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Marston has set up an Advisory Group - CAG involvment


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Marston are putting together an advisory group of outsiders to monitor their operation and to suggest changes to their procedures in order to achieve what they say will be a more ethical and transparent approach.

 

The Group will include some significant figures in public life and the Consumer Action Group have been invited to participate.

We have agreed to join the Group.

 

Marston will be making a donation to the Consumer Action Group and also covering the expenses involved in attending meetings.

 

The Advisory Group has not been formally announced by Marston. That will happen later this week. This is a pre-announcement. We will publish the names of the other participants once Marston has made their official announcement.

 

Some people will wonder why the CAG has agreed to become involved with a major player in the Enforcement Industry in this way.

The answer is that we are not becoming involved with the Industry at all. Instead we are accepting an opportunity to reflect consumer concerns with the way that the Enforcement Industry often conducts itself, to provide scrutiny, to offer advice and suggestions as to how Marston can adjust their procedures to provide a greater level of transparency and fairness.

We hope to be able to influence the way that enforcement is conducted at Marston so that one day there might even be a changing of the public perception of them and their role.

Frankly I think that Marston's example needs to be followed by other companies within the industry if any real headway is going to made in this regards. Ideally it needs a public body to monitor the industry as a whole - but this is an interesting first step by Marston and we felt that we could not turn it down.

 

Some people will consider that the new Advisory Group is just a cynical attempt by Marston to enhance their public image by being able to trumpet their association with the Consumer Action Group and the other participants in the Group.

I expect that some people will consider that the CAG has "sold out".

 

The answer to this is that it crossed my mind too, but - as you might expect - I don't think so.

I am sure that Marston has considered that there is a commercial advantage in taking this step. I am sure that if they can improve their reputation, they will become more attractive to their reputable clients who prefer to maintain their own reputation for decent-dealing - even in difficult times. I think that it is a bold step to have set up such a Group, which because of its novelty and its circumstances, will immediately find its way under the spotlight.

Having set up an Advisory Group, it will be very difficult for Marston to retract from that position.

It should soon become clear whether the Advisory Group is being listened to and whether its suggestions are being taken on board.

What I can tell you is that Marston is very concerned about their reputation with the British public and seems prepared to go to lengths to improve it.

If it did become clear that the Marston Advisory Group was just a media exercise, we would quickly leave it and I am sure that the other members would also leave as they have significant reputations to consider.

 

Those of you who are cynics or critics of this development, please keep an eye on this bailiffs sub-forum and I hope that you will notice no difference in style or approach to problems involving Marston or any other enforcement company.

 

 

Please note, that our participation on the Advisory Group does not mean that we will be able to receive and to refer individual complaints directly to Marston. The conduct of problems in respect of any enforcement company has to go on as normal on these pages in this sub-forum.

Similarly, our participation on the Advisory Group does not mean that we will be assisting Marston with debt enforcement,

The Group will merely be performing an observational and advisory role.

However, we hope that our involvement may help in the reduction of the number of distressing incidents which find their way to these pages.

 

 

Please feel free to make your comments or criticism about CAG's involvement in the Advisory Group, in this thread.

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You have my support Bankfodder, as CAG must be even handed, and is in a unique position to show where the problems lie.

We could do with some help from you.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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Yes it is a good idea. The bailiff industry does need much more regulation, so that they are properly held to account for their actions.

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What I can tell you is that Marston is very concerned about their reputation with the British public and seems prepared to go to lengths to improve it.

I suspect that Marston's are more concerned with retaining their licence than worrying about their reputation with the public when their bailiffs have been ripping off us for years .

 

Whatever their reason I think that it is a good move for CAG to be involved with their management. Hopefully it will lead to an improvement in the way the public are treated but I

won't be holding my breath. I feel in my bones that it is more of a PR exercise but will be pleased if I am wrong. It will require an amount of vigilance on your part Bankfodder but I

expect you are already aware of that.

