• Tel: 01527 543672
  • Email: info@dsluk.net
  • DSL, 2 The Court Yard, Bordesley Business Park, Dagnell End Road, Beoley Vale, Worcestershire, B98 9BH

Category : Debt Collection

Don’t lock horns with customers








Why lock horns with customers due to late payment?[GSI]

Get Someone In – Bring in professionals to take the strain and separate yourself from those difficult conversations. That way you can keep your customers focused on the great service and products you provide.

A good quality commercial credit control / collection agency will bring experience, knowledge, and professionalism to your business, not to mention great cash flow.

Why spend time doing something you don’t enjoy?

No more chasing late payments leaves you to focus on what you do best, run your business.

If you would like to know more, contact Mike Brooks on 01527 543672 or email mike.brooks@dsluk.net

6 Ways The County Court can help collect money owed to you






Reading Time: 70 seconds

Most people who are owed money whether it’s personal or business have said, “If they don’t pay I’ll take them Court.”.

Whilst good quality collection agencies are often faster and cheaper than going through the court system sometimes help from Her Majesty’s Court Service is required to force debtors to pay.

Here are some of the options available (numbers 3 and 5 almost always raise an eyebrow or two!):

Read More

DSL Team up with VPMA to Present at Regional Meetings

Risk Management

Information is power. For more than five hundred years the success or failure of businesses has been determined by the ability to acquire knowledgeable and technically skilled people. The veterinary world is no different, the best vets in the world won’t on their own make a successful business, without a Professional, Proactive Credit Control Team you will not reap the rewards of a profitable business.

The presentation is aimed at simple yet effective changes to existing office practices that will improve cash flow, reduce bad debt and help compliance when new Data Protection Regulations begin in May this year.

Martin Jackson joins the board as Operations Director

DSL is delighted to announce the appointment of Martin Jackson as their new Operations Director

Martin brings a wealth of training and customer care experience with him having worked in the Best Practice arena for over 20 years.

Martin has been with DSL for 2 years and has already played a major part in the company’s growth through the delivery of a superb collection and customer care strategy.

As Operations Director Martin is responsible for the day to day management of our contact centre with special emphasis on a firm but fair collection policy along with unbeatable customer care. Martins other responsibilities  include legal and industry compliance along with field operations.

We look forward to Martins continued participation in the growth and development of the business.

Caravan Pif 1

Never Judge a Book by its Cover

Most of us couldn’t imagine living in such conditions, however, I found a man who does.

During my recent door knocking trip to the Scottish Highlands I spent quite some time looking for a croft in the middle of nowhere.

After many wrong turns into muddy tracks and tight turnarounds in derelict farm yards I eventually found the croft I was looking for, how my small car made it through without getting stuck in the mud I will never know.

At the end of a very bumpy muddy track I came across a caravan almost buried in the trees, I looked around thinking surely no one lives in there. I approached the caravan and a dog began to bark, I knocked on the door and received no reply.

When I didn’t get a reply I looked around for a letter box to place my visit letter into, there wasn’t one. I proceeded to wedge the letter into the gap between the door and the door frame.

During this time the dog inside the caravan was bouncing around and snarling at the window this allowed me to confirm someone did live in the caravan.

I drove away thinking I would never hear from the occupant and my client may never get paid.

How wrong can you be??

When I arrived at the hotel later that evening I checked my messages to discover the person who lived in the caravan had gone online and paid in full, over £300.00

There’s a lesson for everyone here – Never Judge a Book by its Cover.


Door Knocking Done- What Happens Next?


Analyses of recent door knocks can not only be interesting but also beneficial in terms of helping you to understand the right way get the money back that you are owed. We have compiled a report that examines the data from a random selection of 33 visits carried out for one veterinary practice in May this year.

We found that cases selected for personal visit generally fall into one of the following categories:

• No Contact following Letters, Telephone Calls, Text Messages and Emails.
• Refused to Pay
• Won’t Pay
• Can’t Pay
• Moved Away
• Passed Away
• Unresolved Dispute
• Insurance Underpayment – Excess Not Paid
• Insurance paid to claimant rather than the service provider.

Prior to personal visits taking place, customers have ignored attempts to contact them in the hope the debt will go away. However, when there’s a knock on the door and one of our collection officers introduces themselves and explains why they are there, reality starts to dawn, and customers realise the issue is not going away.

