Vulnerable Customer Policy
SprocketsUK has a Vulnerable Customer Policy which is designed to ensure the way in which we act and conduct business does not have a detrimental impact upon vulnerable customers. Vulnerable customers are those whose ability or circumstances require us to take extra steps and precautions in the way that we sell and provide our services to ensure that they are not disadvantaged.
Who are considered vulnerable customers?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) defines a vulnerable customer as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.” Our promise is to treat all our customers fairly and when dealing with people with any vulnerability we will take account of such vulnerability to ensure that the way that we sell and provide our services does not cause them detriment.
Examples of vulnerable customers
We recognise that certain groups of customers may be vulnerable. Whilst not all customers in these groups may be vulnerable, we will consider a customer’s individual circumstances where a potential vulnerability is identified. These groups may include, but are not restricted to:
- Customers with communication difficulties (including language barriers)
- Customers with any form of disability.
- Customer personal circumstances of the customer –financial difficulties, redundancy, serious illness, bereavement, caring responsibilities
- The customers age - particularly older and younger people. For example, a younger person may be considered inexperienced, and the older person may be less technologically able
- Anyone who suffers from stress, anxiety etc or anyone reduction in physical or mental capacity
- A customer with any illness, whether physical or mental illness
Identifying a vulnerable customer
Our Store, Customer Care and Sales teams should take steps to identify vulnerable customers and to provide any additional level of assistance they may require. Although it may be apparent in some cases, it might not be easy to identify needs in others so, if you believe you meet the criteria of a vulnerable customer, please let us know as soon as possible of any needs you may have, or any ways we can help. It really helps if you do this when first contacting us.
Our teams have access to FCA guidance (https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/finalised-guidance/fg21-1.pdf). We also ask everyone to complete a training module identifying vulnerable customers and then pass a test on how best to treat them.
SprocketUK’s commitment to engaging with vulnerable customers
As soon we think we may be engaging with a vulnerable customer, either by identifying ourselves or a customer has told us, we will follow our 5 rules:
We provide extra opportunities for you to ask questions or seek further confirmation about the transaction or service we are providing.
We will continuously seek confirmation that you have understood the information, especially in cases of customer finance applications for example.
If we feel necessary, we may ask if there is anybody with you who can assist you, such as a family member or friend.
We won't rush! We will always offer extra opportunities to complete a transaction after further consideration.
If for some reason we are unable to help, we commit to taking extra steps beyond our normal sales process to try and seek alternatives or point customers to where they can best seek a solution.