Mystery Shopper: Slough

Mystery Shopper: Slough

Each week the mystery shopper seeks advice from independent and tied 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 Slough. After owning their home for 5 years, she and her partner are looking to remortgage. Their youngest child is about to start school, allowing her to return to full-time work and put more money towards mortgage repayments. The family also wants a better rate on their current 60 per cent loan-to-value mortgage, which is fixed until 2018. She wants to know if it is worth their while to shop for a better rate now or hold on until their current rate ends to avoid penalties charges.  

Adviser (Independent)

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R B Mortgages, 61 Westgate Crescent, Slough SL1 5BX

Speed of response:  Time of call: 12.40pm. Answered after three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner: Very friendly and polite. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: The IFA said he had the relevant Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) qualification and is registered with the FCA. 5/5

Payment method: A fee of up to 1 per cent on the contract if it is taken out. 5/5

Guidance given: Difficult to gauge, as he would not be giving guidance until the initial meeting. The IFA did mention the documents he would require to find the best remortgage rate, such as employment confirmation, current mortgage deal and salary slips. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser seemed very knowledgeable. He guided the caller on what documents he would need for an initial consultation and how he would scour the market to find the best deal. 5/5

Email/web presence: 3/5 

Verdict: The IFA  was polite, professional and knowledgeable. He was upfront about his fees and what documents he would require from the caller. Later that day he messaged to reiterate all the points he had made, which was handy and helpful.



Adviser (Independent)

Advies Private Clients LLP,  66 St Leonards Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 3BY

Speed of response: Time of call: 9.50am and 9.57am and 10.21am. Rang about 20 times before giving up because there was no option to leave a message. 0/5

Telephone manner: Unknown as nobody picked up the call. However, online testimonials suggest that the IFA is friendly. 1/5

Relevant qualifications: Not known. 0/5

Payment method: Free mortgage review. 5/5

Guidance given: Difficult to gauge, as nobody picked up. However, the adviser offers the option of booking an appointment online. 0/5

Knowledge: Difficult to gauge, as nobody picked up. 0/5

Email/web presence: 3/5

Verdict: According to the adviser’s online testimonials, he is professional, friendly and knowledgeable. It is unfortunate that when the Mystery Shopper called, nobody picked up the call.



Adviser (Independent)

Oury Clark, Herschel House, 58 Herschel St, Berkshire, Slough, SL1 1PG

Speed of response: Time of call: 12.35pm. Rang three time before the receptionist picked up. 5/5

Telephone manner: Very friendly and polite. 5/5

Relevant qualifications: CeMAP (IFS). 5/5

Payment method: First meeting is at adviser’s own cost. 5/5