ClearDebt condemns cold calling and upfront fee-charging practices; supports Citizens Advice Bureau super-complaint to the OFT

Citizens Advice Bureau have submitted a super-complaint about debt management cold-calling and upfront fees charging to the Office of Fair Trading. Andrew Smith was interviewed by BBC Radio 5 live today.

With news today that the Citizens Advice Bureau have submitted a super complaint to the Office of Fair Trading with regards to the practice of cold calling and upfront fees charging by some debt management companies, Andrew Smith, Marketing Director of ClearDebt, and spokesperson for the Debt Resolution Forum (DRF) was invited to discuss the matter on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The audio is available here:


ClearDebt supports the DRF  position on this issue.  There is no reason for anyone who needs debt advice to suffer cold calling and absolutely no reason at all to part with money up front. before a service is provided.

One note of caution, however. Are you really being cold-called?

Many reputable debt management companies get people’s details from well known, trustworthy loan providers, or even the creditors that you owe money to – you get calls from companies like ClearDebt, in these cases, because you have been asked if you want to talk to someone about your debt situation and you have specifically agreed that you want this. Occasionally, people forget that they have given this permission, however, a reputable company will always be able to tell you where they got your details from and how they know they have your permission to get in touch – never be afraid to ask.

This is such a grey area, because many pirate lead providers will cold call you and then, in the course of an application for a non-existent loan, get your agreement to be called by debt management companies. This is wrong – but it is sometimes difficult for a debt management company to know that this has happened – which is why this practice must stop (and why companies like us need to work hard to understand how the companies we work with relate to their customers.

Tell others:



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  1. It is misrepresentation that debt management companies do not know of this practice. This is widespread and we all know it happens. We must first agree this is illegal and then condemn the followers of these practices.
    I know of at least two major debt management firms who take upfront payments – but I do not believe them to be rogue!

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