Authorised Use

It is a condition of your access and use of this web site that you agree and comply with in full the following terms and conditions of use. You are authorised to use this web site in accordance with these terms and conditions and Open 24 Seven Ltd. reserves the right to restrict access or use by any person whom it considers does not comply with these terms and conditions.

Please be aware that Open 24 Seven Ltd. may from time to time alter the information on this web site, including these terms and conditions.

Who Are We?

This web site is operated by and on behalf of Open 24 Seven Ltd., All references to "we", "our" and "us" are references to Open 24 Seven Ltd.

UK Based

The information and services on our web site are directed solely at those persons who access this site from the United Kingdom mainland. Our business and the services we offer are governed by the applicable laws of England and Wales. No warranties and/or representations of any kind, express or implied, are given as to the compliance of the information shown on this web site, the services offered by or on behalf of us, any information relating to such services and our business in any respect with any laws of any other country which do not, in any event, affect or apply to the same.

Disclaimer

Although we endeavour to ensure the technical and factual accuracy of all content of the web site, this cannot be guaranteed, and some errors may occur. Our liabilities are excluded and/or limited as set out below.

Links

To assist you in locating further information, we may include links to other web sites. However, this does not imply that we approve or endorse the contents of that web site or the material available from it and Open 24 Seven Ltd. is not responsible for the content of such sites or their privacy policies.

Reproduction and Copyright

Copyright, trademarks, database rights and other intellectual property in the content of this web site are the property of Open 24 Seven Ltd. or our licensors. You may reproduce any content of this web site only if it is for your own personal use and it is for non-commercial purposes. Except as set out above, you may not modify, licence, create derivative works from or transfer, rent, lease or sell any content, software or information obtained from this web site.

The Materials, Design Content and Software on this web site is protected by copyright and is made available strictly on the terms of licence of such software and may not be used for any purpose other than the proper use of this web site in accordance with these terms and conditions.

General

Use of this web site is governed by and construed in accordance with English law and, by your use of our web site, you agree that any dispute or matter which arises between you and us will be dealt with exclusively by the Courts of England and Wales.

If any part of these terms and conditions are found to be unenforceable, void, illegal or invalid, all the other provisions shall remain in force in full both as to force and effect.

Reporting Problems With The Site

If you have any queries in relation to this web site or the products and/or services we offer, please contact us.

Orders Policy

UK Customers

We aim to process and dispatch any orders placed within 2 to 3 working days of cleared payment. We deliver on working days. Please note that we require a confirmed delivery address and contact phone number before we can dispatch goods. One of our team will then call or email as soon as you have ordered to confirm these. You will be kept updated of the progress of your order.

European Customers

We can ship to all European countries – please see our delivery page for more information or contact us for a quote. We aim to process and dispatch orders placed within 2 to working days.

Pre-Orders

In order to allocate your furniture to you, full payment is required. This is to ensure that the items you have ordered are reserved and allocated to you. We often have high demand for some sets and cannot reserve pieces without payment. If you pay for an item that is out of stock, we will contact you to advise when it will be back in stock, you can either wait until it is available, or we will issue a full refund. Please note that refunds can take 5 to 7 working days to appear in your account.

Please note that any due dates stated are best estimates and not guaranteed dates. Any dates stated are subject to change. We will endeavour to keep you up to date with any new information.

Returns

If something is wrong with an order you placed with us, we will do everything we can to help. We will pay the return shipping cost if the return is a result of our error. If the item is not faulty and you would like to return it, you will be liable to pay the delivery cost. Please note that we are unable to exchange items, however, if you received a damaged, defective, or incorrect item, we will arrange the return and replacement of the order.

Promotions

We may run sales and promotions on ranges or categories and these sales will have a set start and end date. We are not obliged to extend the offer or make any refund of the price difference. If you made a purchase and within 14 days from purchase that item(s) is reduced in a promotion, we will refund the difference as a good will gesture. If it is more than 14 days, then we cannot offer a retrospective refund.

