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Indian Call-centre Workers Demand Money Without Menaces

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“There's a traditional perception that debt collectors are tough, that they rough people up,” Manu Sharma, a smart Indian executive, said from his sleek office in Delhi's outskirts. “That's not how we work”.

Welcome to the touchy-feely world of outsourced debt collection, an industry in the throes of rapid expansion as India's call centres - famous for flogging computers, life insurance and mobile phones - now look to cash in on the global credit crunch.

Forget the old image of the debt collector as a menacing ogre out for his pound of flesh. Mr Sharma, who heads a 200-strong team that makes thousands of call to American homes every evening, is one of a new breed who are chasing - ever so sensitively - the growing horde of hard-up Westerners.

“Of course it gets emotional,” Mr Sharma says. “Over the years we've learnt that it's all about sharing life-changing experiences.” Western debt agencies have been drawn to young Indians for their mild manners, innate courtesy and deference - characteristics that have a disarming effect on even the angriest debtor, industry insiders say.


New recruits are taught the basics in bite-sized pieces. “Establish rapport; create a solution; close the deal,” runs Mr Sharma's mantra. There are times that the workers, who make about £10 a day, can find the conversations a little surreal, says Mr Black. “We have workers calling up after sums that amount to several years' pay. It's hard for them to comprehend asking for $10,000.”

I feel your pain . . .

— The first rule for Indian debt collection workers is “establish identity, build rapport and express empathy”

— Suggested lines: “This isn’t just about getting the money back it’s about understanding your situation” or “I can’t imagine what you’re felling . . . but I do have experience of helping people in your situation”

Create solutions while appealing to emotions. “Did you find a new job yet?” . . . “How much could you afford to pay back?” . . . “This isn’t about getting your debt back on track; it’s about getting your life back on track”

— Seal the deal — apply moral principles if appropriate. “This is the right thing to do” . . . “Can I give you an address to send a cheque” or “Can I take the details of a credit card with a spare limit on it?”

In the US you can pay off a debt with a credit card!!! :blink::blink:

Heading the UK soon I expect....

I wonder if Brown can expect a call?

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Who were you before you were "interestrateripoff"? If you don't mind me asking.........

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  • 395 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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