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A well balanced report into the intended mechanism of the proposed advisory group.

 

Anything that can contribute to seeing an open and honest approach by the likes of Marston's has to be a big plus,.I for one am sick and tired of reading and hearing about the underhand tactics their 'agents' deploy.

 

WD

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Agreed wonkeydonkey. Let's hope they are ready to admit that they don't just have the odd bad apple and genuinely want to put their house in order. Bearing in mind that the group is merely advisory they are under no compulsion to follow the advice. If marstons are genuinely committed this is a good thing. It'll be interesting to see how this develops ...........

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I think you are being naive and overly optimistic and will live to regret this association.You may have been better to nominate an interested individual rather than putting your name to this initiative. It can only constantly raise the issues you try to dispel and damage your image of impartiality, which lies at the heart of what you do. Once this has been lost (in reality or as perceived by your followers) it will not easily if ever be recovered.

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Yes it is interesting as to whether this will be a positive move for CAG or not. On balance I would think it is better to be on the inside so you have some influence and know what is being discussed, rather than just being able to comment from the outside. If you have been part of the advisory group, you can still comment on anything that you disagree with and if it looks like just being a PR stunt, you can walk away.

 

It will affect how some judge whether CAG is independent and I think it is therefore important that CAG does show that they are independent. This may be the reason for the recent sticky threads and posts about how to issue court claims against bailiffs where this is justified.

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Be careful, CAG. "The institutionalisation of conflict" is what sociologists call it. The opposition is drawn into a co-operative situation, governed by rules and limits, and once they start thowing funds in the pot, well, they can start to exert sway over what CAG says and does.

 

It doesn't have to go that way of course - but be aware of it. Be prepared to pull out at any time, and they won't be able to influence you.

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Be careful, CAG. "The institutionalisation of conflict" is what sociologists call it. The opposition is drawn into a co-operative situation, governed by rules and limits, and once they start thowing funds in the pot, well, they can start to exert sway over what CAG says and does.

 

It doesn't have to go that way of course - but be aware of it. Be prepared to pull out at any time, and they won't be able to influence you.

A timely note of caution Jamberson, eyes and ears fully open I think has to be the plan.

We could do with some help from you.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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This is a most important time for ALL bailiff companies given the "supposed" implementation of the new bailiff regulations. Many in the industry are saying that a lot of the smaller companies will disappear altogether and there will be far less bailiff employed. There is a great deal of change ahead.

 

It is therefore far better at this particular point in time for Bankfodder to be accepting such a role. It is far better to be on the inside than the outside.

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This is a most important time for ALL bailiff companies given the "supposed" implementation of the new bailiff regulations. Many in the industry are saying that a lot of the smaller companies will disappear altogether and there will be far less bailiff employed. There is a great deal of change ahead.

 

It is therefore far better at this particular point in time for Bankfodder to be accepting such a role. It is far better to be on the inside than the outside.

Yes being outside means no chance to contribute to any debate.

We could do with some help from you.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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You do not need an advisory group to keep your bailiffs in check or train your call centre staff to be

civil and polite. If a bailiff steps out of line and Marstons are forced to act he gets the sack and just replaced with another thug .There is more to this than meets the eye and time will tell. Being cynical

the timing could not be better with tighter regulation of the industry round the corner. Have they had

their wings clipped ? To have someone on the inside though cannot be a bad thing but Cag has to be very careful not to be compromised .

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I can only say two things. It is better to be in a position where you can put in your two penneth worth than it is when you can't, however, I would certainly be on the lookout for them having an ulterior motive.

 

and

 

if you don't try, you will never know if you could have made a difference or not.

 

In short

 

Proceed - with caution :!:

 

post script: I would make it very clear to them that your involvement in the advisory group should in NO WAY be seen as your approval, and that NO literature should be produced which states "Approved by the Consumer Action Group" prior to any such involvement and get them to sign a contract agreeing to this.

Edited by rdm2006

HTH (Hope This Helps) RDM2006

 

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