Mystery Shopper  

Mystery Shopper: Sheffield

Mystery Shopper: Sheffield

This week the shopper visits Sheffield.

The shopper has recently bought a one bed flat for £90,000. At the time, she had not taken out any life assurance. Given she does not get any life cover from her employer and is a single parent, she is now looking to take out a policy costing around £30 a month. 

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.

Adviser: Pace Financial Management (independent)

Address: 200 Ridgeway Road, Gleadless, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S12 2TA 

Speed: The shopper was connected to the switchboard at 14:20pm after two rings, and the shopper was connected to the chartered financial planner after a further two rings.  5/5

Telephone manner: The adviser demonstrated a very friendly attitude. 5/5

Qualifications: Level 6 chartered financial planner. 5/5

Payment method: The adviser said that the shopper will not be charged anything as the firm will receive a commission fee from the provider. 5/5

Guidance: The chartered financial planner proposed taking some details from the shopper and emailing her various quotations. He explained that there are typically two different options in his scenario. The shopper can either opt for a decreasing term assurance, where the life insurance policies will be linked to the shopper’s outstanding mortgage. This means the cover will reduce as the outstanding mortgage debt reduces. He said the other option is taking out a level term policy where the payout in event of death of the policyholder does not reduce as the mortgage falls.  4/5

Knowledgeable: The adviser offered an excellent level of knowledge to the shopper. 5/5


Email: 5/5

Verdict: The shopper found this chartered financial adviser extremely useful.


Adviser: 1825 Financial Planning (restricted)

Address: The Manor House, 260 Ecclesall Road South, Sheffield, S11 9PS

Speed: The shopper was first connected to the adviser at 15:02pm and was then connected after a very long wait to the adviser. 2/5

Telephone manner: The adviser was friendly throughout most of the call but appeared a bit impatient towards the end. 4/5

Qualifications: Level 6 chartered financial planner. 5/5

Payment method: The chartered financial planner quoted a fee of £1,200. 5/5

Guidance: He proposed a face-to-face meeting. Additionally, he explained two different types of life assurance to the shopper. He said the first is a level term assurance which provides decreasing cover over time. The second was a family insurance benefit which provides a regular fixed income. 3/5