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Interactive Investors' old annual one-fee SIPP charging model

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TedSwippet
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Interactive Investors' old annual one-fee SIPP charging model

#152207

Postby TedSwippet » July 13th, 2018, 3:22 pm

I have held a SIPP at Interactive Investor for three or four years now. When I started, there was (for SIPP-only customers) a single annual SIPP fee to pay, and no quarterly 'account fee'. Around two or three years ago, II moved to a 'quarterly £20 account fee for everyone plus SIPP addition' charging model, but those of us on the older (and slightly cheaper) legacy annual charging policy were able to stay on it.

Well, until the latest change in Dec, when everyone got shunted to the 'quarterly £22.50 account for plus SIPP addition' charging model as part of the merger with TD.

Now, I paid II £144.00 in Feb 2017 under the legacy annual one-fee-for-everything model. On moving me to the new £22.50 plus SIPP model starting in Jan, though, II have so far refused to reimburse the portion of this £144.00 that would be unused where I have to start paying the new fees from the start of Jan 2018. We're probably talking about no more than 2/12 of £144, so £24 or less, but it's my £24 dammit!

Two questions, then:
  • Is anyone else in the same boat? If so, what happened? Have II refunded you any unused fee portion, or otherwise reimbursed the difference? How long did resolving any problems take? Do you know of a particular individual within II who understands the complete picture here?
  • Has anyone retained (virtual, online) 'paperwork' relating to the legacy annual charging scheme? Everything I had was in II's old secure message system, and has been totally wiped 1984-style with the platform switch to the TD version. I no longer have any access to it, and didn't save copies before the platform switch, but I am pretty certain I did not imagine this single annual charge legacy policy.
Losing £24 would not exactly be the end of the world, but I would like to see this sorted out. So far, my sense is that nobody at II knows of the older annual charging model -- perhaps not surprising as it may well pre-date most of their hire dates. They have also made some odd excuses, such as if I had chosen to move away I would not have received any refund of annual pre-paid fees either (I am not sure that is true -- is it?! -- but it is a red-herring since I did not, but rather it is II that has unilaterally changed the charging model part-way through my pre-paid year).

In generally I have up to now been pretty happy with II; unlike many folk hereabouts, it seems. I don't suppose I will move my SIPP on account of this, since II are still attractively priced for what I hold. It is however somewhat worrying that this hasn't been resolved in six months (or more accurately, it looked like it was resolved when one of my fee payments showed as PAID without me actually paying it, which would have been fine except that then suddenly it wasn't again for no explicable reason). I also count seven separate staff involved in not yet resolving this issue. I would imagine at this point that II's costs arguing this far exceed the amount under dispute, which seems wasteful.

Anyway, anyone with any further ideas to offer? Please stay on topic. Further general rants about II's service may or may not be valid, but won't help me sort out this specific issue. Thanks.

dspp
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Re: Interactive Investors' old annual one-fee SIPP charging model

#152216

Postby dspp » July 13th, 2018, 4:06 pm

I expect I'm in the same boat. I hadn't even spotted it. And to be perfectly honest I'm not going to stress over it. I want their staff to be focussed on sorting out all the integration & web revamp stuff that seems a tad more important to me.

I can understand your point-of-view mind you.

regards, dspp

PinkDalek
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Re: Interactive Investors' old annual one-fee SIPP charging model

#152220

Postby PinkDalek » July 13th, 2018, 4:17 pm

TedSwippet wrote:

Has anyone retained (virtual, online) 'paperwork' relating to the legacy annual charging scheme? Everything I had was in II's old secure message system, and has been totally wiped 1984-style with the platform switch to the TD version. I no longer have any access to it, and didn't save copies before the platform switch, but I am pretty certain I did not imagine this single annual charge legacy policy. ...


Yes, you didn't imagine it.

If you search for ISA and SIPP Account Charges | interactive investor http://www.iii.co.uk/trading/share-deal ... -1July2012
you should find this in the cache [that wording is truncated but available in full in quoted reply mode]:

SIPP - Schedule of Fees
All fees are payable annually in advance in year one. Fees will be taken quarterly in advance thereafter.
Set up: Nil
Annual administration: £120 + VAT per annum


Edit: It may be of no relevance but the cache also showed Please note these prices are for our service up until 1 July 2012 only.



Unfortunately what I found has no further detail. I found another asking the same question on MSE bit no-one replied.

TedSwippet
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Re: Interactive Investors' old annual one-fee SIPP charging model

#152230

Postby TedSwippet » July 13th, 2018, 5:32 pm

dspp wrote:I expect I'm in the same boat. I hadn't even spotted it. And to be perfectly honest I'm not going to stress over it. I want their staff to be focussed on sorting out all the integration & web revamp stuff that seems a tad more important to me.

Thanks, and understood. My frustration stems from odd circumstances.

When I saw a fee applied in Jan, I queried this with II. They replied that yes, I would get a refund for the small amount of unused pre-paid annual charge paid under the legacy scheme, but they could not say when or how.

In April, when I next logged in, this Jan fee was marked PAID even though I had not paid them any quarterly fee for Jan. This seemed fine -- they appeared to have expunged the Jan fee as a form of refund. Entirely okay. No problems so far. Quite happy with that; somewhat blunt perhaps, but an entirely good solution.

