Debt Collectors – An open letter to Video Ezy

At the risk of writing TWO negative customer service posts in a row I’m going to share with you the overly heavy approach Video Ezy has at pursuing overdue return fees.

It turns out that in May 2006 Mandy, my housemate at the time, returned some DVD’s late. This fact went unnoticed because not long after that we started using the Video Ezy outlet in Ballajura instead as it was closer. Mandy moved out at the end of that year and it was not until I received a letter in the mail from debt collectors Legal & Commercial that I became aware of the problem.

I don’t have issues with the debt collector and,  after contacting Mandy, I made the payment immediately. What irks me is the way this was handled by Video Ezy who seem to have taken a very lazy attitude to this matter which does absolutely nothing to promote good customer service.

Quoting from the debt collectors letter :
“We are working in conjunction with our client Video Ezy Noranda, to remind you that the above $22.50 remains outstanding on your membership. As you would be aware, contacting every member by phone is a rather large task and is not always possible”

Wrong – Contacting your client by phone should be the very first point of call. There are many reasons why people miss payments and, whether legitimate or not, a phonecall will encourage most people to make payment immediately. In fact, an alternative debt collector Marshall Freeman state on their website that Proactive collection by telephone is “By far the most important step in collecting debt

Quoting from the debt collectors letter :
Please note:
1. A video store is not required to notify you of an outstanding debt.
2. A claimand is entitled to pursue outstanding debts for a period of 6 years.

Explain to me why a video store is not required to notify you of an outstanding debt?
If my clients are late with payment and I don’t chase them up then I have no one but myself to blame when my cash-flow dries up!

I’d also like to know if you think this is a satisfactory approach to customer service, especially in an industry that is feeling the pressures from pay TV. downward pricing of DVD media in major department stores and on demand video via the Internet and why it takes 3 and a half years to follow this up?

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