Unreliable customer service and risky switch process
I've been with GESB for 10 years now, rolling in my super from a high fee-charging retail fund when I became employed by the State government. I came to realise over the years that GESB is a conservative fund manager as evidenced by the mediocre returns across the five Mix Your Plan asset classes I chose and to get anything done, eg. lump sum withdrawals, seems to take weeks and requires a fair amount of paperwork. This, however, was not enough to make me change funds - until now. Being given some inaccurate time-critical information which coul...d have cost me a few thousand $$$ had I not queried it, followed by being made aware of a switch process which could have negatively impacted my funds, made me decide it was time to move on to a more progressive and transparent funds manager. Gone are the days when you could have a free 45-minute face-to-face appointment with a highly trained and experienced GESB staff member to discuss your account. In 2014, GESB outsourced their customer service to Link Group who I was told by one of their customer representatives recently represent not just GESB, but two other super funds as well. That possibly goes a long way to explain why their staff are not familiar with all the products in the GESB portfolio with any questions beyond the basics requiring supervisor input, apparently also not reliable. Last week, I requested information about how the tax on investment earnings in the accumulation fund is calculated when moving to a pension product part-way through the tax year. The customer service representative didn't have the answer and consulted her supervisor, returning to give me an answer that was clearly so inaccurate that I requested a callback by a manager for further clarification. In the meantime, I phoned a large well-known industry super fund to get their opinion. My question was answered promptly, confidently and made total sense. I double-checked shortly afterwards with a friend who is familiar with super products and he couldn't believe what the GESB staff member had told me. When the GESB manager phoned me today, he confirmed that the information the customer service representative gave me was indeed incorrect, and that he would be making sure that she would be undergoing further training in this area - great to hear, but it could have cost me dearly if I had just accepted what she said as being correct. That was the second phone call in a week to produce an answer which had me shaking my head in disbelief. The first was about the process involved in switching two underperforming asset classes, combining them with the other three in my Mix Your Plan option. I was stunned to be told that, instead of the units in the underperforming asset clasess being sold and the cash used to purchase additional units to add to the remaining asset classes, the remaining asset classes would also have to be sold to combine with the cash from the underperforming asset classes, and then the units would be repurchased for the new $$ amount. Given the minimum 5-day switching turnaround timeframe under which GESB appears to operate, the market could have moved significantly higher between selling and buying, resulting in a repurchase at a higher unit price. It just didn't make financial sense to me to do it that way, and prompted me rethink whether I should be switching at all due to the inherent risk factor. Seeing that all the units in all asset classes were going to be sold anyway in the switch process, why not just do what I'd been thinking of doing all year which was move my funds into pension phase now? I could scarcely believe that this information I had been given was correct, but yes - on speaking to the GESB manager today, he confirmed that GESB does in fact sell all the units in a switch transaction, but said they aim to do both sell and buy transactions on the same day. This is great in theory, but what actually happens in practice? A day is a long time in the share market and could make a significant difference to one's super portfolio in either direction. These two alarming interactions made me sit up and rethink my relationship with GESB. If I was going to roll over my fund to pension phase because of the risky switch issues, it appeared to be a golden opportunity to move to an entirely different super fund. I decided to roll my funds over to the large industry super fund whose call centre staff were able to answer my questions accurately and without hesitation. Signing up with them online was a breeze, the web interface is well written, clearly laid out and intuitive with a facility to upload documents, their returns are superior, and every interaction I've had with them so far has been positive and proactive. I also understand that online switches are actioned the following day which allows one to actively manage one's own fund if desired. My ex-GESB super friends have been urging me to leave for years and, having investigated and now joined the fund they're with, I can see why. GESB is very conservative in their approach to investing which is reflected in their returns, their website is pretty basic, the risky switch process would discourage anyone from moving their funds around and their staff are not confident in their product knowledge. I'm kicking myself for not taking my friends' advice sooner...
As power of attorney for a sick friend who can no longer work client gesb, trying to get money to pay off mortgage been trying nearly one year still waiting given misinformation, return contact from gesb is nil been told money available then nothing then call them to be told some paperwork incorrect this system is a farce
Poor customer service
Poor customer service, you cant email them, you have to wait for ages to get someone on the phone, when you do , there not trained to help you, they say someone will get back, never happens.. Been in the fund 20 years plus,
Pathetic Customer Service
I have been with this fund for nearly 40 Years although not through choice. I have had so many problems dealing with them and their poorly trained staff.From the initial insult of having to wait 20 days to access your own funds and paying $50 for the privilege of doing so, now down to 10 days and no fee and they still can’t get it right.The majority of the staff have absolutely no idea what they are talking about useless would be a more apt description.They did not manage to process my request in the specified time even after several phone cal...ls as I simply do not trust them to do anything right.It has cost me money as the funds were supposed to be available days ago and when I checked my transactions they had the audacity of putting the transaction date as the date it should have been done not the day it was actually done days later. I certainly think a change of staff or an internal audit and evaluation is in order.These people are getting paid and not doing their job efficiently.
