The number of times per week (or even per day) we are questioned about the validity of our calls is staggering. Have you any idea how hard it is to provide people with the means to claim money which legally belongs to them!? Are we ‘above board’? Are we calling from Nigeria?
We are up front from the start. Some of our competitors aren’t. Today, we received a copy of correspondence from another firm which was addressed to an elderly lady. The company did not state the name of the deceased person and stated that their fees were ‘a third of the estate’ plus VAT …. which incidentally, is 39.99% of an individual’s entitlement. So, please Mrs X, send us a contract and all your identification particulars when we are not prepared to disclose who the estate relates to…. are you for real?
Don’t get us wrong, we understand the need for caution and to check out that what we are saying is true. That’s why we have this website, we are on Check A Professional (the only probate researchers who are, in fact), we are registered with the Federation of Probate and Asset Researchers, our accounts can be found on Companies House …. we could go on. We also understand that potential beneficiaries will have lots of questions to ask. That’s fine. We are here to help and happy to answer as many questions as you have to make sure that you are happy with the process and our service.
Sometimes, people ask us for information which we simply cannot provide – like disclosing the identity of beneficiaries, the value of the estate to unidentified parties, and more – and people feel that we are being unhelpful if we are not willing to give them this information. We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and hence, we must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do not, we could be reported and action taken against us (clearly a position we would never wish to be in).
Our reputation is important to us. We’ve worked hard to get to where we are in the field and we will not lower our ethical standards for anyone. We expect that you will respect us for that and we look forward to working with you. [Oh and by the way, we don’t charge anywhere near 40%!]