Not So Super Customer Service
Moving into our new office at the beginning of the year, we spent hours (cumulatively, probably days) on the phone to the large telcos trying to get the NBN connected. It was infuriating and a complete waste of our time. After 2 MONTHS of getting nowhere, we contacted a small, independent provider who hooked us up within a day!
Similarly, we’ve had customers come across to us at Cloudbreak Wealth who were fed up with the ‘service’ from the advice offering of their large super funds. Phone calls that are never returned. Online queries met with… nothing. Every time they actually went in for advice, they were met by a new adviser. And with each new adviser, it was back to square one – explaining their whole financial situation, in detail, which they had already done multiple times before. “Why don’t you value my time”?
There are likely multiple reasons for the above situation. Some funds are just horrible places to work, so adviser turnover is very high; others aren’t adequately resourced to deliver advice; and some, unfortunately, probably just don’t really care.
Another trend that will make it hard to find good advice at large institutions, is that some are simply ceasing to provide it. The big banks are selling off their advice operations and it appears some large super funds may be heading the same way:
Is your super fund the right place to be getting financial advice?
Despite the bad experiences of some, others find the advice service from their super funds to be fine. But whether your customer experience has been good or bad, is your super fund the right place to be getting advice?
People expect a financial adviser to be allowed to recommend the super fund that is best suited to them, even if it is an alternative fund to the one they’re already in. Furthermore, people expect a financial adviser to be allowed to give them advice on a broader range of topics than just super. Often these needs aren’t met.
Are you in the best super fund in the first place?
Unfortunately, finding a super fund that is suitable for you is far from straightforward. Even more lamentable is the fact that most people never even try – thoughtlessly sticking with the fund their employer started on their behalf, whether suitable or not. There are many pitfalls that are best avoided when it comes to super (look out for an upcoming blog addressing some of these). And many people don’t have the time or inclination to sift through countless pages of information on the various funds available.
I believe the best and safest way to find the most suitable fund for you, is to get advice from a financial adviser that is not aligned to any super fund or financial product provider. If they have no incentive to recommend a particular fund, you can be comfortable that their recommendation will be based on your best interests, rather than someone else’s (Charlie Munger – Warren Buffet’s business partner – gets straight to the point regarding the behaviour of individuals with his quote “Show me the incentive and I’ll show you the outcome”).
For many Australians, superannuation will be the most significant financial asset they will ever own. So, choosing the right superannuation fund, will be one of the most important financial decisions they will ever make.
At Cloudbreak Wealth we specialise in super. We’re not aligned to any product provider, so we will only ever recommend changing funds if it’s in your best interest. We often save people thousands of dollars in super fees per year, which can make a huge difference if you’re already retired and even more so if you’re saving for retirement.
Great customer service is a primary focus of our financial planning business. There is no call centre, no phone menus, no transfers to another department – hold music doesn’t even exist at Cloudbreak Wealth. We return calls if we miss them. We answer email queries in a timely manner. Our three advisers are all business owners, so they have the position and decision-making capacity to take the action required to keep our customers happy.
Call the team on 02 4263 9084 to learn more about how to take control of your super.
General Advice Warning: Any advice given herein is general in nature and has not taken into consideration your personal financial objectives, situation or specific needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice as it relates to you before acting upon it. Where a specific product has been mentioned, you should always consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any investment decision relating to it.