Summary of Results

Paid in Full   1 = £600.00 cash and card payment on the door step.

3 x payment arrangements via automated debit card / Paypoint / DSL App or Website. (Payment agreement form signed by each defaulter)

9 x no contact at time of visit, occupancy confirmed by neighbour or other occupant of the property, a hand delivered letter was left at each property. ( 4 x defaulters have since contacted the office and agreed payment terms) 5 x defaulters have been evaluated for legal action and hand delivered letters left at each address. We can now make an informed decision in conjunction with our client regarding legal action based on documented facts gathered during the visit and throughout the collection process. In this case 2 defaulters have been selected for legal action and 3 for write off as uncollectable. The practice has since removed these customers from the list of acceptable customers.

11 x confirmed Gone Away, local enquires carried out with neighbours and 2 new addresses obtained. 9 x cases will be sent to the trace department if the amount owing is in excess of an agreed amount. Positive trace cases will be placed back in the collection process and recovery action will restart at the new address, trace cost will be added to the amount due if T&C’s allow.

8 x defaulters are recorded as occupancy unconfirmed, our officer was unable to verify the defaulters continue to reside at the addresses visited, (no contact at the address or with neighbours) a hand delivered letter was left at each address in a sealed envelope. Since the visits took place 3 x defaulters have contacted our office and confirmed they continue to live at the address or have moved and supplied new address details, payment arrangements have been agreed via automated debit card / Paypoint / DSL App or Website.

1 x Hardship case was identified, our client agreed to a low long-term payment plan to allow the defaulter to reorganise his life following an horrific motor cycle accident.  Personal visits allow defaulters a final opportunity to resolve the matter before legal action begins and it also allows claimants  to make an informed decision on the viability of legal action,, after all, what’s the point in throwing good money after bad?

The DSL visit service is offered on a fixed cost basis, so why not give Mike a call on 01527 543672 to discuss your options.  

Risk Management

Debt Prevention is the Best Cure

                                     Debt Prevention is the Best Cure

We live in a golden age of access to information, thanks to the internet you can find pretty-much anything you want to know using your computer, tablet, or smart phone. What’s really nice is the ability to find people that can help you achieve your goal.

Equipped with the answers to your debt problem, what does the average manager / owners do with the information?

In most cases they do the same as they did last month, last year and the year before that, hope the customer pops in and pays.

It happens because the average manager / owner believe the following reasons are somehow valid when it comes to collecting what’s owed to them.

  1. They seem nice, they will pay eventually
  2. I haven’t got time to chase customers, I’m too busy
  3. We don’t want to upset the customer
  4. They may move to another practice
  5. We phoned and sent letters, what more can we do?

The excuses detailed above are by no means complete, managers and owners tell themselves that engaging the services of a collection professional is too risky, too expensive, too time consuming and most of all to its uncomfortable to deal with. Somehow it seems easier to ask the bank to increase facilities rather than collect what’s owed to them.

What Can I Do? Answer – Introduce clear guidelines

One of your first jobs as a business owner should be to set in place a set of clear guidelines for the issue and recovery of invoices. All customers and staff should be made aware of the process of issuing and chasing invoices and this should be adhered to consistently – without fail. Don’t give second, third or fourth chances to customers – they’ll come to expect it and could end up taking advantage.

Writing your guidelines

When thinking about these rules, think carefully about your particular business. If you run a veterinary practice, for instance, you will have a number of different income streams – those who are regular customers, those who are emergencies and those who are ‘commercial’. As each type of customer arrives with entirely different sets of circumstances, each of these may be dealt with differently.

 Get your procedures right from the outset.

An example of your guidelines could be:

Emergency customers must pay in advance / at the time of treatment
• Regular on-going treatment may be completed under payment/credit terms
• All credit customers must undergo credit checks first
• All invoices must be paid within one month
• One reminder will be sent before further action is sought

Use a good T&C specialist solicitor

You should set up your terms and conditions with a specialist to ensure that they meet all the correct legal requirements. We are lucky to work with a firm who we recommend to our clients to ensure that your procedures are watertight – preventing any confusion or issues in the future. Contact dsl for further details. www.dsluk.net

Make everyone accountable

Charge one staff member with the job of looking after accounts and invoices. Having a clear person who can be the point of contact for all clients and customers is vital for giving your accounts department a “human face”. This makes it harder for there to be instances of any miscommunication or misunderstandings – as there is one person who has dealt with the entire procedure.
The ‘right’ person should be friendly and understanding, but also willing to be hard when called on to do so. If problems arise internally and you’ve followed your own procedures, there should be no issue with passing on debt to a collection agency – after all your customers know what is expected of them from the outset.