Merchant Vulnerable Customer Policy

1.0 Introduction

 

Everybody has the potential to become vulnerable at some point in their lifetime. It is therefore certain that we will have dealings with customers who are experiencing vulnerable circumstances during the course of our business.

 

As a business authorised and regulated by the FCA for our credit broking activities, it is important that we have a suitable policy in place, and that our staff understand how to identify vulnerability and how to adapt their dealings with vulnerable customers to meet their needs and achieve fair outcomes.

 

Vulnerable customers are likely to need additional assistance at some stage in order to avoid detriment (financial or psychological) when applying for finance.

 

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the way in which we conduct our business does not have a negative impact on vulnerable customers.

 

A vulnerable customer is defined by the FCA as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with the appropriate levels of care.”

 

We are committed to ensuring that all staff involved in the sale of products or services where finance is available, are capable of identifying vulnerable customers, and that they can handle a situation involving a vulnerable customer with the required levels of care, attention, and respect.

 

A customer may find it difficult to make an informed decision about their available options for a variety of reasons. The risk factors that contribute to vulnerability in financial services include:

 

• low literacy, numeracy and financial capability skills

• physical disability

• severe or long-term illness

• mental health problems including common mental disorders

• low income and/or debt

• caring responsibilities (including operating a power of attorney)

• being elderly, although this is not absolute (may be associated with cognitive or dexterity impairment, sensory impairments such as hearing or sight, onset of ill-health, not being comfortable with new technology)

• being young (associated with less experience)

• change in circumstances (e.g. job loss, bereavement, divorce)

• lack of English language skills

• non-standard requirements or credit history (e.g. armed forces personnel returning from

abroad, ex-offenders; care-home leavers, recent immigrants).

 

Living with a disability, illness or diagnosis does not in itself make someone vulnerable. In the context of financial services, it is the person’s situation and barriers to accessing such services that may make them vulnerable. Equally a person may be vulnerable without any disability, illness or diagnosis, for example if they are recently bereaved or frail.

 

Vulnerability is not necessarily a permanent state. Vulnerability can come and go, be short-term and temporary, long term or in some cases, permanent. Each customer’s vulnerability will be unique to them and so it is important that our staff adapt their communication and actions appropriately, based on each individual customer’s needs.

 

2.0 Identifying Vulnerable Customers

 

For our staff to correctly address the needs of a vulnerable customer, it is important to be able to identify them.

 

The customer may have indicated one or more of the risk factors referred to above, or one or more of the following indicators may become apparent during a telephone or webchat conversation or face-to-face in store:

 

a) Can the customer hear everything you are saying and do they understand what you are saying? Do they ask you to slow down or to speak louder? Are you sure they have heard and understood all the relevant details? Do they ask you to clarify any details or advise they do not understand terminology being used?

b) Does the customer stay on topic and hold a conversation that is coherent, or do they appear distracted or confused? Do the customers responses remain relevant and are their questions typical for the discussion being had?

c) Does the customer take an unusually long amount of time to answer a question that suggests they are struggling to process the information provided to them?

d) Does the customer indicate they may have a disability or impairment based on their voice, pronunciation, breathing, hearing or ability to understand the conversation? Are they coherent and fluent in the language being used?

 

3.0 Dealing with Vulnerable Customers

 

Just because somebody is vulnerable does not automatically mean that they are unsuitable for our products and services, or that they will not be able to obtain finance. As soon we think we may be engaging with a vulnerable customer we should take care to adhere to the requirements set out in this policy.

 

When dealing with vulnerable customers staff must be aware of the following guidelines:

 

a) Remain patient and empathetic; do not rush the customer, interrupt or appear impatient. Allow the customer to arrive at their own decisions and process the information sufficiently.

b) Ensure the customer is able to hear and understand what you are saying; ask the customer to explain their understanding of what you are telling them, or include questions as frequently as possible to ensure they are aware of and understand what is being discussed.

c) Allow the customer to explain thoroughly; do not assume you already know what their requirements or needs are, and do not finish off their sentences which often implies you are rushing them to progress the conversation. Listen carefully to the customer and remain conscious of any absence of understanding, hints at unawareness, or forgetfulness of topics already discussed.

d) Clarify that the customer is comfortable with the standard and method of communication and offer to provide details in an alternate format such as via post or email for clarity.

