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Factoring – Common Complaints

Speaking to business owners on a daily basis there seems to be some common complaints about factoring services, factoring companies and the process involved in setting a facility up. I wanted to visit some of these:

Over promising and lack of transparency¬†at the outset – invoice finance companies are typically sales driven and as such the individual sales people are targeted to close deals. This can in many instances lead to promises being made that simply can’t be delivered. There are also instances where perhaps certain costs and restrictions are not as well explained as perhaps they should be. This can be very frustrating when a business has signed up for a 12 month contract and they are not getting what they expected. The industry remains unregulated and as such once pen has been put to paper and a contract signed it is hard to get out of an invoice finance contract. The key is to understand up front what is on offer and the help of an invoice finance expert can be useful.

Hidden costs – quite often all the costs involved in a facility are not explained. Headline rates can be deceiving as they can detract from the total costs involved. Such hidden costs include minimum base rates, disbursements, minimum service fees, arrangement fees, audit fees, etc.. It is imperative total annual costs are compared when looking at different quotes.

Poor service levels – when factoring you are paying for a credit control service as well as a finance facility. It is important you understand what this service includes as some lenders will simply send out automated letters and month end statements and in many cases this may well be enough. Some lenders will actively chase debts with telephone calls which will yield a better result. Service levels also include the general administration of the facility and if not done properly the facility may not perform as you had expected. Some lenders are notorious for poor service levels and should be avoided at all costs.

Lack of communication Рmost business owners are used to dealing with what is thrown at them but if factoring companies change goal posts without advising clients this makes it harder. There are a couple of invoice finance companies who I could name where I know a client is unlikely to return a call. I know because I have had the same complaint from several clients and unfortunately I have experienced it myself at the hands of the same factoring companies. The reasons behind the lack of communication includes; employees being over stretched, simple lack of service focused approach at the lender, arrogance and simple bad manners. It boiled down to bad service and again we have some notorious culprits who say one thing and do another or simply never say anything at all. To avoid bad service do your homework from the outset and select an invoice finance company you can trust. Seek references but remember that lenders will only put you in touch with happy clients. Look on forums and blogs to see what you can dig up but remember passionate bloggers will typically always be the ones complaining and there are typically two sides to very story.

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