Mystery Shopper: Trowbridge

Kingfisher Financial Planning, 19 Timbrell St, Trowbridge, BA14 8PP, 01225 776652

SPEED OF RESPONSE: Time of call: 2.39pm, answered after one ring, by an adviser. 5/5

TELEPHONE MANNER: Very polite and empathetic. 5/5

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RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS: Chartered financial planner. 5/5

PAYMENT METHOD: The adviser explained that the initial meeting was free and that it was unlikely there would be any cost, as there was nothing they could action for the caller’s mother. 5/5

GUIDANCE GIVEN: Guidance given was down-to-earth common sense, with advice on how to communicate the options to the caller’s mother. His view was that the caller’s mother should fund the cruise from her savings. 4/5

KNOWLEDGE: The adviser spoke of the disadvantages of funding the cruise from the property, as this would incur costs and debt, compared with using her savings, which would incur a small reduction in the balance and interest accruing from the savings. 5/5


VERDICT: The adviser was helpful and took time to explain his advice and why it would be best for the caller’s mother. He was also clearly experienced in family dynamics and how best to manage these in financial circumstances. 34/35

Monahans Financial Services, Clarks Mill, Stallard St, Trowbridge BA14 8HH, 01225 785 570

SPEED OF RESPONSE: Time of call: 3.52pm, answered after two rings by a receptionist who asked if I was ringing about pensions and whether I was already a client. 4/5

TELEPHONE MANNER: The adviser was easy to talk to and straightforward with his advice. 4/5

RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS: The adviser said all advisers in the firm were either qualified to level four or chartered financial planners. 5/5

PAYMENT METHOD: The first meeting would be free and then if they could help, they would let me know how much their fees would be. 3/5

GUIDANCE GIVEN: The caller was given straightforward advice. The adviser clarified first that he was not authorised to give equity release advice, but said the caller’s mother should not take this option at this stage. He proposed that it would be better to pay for the cruise from her savings, as she was unlikely to lose much in interest. In comparison, he said that equity release would incur expense and should be the last resort. 5/5

KNOWLEDGE: The adviser responded to the enquiry with speed and ease. 5/5


VERDICT: The shopper liked the adviser’s approach, but would have also liked more information on rough guidelines of fees. 30/35

Chambers Financial Planning, 8 The Spa, Holt, Trowbridge BA14 6BW, 01225 863737

SPEED OF RESPONSE: Time of call: 4.44pm, answered after four rings. 4/5

TELEPHONE MANNER: Courteous. 4/5

RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS: The adviser said he was qualified in everything except mortgages, but did not provide details on what his qualifications were. 3/5

PAYMENT METHOD: When asked what his charges would be, the adviser said it is “all fees nowadays”. 3/5