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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Customer contact and data security: introduction: preparation before contact

Before you make personal contact

Before making a call to a customer you should have a clear idea of

  • what you want to ask them
  • what you need to discuss
  • what information you would like to get out of the call
  • and what you would like the end result to be.

You should

  • Link everything that needs to be discussed with the customer (for example, unpaid amounts and outstanding returns)
  • make sure you have any correspondence or other case related papers or information likely to be needed during the contact.
  • check all available sources of information if necessary (for example, the notes screens or indirect/direct DTO information).

If you are asking for payment check that the debt is still overdue and unpaid and there is no credit available for off set.

Where appropriate make sure

  • you have an up to date record of amounts already paid
  • the correct sequence of demands/reminders has been issued to the customer at the last known private address.
  • No correspondence has come in from the customer which may have an impact on your call (for example a TTP request or change to personal details).

In all cases familiarise yourself with the case so that you fully understand the reason for the call and you can answer and respond to anything that the customer may ask.

Where a personal call is necessary

For collector calls

Satisfy yourself that you will be making it at the correct address and if necessary make an appointment, if for example the customer is difficult to contact or needs assistance but cannot visit an office. Ensure you have the correct information available to you in order for you to be able to verify the identity of the customer you are visiting.

For Field Force/Distraint calls

Ensure you have all the correct case papers or electronic information with you prior to making the call. Ensure you are visiting a verified address and that you know the correct information about the customer in order for you to verify their identity.