Adviser review website VouchedFor has charged an adviser £82 for a client introduction despite his profile stating he was not able to carry out pension transfers.
James Glasheen, adviser for West Yorkshire-based Sheards Wealth Management, claimed VouchedFor, which provides an introductory service for IFAs, sent him an enquiry from a person who asked if he had a G60 licence – a requirement to facilitate a transfer out of a final salary pension scheme.
He said: “I asked VouchedFor why we post our qualifications on our profiles if nobody takes any notice, and why they would send this through to me, as obviously I am unable to assist.”
Despite his specialisation in investments and IHT planning, Mr Glasheen was refused a refund, and was told that it did not meet their refund criteria.
“So, I complete my VouchedFor profile, tell them what I can and cannot advise on, then VouchedFor ignores this information and takes £82 off of me for the privilege,” he added.
Following a request to activate the money-back guarantee, VouchedFor told Mr Glasheen: “Unfortunately, you would not qualify for our money-back guarantee as it can only be redeemed within your first three months of being on the professional plan.”
Mr Glasheen said: “So, you have a maximum of three months to decide whether or not you are getting the desired return on investment.”
In July, VouchedFor was criticised for increasing its lead fees, with advisers threatening to ditch the service.
Right to Reply
Adam Price, founder of VouchedFor, said: “Our charges and refund policies are clear, and represent extremely good value. Of course, not all advisers are equally good at turning enquiries into business, and so it does not work as well for everyone.
“We do have two levels of filtering: if you go to the homepage and enter your postcode, you are then asked which services you require and your total savings/investments. You are only shown IFAs who match this. And when you submit an enquiry, you are again asked these questions. If there is a mis-match, you are told this on the next screen, and an alternative adviser is recommended.”