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Adviser bills provider for ‘shambles’ service

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An adviser is billing closed-book provider ReAssure for a series of errors that allegedly caused a delay to a client accessing their pension.

FPS London senior partner Robert Taylor was contacted by a client who wished to access their ReAssure pension and go into flexible access drawdown.

The client told Taylor that they had to take advice under Government rules given the safeguarded benefits exceeded £30,000.

ReAssure replied to the request saying there was no GAR on the policy, Taylor says.

After this was questioned, it eventually confirmed the GAR in writing but gave no further details, he says.

After Taylor lodged a complaint, and more than a week after ReAssure received a subsequent request for funds from Taylor, the provider called the client, who it said must discuss the GAR with it, Taylor says.

He says he eventually completed an action form by email, but was told he could not proceed without a wet signature.

Taylor also criticised ReAssure’s confirmation of advice documentation for being sent out without any prepopulating of the plan’s information, and that its normal method of transferring payments was not by the electronic transfer standardly used by banks, but a slower process.

Taylor says he will invoice ReAssure for 600 to 800 pounds, but could go higher as the issue still has not been resolved.

Taylor tells Money Marketing: “They should be named and shamed, they are a shambles. Advisers are saying we are not going to deal with these people any more, it doesn’t matter what they pay us in compensation.

“As soon as I see ReAssure I’m not going to deal with them because I don’t think I can offer a service that’s going to be professional to the client.”

In a statement, ReAssure says it is finalising its investigation and will compensate the client if they are found to have been financially disadvantaged.

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Comments

There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. scott gibbons 31st May 2017 at 1:26 pm

    In my experience all insurance companies are rubbish to deal with, just some are more so.

    The way to deal with them work on a fee basis with all your clients. Give you client quote for the work. If this quote is exceeded due to the insurance companies incompetence/complete lack of care/joined up thinking/empathy/affinty, you can then clearly demonstrate that the client has then suffered a financial loss due to the insurance companies incompetence (make sure there is a record of all calls, times, names, length of calls).

    Otherwise it’s just the adviser that has lost and there has been no financial loss to the client under TCF and usually you stuffed!

  2. nothing about compensating the IFA then? Well, Bill your client or the time spent and have it form part of the claim against them!

  3. “(ReAssure) will compensate the client if they are found to have been financially disadvantaged.”

    The likely disadvantage will be the adviser not the client and therefore will they meet the adviser time / cost of the additional work?

    If not, I wonder where they stand if the adviser bills the client for their time and the client then seeks redress from ReAssure.

    2 years age we had a real issue with a leading UK ‘insurer’ leading to a significant time cost on our business and frustration for the client. The client received 2 (perhaps 3) redress sums for inconvenience and yet, whilst they found in our favour with regard to our resulting complaint they refused to recompense us for the significant time cost despite seemingly creating a precedent with the client payments.

    The same client this year annuitised and a similar shambles happened again only this time they have agreed to cover our additional costs and in doing so, are re-opening the prior complaint.

    Does TCF not apply to provders?

  4. Julian Stevens 31st May 2017 at 2:05 pm

    I only bothered to read this article to see which provider it was this time. Most of them are rubbish, the two worst of the lot (IME) being L&G and Scottish Widows.

  5. Surely this should be routine. Bad service that disadvantages a client and your time should automatically be a complaint and invoice to the company. Keep a record of all calls, dates, time, person spoken to and what they promised. Don’t bother with the department you are dealing with, just head your letter “COMPLAINT” and send it to Complaints Department with full details. Cannot recall having any such issue rejected.
    You do need a genuine complaint though, if they tell you it takes 10 working days when other companies take 2 or 3 that is not a complaint, but if they then take 20 and you can prove a loss or extra time then it is, also don’t just pick a figure out of the air, if it’s a client loss you need to know how it has been arrived at, for yourself it is so many extra hours at your normal rate.
    Don’t rant about it, do it.

  6. Good luck Robert! I suspect that if we invoiced all the rubbish service providers we would have no time left for any advising.
    After a spectacular example of incompetence by Old Mutual I billed them for £400 and they sent me a cheque for £250, being (apparently) their maximum compensation payment. I sent it back on the basis that their need was greater than mine. We have not used them since. This is at the end of the day our prime sanction in these circumstances.

  7. I sympathise with Mr Taylor, but I cannot see why this is news.Every day of the week we deal with an inordinate amount of rubbish from providers. We have a huge legacy product book (c10000) and there are wrong premium billing/wrong claims payments(we check every one and find dozens that are wrong each year)/mailed document mis-scans/lost cheques and Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all on them. We are dealing with upwards of 20 howlers every week.

    Mr Taylor’s survival through a bit of rotten admin is admirable but not heroic or epic on the scale that our firm and I am sure many others put up with all the time.

  8. News? (raises eyebrows)

  9. Patrick Schan 31st May 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Always claim for extra time taken due to incompetence or lack of care. Explain it by telling the provider that you will have to charge the client for the extra work, and that is, obviously, not fair to the customer.
    As Scott gibbons says, make sure you log everything.
    Only by taking this action will we ever have any chance of getting companies to improve matters.

  10. Duncan Gafney 1st June 2017 at 7:40 am

    I’ve billed providers on more than a few occasions when things have been going wrong spectacularly. An invoice with a time costed basis. Every time they have paid up..

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