By Claire West
Fuel retailers represented by oil industry membership organisation, the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS), are recovering 88% of money owed to them for fuel following “no means to pay incidents” at service stations, since partnering with leading debt collection agency Daniels Silverman.
It is estimated that the UK oil industry lost around £3 million in 2009 due to drivers filling up with fuel at service stations and then claiming to have “no means of payment”. The BOSS scheme, managed by Daniels Silverman has centralised the collection process available to over 4,000 BOSS members and put in place a co-ordinated system for recovering financial losses.
Kevin Eastwood, executive director, BOSS, comments: “Having a debt recovery agency on board is a major deterrent for drivers trying to avoid paying for fuel. We are delighted with the scheme’s results. About 75% of drivers return to the fuel station to pay and over 50% of the remainder pay via the Daniels Silverman website or dedicated telephone line following “no means of payment” incidents.”
If a driver fills their tank and has "no means to pay" either accidentally or deliberately, they have to fill out a clearly worded debt recovery form. The customer then has seven days to pay at the service station, via the dedicated Boss Fuel Payments telephone line, or online.
Failure to pay results in the case being referred to Daniels Silverman’s debt recovery team, at which point the debt collection agency will use a range of debt collection methods to chase the debtor for the amount owed, plus additional charges.
Carole Hughes, managing director, Daniels Silverman, says: “The collection of small debts at service stations can be an administrative nightmare. Centralising this collection through a professional organisation relieves this burden enabling debts to be collected efficiently. While it does not preclude legal action being taken, where fraud is suspected or where multiple incidents remain unpaid, involving the law is a last resort, saving time and large sums in legal fees.”
Since the launch of the scheme last year Daniels Silverman has handled more than 5,000 incidents and has recovered more than £100,000.