The Chartered Insurance Institute’s exam booking service is “extremely poor”, and "no longer fit for purpose", a financial planner has claimed.
In the latest adviser complaint about ongoing technical issues with the CII's online examination system, Robert Doogan, chartered financial planner at Cullen Wealth, said it has taken him more than three weeks to even attempt to book an exam.
He said he began trying to book on to the CF8 – Long Term Care Planning exam on April 14 and has still been unable to get booked in.
Speaking to FTAdviser, he claimed: “The initial issues stemmed from their website. You would reach the payment page and it would say the ‘transaction was refused’. I tried this, as did other advisers, and so did our firm, using their own credit cards.
“No-one could make a payment.”
Doogan also claimed that he phoned the CII and spent over an hour on hold, only to be told there was no problem with the website and “to check your card provider”.
“Yet more time spent on hold to our banks,” he said. “We all did this and our banks confirmed no issues at all with any of the cards and other transactions were going through, just not the CII.”
Having no success with booking in the traditional method, Doogan said he pursued the alternative option of paying for the examination by bank transfer.
“We requested this online, but the promised email confirming the bank details for the transfer never arrived from the CII.
“Again - further calls and wasted time [in going] to the CII and trying to resolve the issue.
"I finally got through to someone who emailed me the payment details for the bank transfer.”
Following receipt of the details, Cullen Wealth transferred the funds to the CII on April 29, but he said he was still waiting confirmation from the organisation that it has indeed received the funds, and to receive details of the exam voucher that will then allow him to book the exam.
Doogan told FTAdviser that, on May 5, he called the CII to query this but there was an estimated wait time of 38 minutes so he did not hold.
Doogan commented that the CII have been “extremely poor” in terms of customer service and exam bookings.
He added: “Clearly the CII exam booking and customer service functions are no longer fit for purpose. Yet they continue to take subs off members and an urgent review of their resourcing needs to take place as it’s costing individuals and firms significant amounts of time to deal with this.
“They may well blame ‘the pandemic’, however they have had over two years to address this.”
However, the CII said on investigating the complaint, there was no visible issue with its systems.