Homeserve back in business

| November 10, 2011
Homeserve back in business

Homeserve, which provides emergency insurance and home repairs on boilers, plumbing and domestic appliances, has restarted its telesales operation.

The company closed its call centre on 31 October following a review by Deloitte which highlighted problems with its sales processes.

Homeserve initiated an immediate re-training programme for its call centre staff and has now started taking inbound calls again, although outbound calls are still on hold.

The company is believed to be developing new scripts in order to improve the standard of calls and is reviewing its direct marketing materials.

Claims and policy renewals are being dealt with as normal.

Shares in the company soared by over 23 per cent to 270.7p by midday today on the news that sales activity had restarted.

However, this is still substantially lower than Fridays price of 485.3p, which plummeted to 218.5p at close of play yesterday.

Just 153 of Homeserve’s three million UK customers have cancelled their policies since Deloitte’s internal review revealed the mis-selling concerns.

A review of 48,000 customer calls is ongoing, under the supervision of professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, and customers whose calls were dealt with incorrectly are being contacted.

The calls are believed to date back to last winter’s period of severe weather when the company was unable to cope with the huge number of call-outs from customers wanting their boilers repaired.

Some customers were forced to find local plumbers to carry out their repairs after Homeserve failed to deal with them.

According to a report in the Guardian, Homeserve launched a review of its operations after an employee warned the Financial Services Authority that customers’ complaints about poor service had been ignored.

The employee is believed to have warned that the company valued productivity over quality.

Homeserve may now face compensation claims from thousands of customers.

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