Never, ever waste your time. Incompetent does not even come close.
I’ve been with GESB for 8 years. If I could rate these people as a 0 I would. It took them 5 months for a simple application to increase my life insurance above the default amount to come to a “decision”. After 3 months they applied to my GP for my health history. Actual History includes fractured arm (From a sport accident), “crunchy” shoulder and allergies. Their stated history also included “breast cancer” which I advised was absolutely not the case and I have never had cancer, which they “noted”. Five months after starting this painfully in...competent process I received an email advising I am unable to be insured. At 35 years old, good health, no history of disease, no chronic conditions, not overweight, no high blood pressure, cholesterol, nothing at all. Unbelievable. I’ll be changing my super fund ASAP. So unbelievably exhausted and irritated by this incompetent bunch. What a waste of half a year of my life.
Gesb has decent returns
So Ive been with gesb for 10 years now and have never had an issue with them, returns have been consistent and rates are reasonable. Occasionally they send a rep out to my work to chat to the employees so decent communication. All up pretty happy
Terrible customer service, unethical & dishonest super fund!
I wish I could give them zero! No wonder they have a low rating of 2.3 here & 2.7 on Google reviews! Only God knows how many more are not happy with them but haven't written about it!
Not knowingly I was signed up with them by my former employer even though I provided them with my own choice of super! When I contacted GESB to ask them to close my account, they agreed but they never did it! When for the second time I asked them to close it, they charged me the exit fee which was not fair as if they closed my account upon the first request, I di...
Terrible customer service
Terrible customer service which works in favour of making money for the GESB directors and not the client. It took over 10 days to receive a form that this organisation require to be filled out and also I.D. authenticated and a printed Bank Statement to prove to these robbers that the Bank Account is in your name. Lots of work and time to get your hard super money earned refunded to you - the client. It always works in there favour as they hold onto your money for the longest time!
In September of this year I made a compassionate grounds application which was processed . $25,000 was paid into my bank.
I happened to check my super transaction history on Xmas Eve. According to my account debit history I had a total of $47.000 . $36.000 had been paid to me and $11.000 to the ATO. I totalled the amounts shown and found them to be correct.
I did not receive $36,000.
GESB are saying it's a browser error an error of some sort.
I have taken my complaint to the ombudsman.
Am I missing something here ???
I called GESB to talk about withdrawing my super when I retire next year. I expected to be sent a form and for that to be the end of it with me left to work it out myself. However the girl I spoke with was so helpful and took the time to make sure I knew exactly what I was doing. I felt very looked after and even though I know a lot about my fund I still learnt a couple of things and she gave some hypothetical examples so that I understood how the tax would affect me. This is about as close to getting a clear picture and direction without actua...lly getting advice as I've ever had talking to a customer service person. My eyesight is pretty terrible and I was worried about ticking the wrong boxes on the form when I got them. She said she'd flag my account so that when I sent my form back she'd take a look at it since she knew what I wanted to do and make sure. Took me a few weeks to send it back but she called me the other day just to say that it had come in and everything was fine. Can't beat that.
Would give them no stars if I could!
If you want to deal with GESB and withdraw funds when you become eligible - put aside at least 7 hours and be prepared for snotty girls on the phone who have few customer service skills and very little knowledge of their products and services. 'Market volatility' is their favourite line as they tell you they have no idea how much you will get when the full 20 working days deposit wait time takes place. We 'lost' $500 in 24 hours because of 'Market Volatility'. To compare - I dealt with both Colonial and Ausfund a week before and their staff ...were extremely knowledgeable and helpful with a wait time of 3-5 days (I had the money within 4 days) with a definite quote on what would be deposited into my bank account. They were genuine - nice people who you felt actually cared about you. No exit fees and the amounts increased everyday with no mention of 'Market Volatility'. My advice is to try and put your money into Colonial or another fund that is better to deal with and try and avoid GESB at all costs. Remember - it is YOUR money not the Governments and certainly not GESB's.
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