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We're listening to our customers

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As founder and CEO of Cushon, I keep a close eye on how our customers are feeling and their experience with us.

I am very aware that the service we have provided to some of our customers recently has fallen well below the standards we want and expect at Cushon.

I want to personally apologise for this and explain in more detail what has caused these issues and what we’re doing to resolve them.

There has been an issue with our call centre with some customers not receiving a call back when expected. After investigating we’ve noticed that there was a breakdown in messages being forwarded from our overflow phone messaging service. This meant that some customers who contacted us and requested a call back did not receive the call back they were promised and within an acceptable timeframe.

I understand that having someone to talk to is critical to building trust and confidence. As we continue to grow so we continue to invest in our Customer Support team to increase our capacity. This means there’ll be more people available to answer phone calls and help immediately, rather than our customers having to wait for a call back.

The withdrawals from some Cushon accounts have been slower than usual, which has left some customers unsure when their money will be received.

It’s important to note that the withdrawal of funds from ISAs is not instant and the process can take up to 10 working days by the time investments are sold, and money is received from our investment managers.

However, we do recognise that we need to do a better job of keeping our customers updated on where they are in any withdrawal process, and why delays are happening, and so we are revising processes so that we provide customers with regular updates so they know when their money is due to arrive.

In addition, because of a general increase in the number of scams, greater due diligence checks are sometimes now required when funds are transferred from ISAs and particularly Pensions, to ensure customers are moving funds from Cushon to legitimate products and providers. We know these additional checks, which could include further ID verification, can slow down the process and can be frustrating, but we’re obliged to take the necessary steps to protect your money from fraudsters.

In some cases, payments into Cushon ISAs have been slow to show up in customer accounts. We appreciate this has been unnerving for customers who have not known what has happened to their money.

There is a need for us to again complete due diligence checks and it can be the case that these necessary actions, to prevent fraud, can cause a delay in monies being reflected in customer accounts. We are continually looking at our processes to see where we can make changes which will see such delays minimised without endangering our customers, and we have now adapted our banking process to cut down on administrative time and delays associated with how contribution payments show up in customer accounts.

In some cases, the process of transferring money to Cushon from other providers has taken longer than expected. We appreciate this can be frustrating, but delays can often occur due to necessary checks that need to be carried out to protect our customers.

With transfers of money to Cushon from other providers, action is required from both Cushon and the existing provider to protect our customers. It’s important that personal details are verified across both providers to ensure any funds that are to be moved are in respect of the same person before finalising any transfer, and this process can take time. We do our best to minimise delays by responding to any communication from the provider currently holding such funds at the quickest speed possible depending on the extent of their questions.

However, we do recognise that we need to do a better job of keeping our customers updated on where they are in the transfer process, and why delays happen when they do, and so we are introducing processes that provide customers with regular updates on transfers of money to Cushon, so they know when their money is due to arrive.

In summary

Central to Cushon’s mission is making sure that all of our customers and members have a high level of customer service, and we realise we have fallen short of this goal in recent weeks.

My team and I are actively listening to feedback. As well as making the immediate changes outlined above, we’re also setting up a Customer Review Panel to measure satisfaction levels and listen to suggestions for improvements.

If you’d like to take part in this panel, or if you’d like to speak to me personally about the issues you’ve experienced, please get in touch with me directly at benp@cushon.co.uk.