CompaniesMar 6 2014

Mystery Shopper: Torquay

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Verdict: Despite the initial difficulty of getting through to an adviser, the rest of the conversation went well. The adviser was helpful, spoke in clear terms and presented plenty of options.


Adviser: Abigail Stidworthy and Vanessa Taylor, Strategic Solutions, First Floor, 19 Devon Square, Newton Abbot TQ12 2HR

Speed of response: Time of call: 11.55pm. Answered after five rings by an adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: Professional, and keen to help. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: QCF level four. 5/5

Payment method: First meeting free and then costs could be agreed, depending on the requested service. 5/5

Guidance given: The adviser immediately recommended meeting in person to fully go through all the available options. She said the right option depended on so many factors such as disposable income, and the interest rate of the mortgage, and without discussing that in person it would be difficult to establish whether an investment vehicle or repayment was the best solution. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser briefly summarised the key factors behind the available options and from the information provided appeared to be experienced in dealing with these types of requests. 4/5

E-mail/web presence: 5/5

Verdict: It was difficult to get much information over the phone but the adviser certainly seemed professional and equipped to find the best solution.


Provider Nationwide (call centre)

Speed of response: Time of call: 12:06pm. Answered after 12 seconds of waiting. 4/5

Telephone manner: Extremely friendly and polite. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: The representative was not qualified to give financial advice. 0/5

Payment method: No charge. 3/5

Guidance given: The shopper was presented with a few different options for repaying his mortgage. The representative said she could only discuss mortgages but was happy to put the shopper through to a Nationwide savings expert. In terms of mortgages, the representative recommended making as many payments as possible to reduce the capital and save on interest. She also mentioned that some providers charged for this service. 3/5

Knowledge: The representative was very clued-up on the ins and outs of mortgages. 4/5

E-mail/web presence: 3/5

Verdict: Though not an advised service and just limited to mortgages, the shopper was impressed with the help on offer, and the detailed and concise explanations of the different methods of paying off mortgages.