Aug 9 2017

FA - Mystery Shopper - Oxfordshire

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Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent advisers in the UK. The aim is to find out whether advisers are delivering the goods when it comes to the all-important initial telephone contact between client and adviser. It is only intended to evaluate this first interview, and it is understood that further meetings would be necessary before final decisions could be made. The purpose is not to expose poor selling practices, but to show constructively any weaknesses in the advice process.This week, the mystery shopper visits Oxfordshire. After recently getting back into full-time employment as a graphic designer, the caller wants to find out what her options are for getting life insurance and income protection. She is married with two young children, and has a joint repayment mortgage with her husband, which has 22 years left on the mortgage term. 

Adviser: Shaw Gibbs Financial Services (independent)

Address: 264 Banbury Road, Oxfordshire, OX2 7DY

Speed of response: 2.31pm. After two rings, the shopper was put through to the adviser. 5/5

Telephone manner: Friendly, helpful and polite. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: Cert PFS and Cert CII for mortgages and equity release. 5/5

Payment method: Fixed fee or hourly rate, and commission. 4/5

Guidance: The adviser said following an initial free face-to-face consultation, he would be able to assess what the shopper needed. He asked some questions to get a broad idea of the shopper’s circumstances, and advised her that one of the key things she needed to do was to protect her mortgage, and that she could get a decreasing term life insurance policy. He also advised that she could get income protection to cover 60 per cent of her gross income, which would be paid out monthly. 5/5

Knowledge: The shopper felt the adviser was very knowledgeable and was able to give her a broad idea of her options, even though she would still need to come and see him in order to take the conversation further. 5/5

Email: 5/5

Verdict: Shopper’s Choice. The adviser was very knowledgeable and helpful on the phone, and the shopper felt very comfortable speaking to him about her circumstances.



Adviser: Optimum Solutions (independent)

Address: 2 Buckland Road, Buckland, Aylesbury, HP22 5LQ

Speed of response: 3pm. The shopper was put through to an adviser after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner: Polite. 4/5

Relevant qualifications: CII Cert in equity release, mortgages and financial planning. 5/5

Payment method: Commission on the products sold. 4/5