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Adviser threatens court action over alleged late payment from Aviva

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An adviser has complained to Aviva over its alleged failure to reimburse her for the time it took to rectify a mistake made by the provider.

Stephanie Pickering, a chartered financial planner at Newcastle-based Verity Wealth Management, says she spent nearly 14 hours between December 2015 and May 2016 rectifying a transfer value calculation mistake by Aviva on behalf of a client where it had dropped the fund value by nearly £50,000 because of discrepancies in its records.

Pickering’s client was given £150 in compensation and Pickering billed Aviva for the additional work, she says. However, she says she has not received payment yet and has written to Aviva’s head of complaints.

Pickering tells Money Marketing she is considering action at a small claims court.

She says: “The whole idea of RDR is that we set our fees and are not restricted by insurance companies and what they want to pay us, plus the work involved would never have been required if their records were correct.”

An Aviva spokeswoman says: “We have received the claim for compensation from Verity Wealth Management, and we are currently assessing this. We have been in touch with the adviser concerned during the course of this claim.

“We will always consider compensation where an adviser spends additional time resulting from errors on our part. We consider any case on its merit and will offer compensation of costs where appropriate.”

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. 14 hours? Of chartered planner work?

    Or ‘a handful’ by an administrator?

  2. We had dreadful experiences on a number of occasions and it’s interesting that some providers acknowledge their responsibilities and meet the cost of their mistakes however most all are as forthcoming.

    When the pension freedoms were in their infancy, we looked to do an UFPLS – the provider repeatedly issued incorrect information or didn’t send the information within their agreed timescales – time and again, we chased and requested and many hours were wasted (typically in queues on phone calls) – it wasn’t rocket science but it took around 6 months to conclude the UFPLS – luckily the client was kept informed and our reputation didn’t suffer but you have to ask how a leading insurer can’t get something so simple right first time.

    In this case, the provider refused to make any reimbursement and therefore we had to absorb the cost as we’d agreed a fixed fee with the client.

    Not the first time and won’t be the last that a provider will fall significantly short of what would be expected but refuse to accept their responsibilities.

    It’s incredible that changes are frequently made ‘in the interest in customer service’ however the service we see has never been as bad and when you take issue, you get told ‘tough’.

  3. Alan Parker 19th December 2016 at 2:59 pm

    No doubt if Aviva are considering the claim they will have wanted to see chapter and verse what the Chartered Adviser had done as additional work resulting from their error. If they weren’t satisfied why haven’t they rejected the claim when the period of additional work was from December 2015 to May 2016? What is taking them so long?

    ‘Stephanie Pickering, a chartered financial planner at Newcastle-based Verity Wealth Management, says she spent nearly 14 hours between December 2015 and May 2016 rectifying a transfer value calculation mistake by Aviva on behalf of a client where it had dropped the fund value by nearly £50,000 because of discrepancies in its records.’

    I’m sure the client would have been well please if she hadn’t taken issue with what they were doing and just accepted £50k less transfer value.
    You don’t need to be a genius to work out what would have been involved getting this put right.

    Good job she was on the ball and shame on Aviva for getting it so wrong. How do they miscalculate a sum of £50k in the first place?

  4. Hard to tell how much of any time taken needed to be done by an IFA, how how much is basic admin like requesting updates.

    Also is the IFA including time spent on hold and the provider not.

  5. I haven’t had many problems, luckily, with these matters over the last few years. I did take The Hartford to the court for small claims several years back, for extra work one of their compliance people kept demanding, when I had already supplied them with what their application form asked for. I did the extra work but told them I would sue them if they didn’t pay me for it. They didn’t, I did, and the judge found against them. If you have to take extra hours to do a job for the client, and it is obviously the provider’s fault, what can you do? Is it fair to charge the client for the extra time? Not in my opinion. If you do then surely the client would have a right to sue the company for the unnecessary extra costs incurred. Better all round if we submit a proper invoice to the company, as long as it is reasonable.

  6. My own experience of Aviva reflects the article. Multiple phonecalls to an outsourced department to request fund and TFC cash figures only to be told that the client was entitled to 100% TFC, more phonecalls pointing out the information recieved was incorrect only to get more paperwork with the same error. In the end had to tell foreign based department to start the process of paying the client 100% TFC to see how far along the process they got before figuring out they were wrong. Whole case took 8 months to sort out because Aviva didn’t know what they were doing.

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