ORGANISATIONALLY INCOMPETENT - DO NOT GET A SIPP WITH AVIVA

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ritchardwilliams's review of Aviva Pension www.aviva.co.uk

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“ORGANISATIONALLY INCOMPETENT - DO NOT GET A SIPP WITH...”

Written on: 25/09/2018 by ritchardwilliams (1 review written)

Aviva pensions feel like a business about to go bust. My experience is they are organisationally inept at best. If this were a bank it would be out of business. It is unnecessarily just too difficult to communicate. I need to access my money and nothing they have done gives me any confidence whatsoever that I can access my money when needed.

SUMMARY
Transferred pension money into a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) with Aviva. Then tried to withdraw some of my money and became totally frustrated, suffered financial loss as a result of Aviva not being able to manage customer requests and they have caused me distress.

1. Effective communication is almost impossible - no on-line help, phone lines busy, lack of response to e-mails, delay in response to e-mails, no auto response to e-mails so you just do not know if they have received your e-mail (the customer service e-mail address does have an auto e-mail response but the pension e-mail address at myinvestmentportfolio does not.

2. Aviva business processes actively stop you accessing YOUR pension monies.

3. Aviva readily accept a transfer in of money but place barriers in the way of you withdrawing money – there is no excuse for this. They say it’s for security reasons which is nonsense.

RECOMMENDATIONS
1. DO NOT transfer any pension into an Aviva SIP.
2. TRANSFER OUT any SIP monies to a competent pension provider to avoid any future issues.

FACTS
1. Transferred a pension into Aviva in August 2018 from another provider

I. They collected the money within 3 weeks mainly due to the previous pension provider releasing the funds quickly
II. Aviva did not ask a lot of questions about who I was (but I had a previous account with them on line for some years)
III. Aviva did test my bank account with a £1 and refunded £1 in the 3rd week of June 2018

2. Received an e-mail and letter from the previous pension provider confirming transfer. Received an e-mail from Aviva

3. Went on-line to Myaviva. Searched for help on the process to withdraw funds:
I. Could not find any help text related to pension fund withdrawal
II. Next day back on Myaviva and tried On Line Chat - sorry no one available
III. Next day back onto Myaviva and re-tried On Line Chat – sorry no one available
IV. Next day rang Help Line- sorry we are experienced a high volume of calls. I did not hang onto the line as there was no indication of how long I would have to wait or what number I was in the queue
V. Next day rang Help Line again – same problem as before
VI. Back on-line to see if I had missed anything the first time in searching for help. Managed to find a drop down that refined the search criteria for help selection. Went for pension help – sounded about right. Sorry we do not have any help available for that
VII. Very frustrated by now so rang the Help Line again, sorry we are experiencing a high volume of calls

4. In the absence of any help, went on-line to Myaviva again to see what I could do to withdraw some of my money:
I. Managed to request a withdrawal but this is done in an indirect way. Had to request a withdrawal quote illustration. The site said this would be e-mailed to me
II. Received an e-mail the next day on 21_08_2018 with a .pdf attached. This had a reference to aviva.co.uk_drawdown which informs very little – basically states we will tell you how much we will charge and if you have complaints put them in writing – but does not inform you on how to actually drawdown monies
The e-mail from Aviva say’s please respond to this e-mail (which I did), quote the drawdown illustration reference (unable to see this anywhere) and lists I number of statements/questions, generally relating to the legal protection of Aviva and purporting to identify who I am. I responded by e-mail on 24_08_2018 to each statement/question in an attached Word.doc. Aviva wanted a cancelled cheque, a bank statement an attestation signed by various possible people. My response was they were not getting a cancelled cheque (have not used a cheque for 3+ years), they were not getting a copy of my bank statement for the requested for the last 3 month period as my bank statement was private and had nothing to do with Aviva. I had provided my bank account details on-line and Aviva had already checked this with a £1 in and £1 out, my Word.doc had my bank details at the head of the document and at the end. I had clearly stated the amount I wished to withdraw, they had my NI number, I could be checked using Experian and I had an account with Aviva for some years

I did receive an automatic e-mail response thanking me for my drawdown request the next day

24_08_2018 I sent an e-mailed requesting a response to my e-mail I sent the original request to myinvestmentportfolio as this was the contact address provided. However, this address has no automatic e-mail response so you have no idea if the e-mail has been received or not

03_09_2018 I sent an e-mail request to contactus as I had no auto response to confirm that the myinvestmentportfolio e-mail address had in fact received my e-mail. The reply from the contactus address was that my e-mail had been passed to the relevant department

03_09_2018 reply from myinvestmentportfolio saying they needed to verify my bank account

03_09_2018 I replied saying that Aviva had my bank account details and had already verified my account and that I had provided a Word.doc with my bank account details at the top and foot of the document with clear instructions on my request to withdraw some money

06_09_2018 received an e-mail from myinvestmentportfolio saying there was a backlog but someone would get back to me by the end of the day

06_09_2018 received an e-mail from myinvestmentportfolio saying they thought they had seen my bank details but could I confirm what e-mail address I had sent these to

06_09_2018 sent an e-mail to myinvestmentportfolio with a copy of the original attachment containing all the responses to the question from Aviva together with a summary table of the e-mail correspondence to date

10_09_2018 sent an e-mail to myinvestmentportfolio with a cc to contactus asking if I was going to receive a reply to my last email dated 06_09_2018

10_09_2018 received an auto response from contactus saying my e-mail had been passed to the relevant area

11_09_2018 received the following e-mail request:
After having a look at your account, we do need you to send in documents for bank verification.
This is purely for security measures and preventing fraudsters.

This can be in the form of a bank statement or voided cheque. This does not have to be certified and can now be sent in via email.

Please insure :
• It is dated within the last 3 months
• Features the branch stamp
• Features 5 days worth of previous transactions
• Includes your name, account name, sort code and account number.
• If a cheque, that it is voided

11/09/2018 I replied saying
I have no intention of sending you either a bank statement or voided cheque

Because:
1.I have not used a cheque for 3+ years
2. My bank statement is nothing to do with you
3. I have given you very clear instructions
4. I have given you my bank details
5. I am registered with Experian
6. You have at least the same information as HMRC and they have no issues.
7. Other pension providers have had no problems with the same information
8. I log onto MyAviva_com you correspond with me - who do you think you are talking to if not me?

You accepted the transfer in of the pension with no issues - why all this obfuscation when I seek to withdraw my money?
There is sufficient information for you to conduct the action that I have requested to access my monies

I will give until Friday 14_09_2018 for you to transfer my monies
After that date I will move the entire fund to another provider

Ps my NI number is AA NN NN A

11_09_2018 auto response from contactus – your e-mail has been passed to the relevant area

19_09_2018 I e-mailed Aviva asking if I was going to get a response to my request to drawdown money from my account. If I did not get a response then I would transfer the account to another provider

19_09_2018 auto response from contactus, your e-mail has been passed to the relevant area

25_09_2018 waiting for a reply or action from Aviva

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