Vulnerable Customers

Car-Market Limited
Vulnerable Customer Policy

1. Introduction

At Car-Market Limited, we're dedicated to ensuring all our customers receive a service of the highest standard, with special emphasis on those who may be more vulnerable. This policy has been crafted to underline our commitment and to provide clarity on the practices we uphold.

2. Objective

This policy aims to:

  • Define the term 'vulnerable customer'.
  • Outline our approach to supporting and assisting vulnerable customers.
  • Guarantee consistent treatment and handling of vulnerable customers.

3. Definition of Vulnerability

A vulnerable customer is someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is at a heightened risk of harm or detriment, particularly if a firm doesn't act with the appropriate level of care. Vulnerabilities can be temporary or permanent.

4. Identifying Vulnerable Customers

Vulnerability indicators include:

  • Physical or mental health challenges.
  • Age-related frailty.
  • Financial difficulty.
  • Limited literacy or numeracy skills.
  • Significant life events like bereavement, separation, or redundancy.
  • Limited proficiency in English.

5. Procedures

  1. Training:
  • All staff undergo initial and ongoing training on identifying and engaging compassionately with vulnerable customers.
  • Training utilises real-life examples and scenarios for comprehensive understanding.
  1. Communication:
  • Bespoke communication strategies will be employed to address individual vulnerabilities.
  • Options such as large print, plain English, or extended waiting times might be used based on individual needs.
  1. Documentation:
  • Specific notes about a customer's vulnerability will be discreetly kept, ensuring future interactions remain sensitive to their needs.
  • Information is stored securely, honouring data protection principles.
  1. Products and Services:
  • Product recommendations will consider any disclosed or observed vulnerabilities.
  • Additional provisions like extended warranties, flexible payment plans, or more in-depth guidance might be offered.
  1. Third-party involvement:
  • With the customer's consent, family members, carers, or legal guardians may participate in discussions or decisions.
  • We always ensure the customer's autonomy and dignity is respected.

6. Feedback Mechanism

Customers are encouraged to give feedback on their experiences, aiding in refining our approach to vulnerability.

7. Complaints Handling

A streamlined complaints procedure ensures issues related to the treatment of vulnerable customers are tackled promptly, focusing on resolution and learning.

8. Confidentiality and Data Protection

Strict adherence to GDPR and other data protection laws ensures personal data, particularly that related to vulnerabilities, is treated with the utmost discretion and care.

9. Regular Review

This policy will be reviewed annually to integrate changing regulatory guidance, feedback, and organisational learning. An external audit might also be considered for an unbiased assessment.

10. Partnerships

Car-Market Limited may partner with charities or organisations that specialise in supporting vulnerable groups for insights, training, or guidance on best practices.