Mystery Shopper: Oxford
The shopper, whose girlfriend is pregnant, is currently working but is worried about the possibility of being made redundant with no protection. He wants to find out what type of protection would be appropriate now he has a family to support.
IFA (Independent) Critchleys Financial Planning LLP, Greyfriars Court, Paradise Square, Oxford, Oxon, OX1 1BE
Speed of response: Time of call: 14.54pm. The call was answered after two rings by a receptionist. She asked a few questions about the shopper's enquiry and then transferred him to an adviser. 4/5
Telephone Manner: The adviser introduced himself and the company straight away and was extremely polite. He was also very professional, concise and articulate. 4/5
Relevant Qualifications: When asked the adviser said that he was qualified and had a financial planning certificate. 1/5
Payment Method: According to the adviser, the initial meeting would have no cost or obligation. The adviser then explained that the firm was a fee-based IFA and therefore charged a fixed fee. The shopper could also opt for commission from the lender to offset the fee. 5/5
Guidance Given: The adviser said that he was a holistic financial planner and therefore would assess the shopper's financial situation as a whole. He did say to the shopper that redundancy protection really fell under General Insurance which he did not deal with. He did however deal with income protection, which meant that the shopper would be covered if he was off work due to long term sickness. He also mentioned that the sickness and death cover were the foremost important types of cover. 3/5
Knowledge: From the short conversation, the shopper was able to tell that the adviser knew his stuff about protection products and how they worked. 3/5
Website: www.critchleys-fp.co.uk 5/5
Verdict: The adviser was very professional and by the book. He explained who he was and what his firm could do for the shopper. He told the shopper about the different types of protection and seemed interested in helping him out.
IFA (Independent), Positive Solutions (Oxford) 88 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6JT
Speed of response: Time of call:15.05pm. The call was answered after three rings by the adviser. 5/5
Telephone Manner: The adviser was very friendly and softly spoken on the phone. He was calm and really easy to talk to. 4/5
Relevant Qualifications: The adviser explained that as well as having the advanced financial planning certificate he also had a personal finance society diploma, and various other additional qualifications.
Payment Method: The adviser said that after an initial free consultation, he could be remunerated by either fees or commission. 5/5
Guidance Given: The adviser asked the shopper a few questions about his and his girlfriend's employment and also enquired whether the shopper had a pension scheme with his work. He said that a lot of employers offer life assurance in the contract, so it would be worth the shopper checking that out first. He said that life cover was quite cheap, however unemployment cover was not good value for money, and would tend to only cover you for a year. He also advised the shopper that a person generally has less control over ill health or accident than they do unemployment, and in the case of ill health an employer would not pay out because they only pay out in death. He recommended that the shopper buy ill health protection, now called income protection, combined with life cover which could cost him less than £50 per month. 4/5