2008: Witless Protection – Carner
I’m wondering how you might react to something that occurred on Wednesday morning. We recently sent an application to Prudential following advice to implement some cover for a client. Now admittedly we do not do lots of protection business with any company, let alone Prudential, but this time they “won” the business (by having the best value for money quote). Anyhow, I was informed by my team today that they (the team) are struggling to retain their composure. Why? Well the business was originally sent at the end of May (once we received the application from our client) unfortunately it didn’t arrive with Prudential, despite the fact that we sent it to the correct address. Our own internal checks identified this problem.
We then sent our scan of the original application (we always make copies) to Prudential, who could not handle email attachments after numerous attempts. So after eventually getting through their call system, we were asked to send it by fax, which we did on the same day 2 weeks ago. We have now been told that because we don’t submit much business to them (none in the last 6 months) they had removed us from their records. As a result the application has not been processed and they require us to sign a form (which they have now emailed – funny how they can send but not receive). Obviously we don’t want to restart the process, though it is tempting. Their form is two pages and essentially asks us how we want commission paid and who we are and what sort of business we do. Let me remind you that we remove commission from protection products (we always have) and they have all these details already, we have been running since 1999. Having explained this, they still want our bank account details and indeed proof of my identity and of the business bank account. Eh? we are a firm of financial planners, we can be found on the FSA website. How much effort and thinking do these bureaucrats put in? I am also left wondering why I even bother to put a section on my website called “Industry” which explains in terms that providers understand what we do. This is from a company that says that they offer innovation and service excellence (advert in Financial Adviser 12 July 2012. However perhaps this explains why roughly every 6 months I get an email from someone at Prudential telling me that they are my new “Account Manager” (and it’s always someone new and we update our records). I’m sorry, but this is not good enough. This is 2012 for goodness sake.
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