do: We make sure that all of our deals are kept up to date but we also give guidance on what a finance agreement entails so the customer can make an informed decision if a certain agreement / vehicle will meet their needs.
Outcome 3: Consumers are provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale.
What we do: All of our staff members have clear guidelines on what information needs to be given and when before, throughout and after negotiation. We also maintain an up to date car finance guide to give even more information about the car financing process.
Outcome 4: Where consumers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances.
What we do: Our staff are highly trained to find the key pieces of information from customers to enable us to find the right deal. If customers are unsuitable for finance and taking further credit may be harmful we will advise on this. (All of the advice offered by Carfound staff should not be considered financial advice, instead, the information given is the professional opinion of our highly trained staff.)
Outcome 5: Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect, and the associated service is both of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect.
What we do: All of our vehicles are thoroughly checked before delivery and all financial documents are checked by authorised representatives.
Outcome 6: Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change the product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.
What we do: We have worked hard to gain a reputation for being fair and trustworthy. We keep communication open after delivery of the vehicle and always make ourselves available should you need help throughout.
Consumer Duty - How we're meeting the four outcomes
In line with existing requirements in the FCA Handbook (Treating Customers Fairly Rules for example), the FCA has introduced new rules relating to the ‘four outcomes’, which the FCA hope will result from the observance of the new Consumer Duty.
The four consumer duty outcomes are:
- Products and Services: these rules focus on the “design, approval, marketing and ongoing management of products and services throughout their lifecycle”
- Price and Value: firms are required to carry out value assessments to ensure that customers are receiving fair value, in terms of price and overall value
- Consumer Understanding: these rules apply to all communication to ensure consumers can make informed decisions with understandable information
- Consumer Support: firms must ensure they provide support to the customer throughout their relationship and the customer journey to fulfil the Consumer Principle
As part of our commitment to the Consumer Duty rules from the Financial Conduct Authority, we have developed our core principles to meet the four outcomes:
- Transparency: Ensuring clear and accurate information is provided to customers throughout the customer journey, empowering you to make informed decisions about our products and services
- Sustainability: Incorporating eco-friendly and socially responsible practices throughout the product lifecycle, from sourcing to disposal
- Accessibility: Making our products and services accessible to diverse customer groups while maintaining affordability and inclusivity
- Feedback and Improvement: Actively seeking and responding to customer feedback to continually improve our offerings and consumer experience
Treating customers fairly charter
To achieve our mission statement, Carfound:
- Make our TCF policy easily available both internally and externally;
- Invest time and resources in continuous training for all members of staff no matter the seniority;
- Keep accurate records of all correspondence for training purposes and investigations;
- Empower staff members to deal with any issues that may arise professionally and in a timely manner;
- Provide clear and transparent pricing which does not mislead or include any hidden charges whatsoever.
What do we expect from our customers?
As a vehicle sourcing firm, it is our responsibility to ensure all parties are happy with the agreement and what's to be expected. As such, we are not able to do our role effectively without cooperation from all sides. As a customer, you also have the responsibility to treat us fairly, this means:
- Communicate with us with dignity and respect;
- Provide only accurate information;
- Take the time to read our literature carefully and to query if there's any element which is not understood;
- Make full use of the distance selling/cooling off period;
- Ensure that the vehicle is suited to your financial and personal situation;
- Follow the complaints procedure if the situation arises.
What if you feel you aren't being treated fairly
One of the biggest factors with the TCF is how we handle complaints if and when they are received. To this end, we have created a complaints procedure document which gives clear guidance on how our process works, what we will do with the complaint and what you need to know. We always strive to give the best possible solution and we feel by having a robust guide we can achieve this every time.
We are regulated by three main bodies, which are the FCA, BVRLA and the ICO.