Weekly Provider Update – Monday 28th September 2020
As another chasing week passes by, the recurring theme for the week was call waiting times, and more specifically the length of time it has been taking some providers to answer our calls.
The return of extended call wait times
We have found that Aviva, Royal London and Scottish Widows are up to 20 minutes, with Hargreaves Lansdown and Prudential taking anywhere in excess of 30 minutes to answer our calls. Both of these wait times are trumped by DHL pensions, who were taking up to 2 hours! All of these providers do have email as a method of communication, so depending on your query, and how much time you have, it may be better dropping them an email.
Signs of a revival at Mercer!
The impact of Coronavirus has been immeasurable, with some providers managing to keep disruption to a minimum, whilst others have been hit harder, and are still struggling in their quest for a return to the ‘Pre-Covid’ Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) that they pride themselves on.
This week, like most weeks, I have been trying (and struggling) to obtain information from Mercer, relating to pension schemes that they administer. Many of you will know that if you are trying to obtain an update from Mercer over the phone, you are informed that you can’t get updates on ongoing requests, and you must email. This week, I have emailed Mercer, and received a different ‘auto-response’ than usual:
‘Action required – The email inbox is not monitored.
This inbox is no longer monitored. Please submit your request online at www.contact.mercer.com/blue [contact.mercer.com].
At Mercer we always strive to make things easier. Submission of your request through the online portal will help us collect the right information, so we can deal with your request as quickly as possible.
You can access the portal on a laptop, desktop PC, smartphone or tablet.’
After months of struggling for updates, we are now given the opportunity to submit our request online, through their online portal. Now, it is very early days, but from the outside looking in, it looks as though Mercer have been devising ways to improve the service that they have been offering to Financial Advisers, and as a direct result, have developed this portal, to enable them to aide and support the advisers though this uncertain time.
I, for one, am excited to see how this portal works, and how it can help advisers and clients. Delays will inevitably happen, but at least we have some movement within Mercer, and we finally have a way to track ongoing requests.
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