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News: Provider Monthly Review – February 2021

March 08, 2021

PLUS Group

News

It has been nearly 12 months since the majority of Providers began working remotely. In this time, we have seen timescales and call wait times fluctuate, none more so than in the last month, where me and my team have really seen an increase in the length of time we are spending on hold.

 

In the last month, timescales have been fairly consistent across the majority of providers. With the exception of a few notable ones – Reassure (ex Old Mutual Plans) and Clerical Medical, we have generally been receiving a response within 5 and 15 working days. However, with the delays that Royal Mail are currently experiencing, it has – in some cases – taken correspondence 3 weeks to reach us.

 

Since Christmas, whilst timescales have settled down somewhat, the same unfortunately cannot be said about call wait times, where we have noticed a significant increase – especially over the last 2-3 weeks. In the last week alone, we have spent several hours on hold to the majority of the ’main’ providers, as you can see below:

 

Aviva TK policies and MyMoney (GS)

 

It has been a struggle to get through to Aviva, regardless of the time of day you call. If you have had your call answered within an hour, you can count yourself lucky!

 

Clerical Medical Pensions

 

It’s not only timescales that Clerical Medical are currently struggling with. Their call wait times are significantly higher than usual as well. A member of the team – Paige – was on hold for 45 minutes earlier this week, much to her frustration.

 

Prudential Pensions

 

After completing her call to Clerical Medical, Paige had the unfortunate task of phoning Prudential. 1 hour and 32 minutes later, she managed to get through to them and get an update on her chaser task.

 

Financial Advisers Support Team (Investments)

 

For those of you that are connected with me on LinkedIn, you will be all too aware of my recent struggles with trying to get through to FAST.

I’ve had times where I’ve called providers, and unknowingly to myself been stuck in a loop, which means my call will never get answered. I thought this call to FAST was one of those occasions, but thankfully after 1 hour and 51 minutes, they answered my call!

 

Scottish Widows Pensions

 

The day after Valentines Day, another member of the team – Abi – waited 56 minutes before she had her call answered. On this occasion, love was in short supply to anyone that was trying to phone up!

 

Whilst we can’t fault any of the call handlers who have been working admirably over this period, we have found the last few weeks to be particularly challenging.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of the chasing team, for their patience, hard work, and perseverance at what has been a month like very few others.
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