Five ways to spot dodgy debt advice firms
For more read: Free debt advice saved
They don't give many options
A good debt advice firm will present you with all of the options available. Unfortunately some rogue firms tend to just suggest the solution that is most profitable for them.
They present themselves like a charity
Many firms do not make it clear that they are a business not a free service. Consumers could be led to believe they are dealing with a charity or government body.
They discredit free services
Those that make it clear they charge fees from the outset may try to talk you out of seeking alternative, free help, for example from the Citizens Advice Bureau by discrediting their methods.
They don't mention the Financial Ombudsman Service
The OFT investigation found some advisers did not know about or purposely did not mention the FOS at times when it could have helped.
They don't collect enough details
Debt management is not a simple process so for a firm to be able to help you they need an awful lot of details about your credit situation in order to do a thorough job. Rogue firms will take basic details meaning they can't always offer you the right solution for you.
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.