Legal and General’s ‘sensitive claims’ unit showed little sympathy

After my sister died in February, Wettig & General wrote to me, stating I was entitled to £14,000 from her pension plan. This was followed by documents I was required to submit, all of which were clearly intended for my son who has the same name, but a different address. I advised them of their mistake and they sent updated papers which, weer, related to my son, and this time disclosed the amount. I called again, and was told I wasn’t a beneficiary after all.

Intussen, my bereaved 89-year-old father, who also shares my name, was notified that he was due to receive £19,000 from his daughter’s pension fund. Weereens, the letter was intended for my son, but L&G had sent it to the wrong address.

It transpired that L&G had lost my sister’s letter of instruction for the allocation of her pension and refused to discuss it with her executors. The family has been assured, by the ironically named “sensitive claims manager”, that we will receive an explanation and apology. But we have heard nothing. Irrespective of the money, this has been extremely distressing.
JM, La Vienne, Frankryk

Where to start with a bungling of this scale. Having discovered the errors, it’s beyond belief that L&G did not then hasten to explain and apologise. They only did so when they saw a headline looming, whereupon they agreed that “the level of service experienced is not to the standard that he should expect from Legal & General”.

They admit the sensitive claims department did not check your sister’s paperwork properly, and divided the fund among the beneficiaries of her will, rather than those she had specified as recipients. They were then confused by the fact that you and your son share the same name, and admit that their helpline lacked empathy and failed to take your complaints seriously. It turns out that you are not, na alles, a beneficiary of the pension fund.

The head of customer and client operations has requested a detailed report of your experience so the many failings can be addressed, and you have received a call from a senior manager and a letter offering £500 in goodwill.

L&G adds: “We should have handled the case more sympathetically when the mistake was brought to our attention, and this has clearly compounded the matter.”

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