We regularly hear from readers about poor handling of complaints by product providers. The major problem from an advisor’s perspective is that a lack of response from the product house reflects badly on the intermediary, who deals directly with the client.
It is heartening to hear that ASISA introduced steps to address this matter.
In January this year, ASISA distributed the ASISA Standard on Complaints Resolution to its members. The document hopes to “…ensure effective and fair resolution of customer complaints.”
Provision is made for the following:
- Acknowledgement of receipt of a complaint should be done within 3 working days.
- Complaints should be attended to and an effort must be made to resolve it within 20 working days.
- The customer should have the name and contact details of a person dealing with the complaint.
- The outcome of the complaint must be communicated to customers in a way that is fair, clear and not misleading.
- Contact details where complaints should be addressed should be communicated.
- Each company should have a designated Complaints Handling Function (CHF), whose members have decision-making power to resolve a complaint.
- There should be an escalation process to enable the customer to be put in contact with someone who can deal with their complaint.
We relayed some questions to ASISA to obtain further clarity, and will share the answers with readers on Thursday. This includes clarity on whether complaints lodged by intermediaries on behalf of clients will receive the same treatment outlined above.