Aviva’s trail of hu­man er­rors

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

I have a pen­sion pol­icy with Aviva with a guar­an­teed an­nu­ity rate (GAR) of £98 per £1,000 of the fund.

Orig­i­nally it was a Prov­i­dent Mu­tual “ex­ec­u­tive pen­sion fund” that started in July 1981.

Nearly three months ago Aviva in­vited me to ap­ply for a quote. I did so but so far have been un­able to ob­tain a cor­rect one.

Both I and my fi­nan­cial ad­viser have re­peat­edly asked for the cor­rect in­for­ma­tion, all to no avail. PA­TRI­CIA BOYD, STAFFS

Fur­ther to my in­volve­ment, Aviva ad­mit­ted to sev­eral mis­takes and de­lays.

For a start, fol­low­ing the re­turn of the com­pleted per­sonal in­for­ma­tion form, it had sent re­tire­ment quotes for op­tions you weren’t ex­pect­ing to re­ceive. When you con­tacted it for clar­i­fi­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly sur­round­ing the GAR, it wasn’t given.

More­over, an in­cor­rect trans­fer value of £119,964 was emailed to your ad­viser rather than the right fig­ure of £168,522. Aviva as­cribed this to an er­ror with its man­ual cal­cu­la­tions. It ac­knowl­edged all this was thor­oughly un­ac­cept­able and de­clared it­self to be deeply sorry. It paid you £500 for good­will.

There was a short de­lay be­fore the back­dated an­nu­ity pay­ments and state­ment were sent. How­ever, rather than hav­ing a guar­an­teed pe­riod for five years as per the terms of your guar­an­teed an­nu­ity rate and the quote, it was for 10 years. This re­duced the an­nual pay­ment by £1,500.

Then your fi­nan­cial ad­viser, who had had noth­ing to do with the pen­sion un­til now and had made it clear to Aviva that he was not en­ti­tled to com­mis­sion, sud­denly re­ceived £2,500 for com­mis­sion.

An­other hu­man er­ror had flagged that he was el­i­gi­ble when he wasn’t. I un­der­stand this money is be­ing re­claimed.

Your prob­lems are fi­nally re­solved. A fur­ther £2,197 has been paid to make good the back pay­ments due, plus £100 for good­will. re­quired but the first let­ter was in­ex­pli­ca­bly de­layed by Royal Mail. The ex­change rate dropped and my £47,000 cost €968 more than I would have paid had the let­ter ar­rived on time.

I paid £6.52 to have the let­ter sent by reg­is­tered post as it con­tained im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion. I was told by the counter staff that it would take two work­ing days to ar­rive and that in the mean­time I could track it. JM, SOM­ER­SET

When you checked four days af­ter post­ing the let­ter it was in the Czech Repub­lic.

Be­cause the doc­u­ments en­closed could have been used fraud­u­lently, you con­tacted your bank in Ire­land to alert it. You still wanted to pro­ceed with the money trans­fer and were told that the bank needed the re­quest in writ­ing.

This time you did not pay ex­tra for track­ing and the let­ter got there in two days. The other let­ter mean­while didn’t ar­rive in Ire­land un­til 17 days af­ter it had been posted.

By the time the money came to be trans­ferred, the ex­change rate had dropped and this cost you €968.

You felt Royal Mail should re­im­burse this to you.

Royal Mail re­fused you com­pen­sa­tion and I couldn’t change its mind. It says that, un­der this in­ter­na­tional signed-for ser­vice, it is un­able to ac­cept a claim for this de­lay as its web­site and the leaflet avail­able in Post Of­fice branches make this clear.

You can have the case re­viewed by the Postal Re­view Panel by writ­ing to Freep­ost Postal Re­view Panel or email­ing postal­re­view@royal­mail. com. I wouldn’t bank on a suc­cess­ful out­come though.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.