NCO Group Inc., (NCOG) also referred to as NCO financial systems, is an American outsourcing company that provides services to its clients in the areas of receivable management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and outsourcing of back office processes. NCO was established in 1926 and it is one of the largest debt collection agencies in the world. It is also referred to as NCO Financial Services.
About NCO Group, Inc.
Subsidiaries NCO’s subsidiary NCO Portfolio helps credit card companies to collect from delinquent accounts. It acquired another large US collection agency, Outsourcing Solutions, Inc., and also operates the following subsidiaries: North Shore Agency, Inc. (NSA), Transworld Systems, Inc. (TSI), and University Accounting Service, LLC (UAS). These subsidiaries operate in their own name. Services: Debt Collection NCO helps business to recover debt. Its clients are from the financial, healthcare, education, government utilities, transportation, telecommunications and commercial industries. NCO helps by establishing direct contact with the defaulters by telephone or mail, checking their credit history at the credit bureaus and performing skip tracing. “Skip” refers to a defaulter whose contact details are incorrect. NCO also checks from its internal database that has 450 million records. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) NCO’s CRM arm helps customers to deliver customer service from its inbound and outbound call centres. Customer support is provided by email, voice calls, web chats, and even by traditional methods like snail mail. This type of support covers many areas including sales, hardware and software troubleshooting, internet services, and technical support. Back office support NCO helps clients by performing their routine back office processes like order processing, billing, certifications, bankruptcies, e-payments, and so on. It offers financial investigative services and a network of attorneys who specialise in debt collection.
Controversies surrounding NCO group
In May 2004, NCO was made to pay $1.5 million as penalty to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). This was because NCO violated the FCRA (US Fair Credit Reporting Act). According to the FTC, NCO manipulated delinquency dates of potential debtors. The penalty levied worked to $2,500 per offence.
Violating protection laws
Consumers regard NCO as bad debt collectors. Many consumers also have complaints against NCO debt collection services of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by refusing to verify the debt, contacting third parties, making false claims (NCO representatives saying that they are calling from a law firm), and harassing/threatening debtors, among other complaints. Again, in 2006, NCO paid $300,000 to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for violating its consumer protection laws.