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



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