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Low levels of satisfaction on

Over half of people who lodged a complaint with a provider in the life, pension and investment sectors consider their complaint was poorly handled.

The Association of British Insurers’ customer impact survey 2007/08 quizzed almost 20,000 consumers and reveals that 3 per cent made a complaint and 57 per cent of those were not satisfied with the resolution process.

Consumers who say they are extremely or very likely to recommend a company to a friend fell by 2 per cent from last year’s survey to 53 per cent this year.

Customers who rate the sales process as good or very good fell by 4 per cent to 53 per cent.

But 53 per cent say the industry has an excellent reputation, up from 48 per cent.

The survey also shows that 85 per cent believe their provider treats customers fairly.

The survey forms part of the ABI’s customer impact scheme which is a voluntary programme aimed at improving outcomes for consumers, with 32 firms taking part.

Director of life and savings Maggie Craig says the results show that the insurance industry is making some progressin improving customer exp-eriences.

She says: “Individual comp-anies are already learning from the survey results and are chan-ging practices and procedures. Industry guidance for comp-anies has been rolled out, including product design, management information and com- plaint handling.

“The ABI has worked with Aifa to clarify and reinforce the roles of providers and advisers throughout the sales process. Over time, these and other initiatives will further improve customer service across the life and pensions industry.”

The ABI says it expects the results of the annual survey, which started last year, will lead to gradual improvements in the satisfaction levels of consumers as companies take measuresto improve their feedback.

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