Often, I hear from prospective clients, “I’d love to work with your company, but we’re locked in a contract with our current vendor for the next two years”.
If you provide a valid service, and treat your client (as clients, I would hope), then any collection vendor should feel comfortable and secure knowing that their clients won’t want to go anywhere else, because there is a good fit between the two companies.
1) Agreements from both parties that everyone will act within the laws that govern them (the Collection Agencies Act, PIPEDA, etc).
2) The information required from the client for the vendor to act properly on their behalf (accurate balances, identifiers for customers, documentation on request, dates of delinquency, etc).
3) Outline the code of ethics or conduct the vendor will adhere to in representing their client – this should be as specific as possible, to show the creditor their brand reputation is protected.
4) Expected methods for listing or revoking accounts with the vendor.
5) The contingency or flat rate to be charged when services are rendered.
6) The circumstances in which fees or rates will not be charged.
7) Methods for closing accounts with the vendor due to disputes, clerical errors, or compassionate grounds.
8) Reporting that the vendor will be provide the client to display their work in progress. This can be as simple as an inventory report or as complex as daily noteline uploads, or call recordings on request being provided.
9) Methods of communication, remittances, and dealing with escalated issues.
10) Penalties or adjustments to fees or volumes of account assignments when services by the collection vendor do not meet a minimum expectation.
11) The process for cancelling the contract and service agreement if either party is unsatisfied with the other.
I don’t believe a contract originated by the agency needs to be a 60-page monstrosity. Some vendors require this, and that’s fine, but if a collection vendor is initiating a contract, it should be clear, understandable, and open-ended.