There’s this thing about roadshow insurance "financial advisors" that I was never quite comfortable with and somehow, this account that I read kinda covers most of my questions that I always had with roadshow agents – that they may be fly-by-night with no commitment to serving their clients. In fact, the poor soul in the letter signed up during a roadshow, lost contact with the agent, and had encounters with unhelpful staff even at the Customer Service line.

This somehow reminded me of a windows game – Pinball! The customer service line is the left paddle, while the stand-in replacement agent is the right paddle. The original agent that, ahem, convinced him to sign up for the policy would then be the plunger/launcher while the poor soul is of course, the ball.

Since we are on the topic of pinball, you may want to reminisce the good old days with a game of pinball here. I think there shouldn’t be any viruses. I’m not sure. You may play at your own risk.

Sorry, I digressed.

What’s really worrying is how the family of the poor insured soul is going to get their claims should anything really happen to him. I think Prudential, being one of the top insurance institutions in Singapore, should have a much proper Customer Management System. To think that there’s no proper manner of handing and taking over customer data really irks me.

Insurance customer complains of being given runaround after signing up

IN NOVEMBER last year, I was approached by one of Prudential’s insurance agents during a roadshow in Bishan Junction 8.

I signed up for a policy which promised a mobile phone as a gift and was told that the voucher to claim the phone would be sent to me within 30 days.

When I was signing the documents, I noticed that the agent had written my address incorrectly and I pointed this out to him.

He said he would change that for me separately and gave me another form to fill up to authorise him to change the address for me later on.

A month later, when I did not receive the mobile phone voucher, I called the Prudential Customer Service line to check.

The representative on the phone read out my address, which I found to be the wrong one which I had pointed out to the agent originally.

I was sent another form to fill up and be sent back to them for the address change, which I duly did. Two weeks later, there was still no news from Prudential.

I called the Customer Service line again but was told that I would have to call the agent directly.

When I tried calling the agent, he would either not answer or would tell me he would call me back but never did.

After a couple weeks of trying, I called Prudential Customer Service again and they told me that the agent who signed me up had left Prudential and another agent would contact me to follow up with my case.

In addition, I found out that their system still reflected the wrong address. I waited for more than a week but no one called.

Then I resorted to writing in Prudential’s feedback column on their website, hoping that someone would look into this.

A week later, the Feedback representative called to say that they have acknowledged my complaint and would get someone to assist me. No one did.

I tried calling the person back but, each time, the call would be directed to a voice mail. Still no one contacted me even after I left messages.

Then, I tried to call the Director of Life Operation, who signed my ‘Welcome Letter’. But, as expected, his secretary said he was in a meeting and said she would refer the case to one of the other managers.

Someone did call and said that the voucher had already been sent out right after the Chinese New Year holidays and that I should be receiving it within the same week.

She also told me that my policy had already been assigned to another agent and that he would be calling me soon. Nothing came. No one called.

I made another call to the director. I was told he was busy and could not take my call. I left another message.

Later that day, my ‘agent’ called and asked me which policy I had signed up and how he could assist me. When I pointed out as my ‘agent’, he should have had all the information on hand instead of asking me all the same questions again, he said he was only told to call me to check and did not know what was going on.

He said he would check again and get back to me. Experience tells me I should not hold my breath.

When the episode first began, I was only trying to get my mobile phone as promised. Now I wonder what will happen to my family if something happens to me and they need the funds from the insurance payout.

Choo Eng Keong

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 26th February 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. JayWalk | February 27th, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Err…. i think hor, to buy a mobile phone, tis better to get it from a mobile phone shop and not a friggin’ insurance company! >.

  2. Vandalin | February 27th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    oh and if you cancel the insurance, the money is just out the window.

  3. zeezzen | February 27th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    that’s why never buy a policy at roadshow.. haha. that’s why i hate prudential and decided to quit prudential. cos prudential sucks…

  4. Shirley Ho | May 30th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    It’s not the company but the agent. I felt that it’s the value that the agent carries that is very important. =) I’m just happy for you thatyou are well covered…

  5. simontan | August 23rd, 2008 at 2:24 am

    As with all financial advisory firms there’ll be good agents and messed up agents, can’t really blame the company… that said Prudential has a very high turnover rate so probably not the best outcome… anyway good luck… try writing in to the CEO.

  6. Sarah | March 7th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    it’s not just the agent, it’s the whole company

  7. h | March 10th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Agree with Shirley. It’s not the company but the agent.

    Sarah, I guess it’s very unfair to say the whole company. Do you personally know everyone in it? There odd to be some nice people around IMO.

  8. mike | March 15th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    100,000 life insurance policy paid them for 10 years got a letter says now worth 60,000 i had no idea it would not be what i bought i am sure it would take a harvard grad to read the original contract makes no sense to me I DONT REMEMBER THE AGENT TELLING ME THIS

  9. unfortunately sgrean | September 19th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    i used to worked with prudential for 10yrs!!
    trust me that place is suck treat people like Bangla workers squeeze u until u dry! it is the worst place in my career!!

    i always tell friends not to buy from them 🙂

    but thanks to them it makes me a stronger person and be migrating to much much better country.

    “thanks Prudential”

  10. sunny | October 9th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    had been explained by the Acturial on the calculations in my first meeting. There are no mentioning of the 10.3% projected maturity value that it is a Top-Bottom approach. Then drive down into the Projected Performance Bonus of 330% drop to 231% and Projected Maturity Bonus of 10% drop to 7%. I was given a Bottom-Up approach in the meeting. Hence, i further request to meet the Head of Actuarial for an meeting. The fact is actually Top-Down approach, but it is not stated in the letter from P rudential. In the letter, it mentioned that the 10.3% drop in projected maturity value is the result of the revisions in PB and MB. With the revisions to projected PB and MB, the policy’s yield to maturity has been revised to 3.8% p.a from 4.5% p.a. This misleading to me as calculations should be clearly stated. I would consider mis-advice by the company.

    When i meet the head of Actuarial, i had been informed, no formula for the 10.3% downwards in reduction in Projected Maturity value. As an consumer, we have a right to know how the figure of 10.3% is derived as we are paying for it. Based on the feedback from the head of Actuarial,there is No formula for deriving the 10.3%. When i ask her where she plucked the figure of 10.3%. Is it from the sky or sea? Is this a professional answer from an Acturial from P rudential ?

    In the end, the answer is a yes, only that it will be very technical. This had been mentioned that this involves other policies holders confidentiality. We are not asking other policies holders details. The “flickle” answer i got for the 10.3% calculations formula is puzzling.

    I had mentioned that the ethics and attitudes of the P company staff that had serviced me are questionables. This was felt by me after dealing with them when the answers that are not consistent. There are traces of hiding the truth.

    When i speak to the ceo in a call, i mentioned the concerns on the staff work attitute in addressing the issues. I was given a reply from the ceo that all my concerns are accusations against the P rudential staff. I am just wondering they view customers feedbacks are accusations. Is this the right way of addressing from ceo that all the feedbacks are baseless. I am disturbed and worried with the present situations where concerns are not addressed but end up as accusations.

    So far the ceo are avoiding to write back to me to do the explainations.

  11. Sharon | November 8th, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Well sometimes the agent is good but the insurance company suck! Like all the others!

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