News : Call Centre Intends to Keep Lewis Compliant
Cape Town, South Africa, Feb 9, 2016 -- In a move to quell growing disapproval of its lending practices, furniture retailer Lewis will launch a call centre to enhance compliance, transparency and oversight of its in-store sales and credit-application process.
Lewis is struggling to shed its reputation as a reckless lender following customer-disclosures of hidden costs, poor affordability assessments and the sale of ancillary products.
Lewis and peers JD Group and Shoprite last year drew the ire of the National Credit Regulator, which referred the stores to the National Consumer Tribunal after it found evidence of reckless lending and breaches of the National Credit Act.
Relatively weak regulatory enforcement in the past is believed to have fostered poor compliance in the industry.
The new call centre at Lewis Group’s head office in Cape Town will employ 50 consultants at its launch in April. It will operate independently from Lewis’s customer care call centre.
Lewis said on Monday the aim was to limit misunderstandings of the costs, services and fees to be paid by customers.
CEO Johan Enslin believed Lewis had a strong future beyond the current economic and regulatory challenges. "We are committed to investing in initiatives such as this one that will support our strategy as we look to grow … through market share gains."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, February 10, 2016