Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Greater Manchester

Mystery Shopper: Greater Manchester

This week, the mystery shopper visits Greater Manchester. 

The shopper has just broken up with her long-term girlfriend. The shopper owns a four-bedroom house valued at £1m, outright, free of any mortgage and earns an annual salary of £40,000. The shopper wants to take roughly £200,000 out of the house and give it to the ex-girlfriend without having to sell it, as a gesture of goodwill. 

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent advisers in the UK.

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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.


Adviser: JonSimon Financial Advice (independent)

Address: 10-12 Church Street West, Radcliffe, Manchester, M26 2SQ

Speed of response: At 4:07pm, the adviser picked up directly after just three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was very friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: CeMap. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said the shopper would not be charged any fee because the shopper found the adviser’s details through Unbiased. The adviser said the financial advice company has an agreement with Unbiased that means shoppers who contact them through the website, do not have to pay fees, and the company is paid directly. 5/5

Guidance: The adviser said she can remortgage her property and release some equity to meet her financial needs. He said the shopper could easily get the required sum on a salary of £40,000, but warned her that it would depend on other factors, such as her credit history. The adviser suggested setting up a face-to-face meeting. 4/5

Knowledge: The adviser demonstrated very good knowledge of mortgages and remortgages. 4/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The shopper found the adviser very helpful, who gave straightforward answers to her problem and dealt it with quickly. 



Adviser: Sedulo Wealth Management (independent) 

Address: Regency Court, 62-66 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2EN

Speed of response: At 4:56pm the shopper was transferred to the switchboard after two rings, and, after answering a few questions, has to wait a bit more before speaking to an adviser. 2/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was reasonably friendly. 4/5

Relevant qualifications: CeMap. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said the fees could vary from a minimum of £500 and up to 1 per cent of the mortgage value. He had to be prompted to give this information, and was a bit vague, stating the final prices depend on “personal circumstances”. 3/5

Guidance: The adviser said one way of raising the capital is to get a mortgage – using the house as a collateral. He said there are other ways of raising capital, but it was too lengthy to discuss over the phone unless he knows the personal circumstances of the shopper. 3/5