As you can see, the point we are trying to make is that everything should be laid out; clear for all to see and that it works for your business type. Hopefully this should mean fewer instances of unpaid bills.

Should you want to find out more about correct procedures or, to find out more on how we can help you, please feel free to contact us on 01527 543672 or via email mike.brooks@desluk.net



Door Knocking Delivers



During our recent recruitment campaign we hired an experienced face to face collection officer and he has settled into the door knocking roll extremely well.



Results are impressive

Most debts selected for personal visits fall into the following categories:

No Contact following Letters, Telephone Calls, Text Messages and Emails.
• Refused to Pay
• Won’t Pay
• Can’t Pay
• Moved Away
• Passed Away
• Unresolved Dispute
• Insurance Underpayment – Excess Not Paid
• Insurance paid to pet owner rather than vet, owner spent the money, and so on.

Generally, customers ignored our client’s attempts to contact them and continued to do this when dsl became involved in the hope the debt will go away. However, when there’s a knock on the door and one of our collection officers introduces themselves and explains why they are there, reality starts to dawn and customers realise the issue needs to be dealt with. Our officers will ascertain the customers’ ability to pay and agree a sustainable way forward, after all, there’s no point in forcing someone to agree to a repayment plan they cannot stick too.

Door knocking also provides useful intelligence that can be used to make informed decisions regarding further collection or legal recovery opportunities. See a selection of scenarios detailed below.

Customer Moved Away – New occupant may have a forwarding address.
Empty Property – Estate Agent or landlord may have a forwarding address.
No One At Home When Officer Calls – Neighbours confirm moved away or verify occupancy.
Officers try to confirm if the customer goes to work, whether they are disabled, receiving benefit’s also the type and colour of vehicles they may own. [useful information if enforcement officers are involved following court action and judgment]
Customer at Home – Refused to Open the Door, occupancy confirmed by occupant or neighbour.
Type of Property Visited – Detached, Semi, Terrace, Flat.
Condition of Property – good, fair, poor, very poor.
Photograph of property along with any relevant vehicles details.

Each case is assessed and placed on the appropriate track, see options detailed below.

Payment in Full – Documented and case closed• Payment Arrangement Agreed – Details added to system and letter sent detailing the amount to be paid, frequency of payments, number of payments and how payments will be made – Debit Card, Credit Card, Pay Point, Website, DSL Payment App, Bank Transfer, Standing Order.
Gone Away – Recommend Trace. – If balance is above an agreed amount.
Gone Away – Write Off – If below the agreed amount, not cost effective to peruse.
Occupancy Confirmed – Balance above agreed amount, pass to legal department for further evaluation / legal action.

The team at DSL have been knocking doors for over 10 years and have definitely improved cash flow for our customers as a result.

Why not contact Mike Brooks on 01527 543672 or email mike.brooks@dsluk.net for a no obligation chat, it may be just what you need to improve your cash flow.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Good News

Successful Recruitment Drive

“Recruitment Went Very Well”

We recently advertised for experienced collection agents on a well known jobs website, and we were blown away by the quality and professionalism of some of the applicants.

Three new members have joined the team, two internal and one field based agent.

I wish we had more openings available, I would have employed at least another two, they had great

personality’s and good basic experience, they would fit into the team here at DSL perfectly.

Those candidates who were unsuccessful on this occasion have joined our talent pool and we’ll get in touch when something comes up.

See an example of our advert below.

DSL are looking for above average telephone negotiators; being average won’t cut it with DSL. We have grown consistently over the last 10 years because we deliver first class service along with industry leading collection results.

A career with us means being part of a standout business with a clear vision and strong values. We’ll give you everything you need to do a great job, and your contributions will be properly recognised, highly valued and well rewarded. If you’ve got what it takes to make us the customer’s choice, we can help you build a career that is absolutely right for you.

If you’ve got what it takes to be the best, contact Mike Brooks at DSL on 01527 543672 – mike.brooks@dsluk.net