In April, another £22.50 quarterly account fee became due. I paid this one, but because I hadn't yet set up direct debit I had to pay it by bank transfer. Part of the bank transfer is a reference that includes an II invoice ID that is unique to that quarter's fee. After some weeks however, that still showed in my account as OVERDUE.

On querying this, II now claims that they used the April payment to cover the Jan fee. This is at odds with the fact that the Jan fee showed as PAID long before I made the payment in April. The appearance, then, is that II have somehow "mislaid" my April bank transfer payment, as my fees show the same PAID and OVERDUE status now as they did before I made the payment by bank transfer in April.

Fees paid by bank transfer I guess will be rare, so may well be handled manually. But II's frontline staff now state that my payment in April was received then but instead was applied to cover the Jan fee -- never mind that this Jan fee was marked PAID long before I transferred the money to them in April! -- while at the same time insisting that incoming transfers are matched to fees due using the invoice ID in the transfer reference. Both of these cannot be true, but no amount of secure messaging seems able to convince them otherwise.

At this point it's rather become a point of principle, I'm afraid. I've sunk enough time and effort into it that letting go seems feeble, even though the amount at stake here is pretty minimal (just lucky I paid annually in Feb and not Nov, I guess!). I don't object to account maintenance fees, but like you, I too would rather they got spent on something more productive.

Some of this could perhaps have been avoided had I set up fees direct debits sooner. With these in place I suspect all the charges would have gone through and been applied to the correct quarters without human intervention. I've set them up now, but got in too late to handle July's fee, so I may have to repeat this loop. Sigh.

Anyway, let's see what my latest message to them produces. Good to know I didn't hallucinate the 'legacy' annual charge scheme.

TedSwippet
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Re: Interactive Investors' old annual one-fee SIPP charging model

#152253

Postby TedSwippet » July 13th, 2018, 8:21 pm

PinkDalek wrote:If you search for ISA and SIPP Account Charges | interactive investor http://www.iii.co.uk/trading/share-deal ... -1July2012 you should find this in the cache ...

Thanks for the reference. I've not been able to access this document the way you describe (browser cache, or some other?). It looks like it is my first missing piece of the puzzle, though. £120/year + VAT all in, no quarterly charge alongside.

The other piece will be something that backs up my assertion that some time in 2015 or 2016, II aligned charges across all accounts so that there was a £20 quarterly fee (with trading credits) plus an extra SIPP fee, but allowed those of us with SIPP accounts already opened to remain on the old charging scheme if desired. I stayed on it because my account is so passive that it is positively comatose, making it cheaper for me. I was still on that scheme when the entire thing got implicitly swept aside by the new! and exciting! world of the TD/II merger. It seems likely that many folk didn't stay on that scheme though, so perhaps I am one of just a handful.

There was something of a 'paper' trail in my II account documenting this legacy charging scheme, in the form of a bunch of secure messages outlining the change in 2015 or 2016. However, all that got trashed in the move from II's old platform to TD's, and I suspect that virtually nobody in II now has any experience of the old annual-only charging scheme that I was on until Dec. My account statements definitely show just one £144 charge in Feb and no other fees or charges, but does that prove anything? Don't know. Perhaps I will try and get II to resurrect my secure messages out of the old II software. I don't imagine they will be keen to do that. The pre-merger platform even had a 'Move me to quarterly charges' button on my SIPP (I never pressed it!).

The most annoying part is perhaps that the initial set of II responses agreed with me, their folk apparently provided the required refund, and everything was fine. Until different II front-line staff executed a complete 180 and undid their good work, that is, leaving me with the impression that they are not handling my fee payments as they should, certainly not in the way they claim, and something that does not bode well for the July quarterly fee that appeared as due on my account today.

TedSwippet
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Re: Interactive Investors' old annual one-fee SIPP charging model

#156384

Postby TedSwippet » July 31st, 2018, 5:23 pm

Resolution! And explanation.

Long-time II customer. I hold only a SIPP at II. No active ISA, just a zero-balance 'rump' one from about six or seven years ago, and never an active Trading Account. My stuff was transferred onto the new combined TD/II platform. Here is what happened, apparently.

In Jan, II applied a £22.50 quarterly fee. As there was nothing in my Trading Account to pay it -- because I don't have a Trading Account, other than something they invented at some point-- they just 'wrote off' the fee after a week or so(!), and during the period when I was asking what would happen regarding the annual fee I already paid under the grandfathered charging regime. II then closed out my Trading Account. In April they charged another £22.50 fee. When I paid this, they reactivated the invented Trading Account, 'un-wrote off' the Jan fee and cleared it with that payment. Visible effects to me: precisely nil, because both before and after this weird action, II's online system showed fees for Jan as paid and for April as unpaid.

Since then, II applied the Jul fee to my ISA because I no longer have a Trading account. But my ISA is empty and unlike a Trading Account cannot go negative, so that too would be in a state of oddness, except that they have now reversed that fee out. It doesn't seem sensible for II to charge against two account types that I don't hold with them, but hey-ho...

Anyway, because of conflicting information given out in the past, II have now erased all quarterly charges to date, actually leaving me a bit in pocket compared to where I should be. I'll be sending this little extra to charity. Although what II did behind the scenes looks to be nuts, the person who finally and lucidly explained what had happened did an excellent job of laying it out. Faith restored, in my case. (And hopefully no repeat of this now that I have set up direct debits.)


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