 

When a vulnerable customer has been identified a relevant note should be added to their record in the Deko BackOffice system to ensure awareness extends to all staff within the company, at Deko and the Lender who may deal with the customer. It is important that we maintain a consistent level of service, and that a vulnerable customer receives adequate care irrespective of which staff they liaise with. Any such notes should describe the reasons for the assessment of the customer as vulnerable and be factual, concise, not excessive and confirm that consent has been taken to record the information.

 

TEXAS Drill

 

If a customer discloses information about their vulnerability it may include ‘special category’ data, which requires us to implement additional controls under the UK GDPR. The TEXAS drill is a simple, yet effective way to treat a customer fairly, record relevant information and comply with our obligations under the GDPR:

 

- Thank the customer for sharing the information with you.

- Explain to the customer how you will use that information and who it will be shared with (i.e. Deko and the lender(s))

- Gain eXplicit consent from the customer to record the information and use it as explained to them. Without this, you will not be able to record details about the customer’s vulnerability.

- Ask up to three questions to help understand more about the customer’s vulnerability:

1) How does your situation make it difficult to manage your finances?

2) Do you have any specific communication needs or preferences that we can share with your lender to help them meet your needs?

3) Do you have anyone who could help you with deciding about whether to apply for finance?

- Signpost the customer to sources of free and independent help and support if appropriate, such as their local Citizens Advice Bureau, the Money Advice Service, Mind or the Samaritans.

 

Mental capacity

Mental capacity relates to the ability of the individual to understand and to retain and evaluate relevant information to be able to make a decision based on that information.

 

If a member of staff believes that a vulnerable customer is unable to make a decision for themselves regarding their insurance, they should attempt to identify a carer or next of kin

who is authorised to act on their behalf with respect to their financial affairs. in many cases, a parent or spouse will represent the interests of the vulnerable customer.

 

Product Information and Financial Promotions

We acknowledge that there are limits to what we can reasonably do to form a view as to whether a customer is in a vulnerable situation, especially when they follow an online journey on our website.

 

However, it is good practice in product information and any financial promotions, whether online, in-store or over the telephone, to be clear, concise and transparent with customers about the key features of the financial services. As a responsible credit broker, we are committed to meeting high standards of customer communication and will always adhere to the content requirements stipulated by Deko and/or our lenders.

 

Where our staff may engage with customers about finance, those staff will only be permitted to do so once they have successfully completed the relevant training and acknowledged that they have read and understood this policy.

 

Our Commitments to Treat Vulnerable Customers Fairly

To ensure we treat vulnerable customers fairly, we will take the following actions:

- All employees are given initial training in identifying and dealing with vulnerable customers

- All employees will be provided with ongoing training and regular updates to ensure employees continue to implement our policies

- Our systems will facilitate the identification of vulnerable customers where possible

- Our systems will enable us to deal with vulnerable customers in the most appropriate manner, so their needs are met

- The needs of vulnerable customers will be factored into the service provision and design of the products we offer

- Our policies will be clear to customers, and to the third-party organisations we deal with, including Deko and our lender(s)

- Management information will be used regularly to review and improve our policies and procedures

- We will ensure the proper recording and reporting of information with the customer’s explicit consent; We will bring this to the attention of Deko and the lender(s), where the customer has given consent, and

- We will ensure that the customer has understood the advice and information made available to them, prior to deciding whether to apply for finance.

How to Contact Us

Alexander Francis is a registered trademark and part of Open 24 Seven Ltd., a company registered in England and Wales. Our company registration number is 06307658 and our registered VAT number is GB879799320.

Our registered office address is:

Unit 3 Netham View Industrial Park
Netham Road
Bristol
BS5 9PQ

Our telephone number: (+44) 0117 325 5247

Our email address: info@alexander-francis.co.uk