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National Sterling
4.0 from 37 reviews

Bunch of Scammers!

A couple of years back, my wife and I were given a supposedly ‘free’ consultation with NSG as a promo with our tax returns. I was reluctant to attend - as I knew we weren’t really in a position to join the share market/climb the property ladder – but the missus insisted they could at least consolidate my super (something I’d been meaning to do for years); so I figured I’d grit my teeth and tag along.

Much of the hour was spent listening to some clown, who continually tried hard-selling us apartments we couldn’t afford. After finally taking no for an answer, he turned his attention to my superannuation.

He claimed that – due to the risky nature of my work – there were only a limited number of ‘product providers’ who would be willing to offer insurance in conjunction with my super. Apparently, I would be required obtain insurance through a third party provider (one with highly exorbitant premiums). This was an outright lie. Now, unbeknownst to me at the time, the ‘adviser’s’ commissions were/are paid in direct correlation to the amount of the fees, premiums, etc. Despite being repeatedly told their services were free of charge. Of course this information is not provided at the time of the actual consultation..

I’ve since discovered that he cancelled the already inclusive (and cheap) insurance plan which came standard with the allocated super fund, before signing me up for insurance through - not one but two - third party providers (presumably his mates?) who charge roughly 5 times the norm.

To make matters worse, this con artist subsequently attached a 48 ‘statement of advice’ to a copy of the single page authorisation letter - the one I’d signed permitting him to act on my behalf. This authorisation letter was not numbered and had obviously been attached to the other paperwork (which conveniently outlined his commissions, etc) at a later date.

Anyway, all this came to my attention when the super company recently contacted me to advise there would be a 'rollover' of funds (that amounted to approximately 1/3 of my contributions for the past 2 years) to the new insurance provider and that, due to previous authorisation, there was nothing I could do to stop this. These funds have now vanished, largely due to ridiculously high insurance premiums and the so-called ‘referral source’s’ commission, as well as the plethora of commissions charged by NSG Pty Ltd.

So far they just keep claiming it’s my fault, as they’d expected me to read over the massive legal document – sent after the fact - and contact them if I had any problems.

What can I say..? I knew they’d take their pound of flesh one way or another. I just assumed the commissions would be paid by the companies receiving new business... Not by the clients they’re purporting to assist!!

3 comments
Hi Ben, it seems your previous review and our comments were deleted. As mentioned previously we are yet to receive a formal written complaint from you and encourage you to do so to headoffice@nationalsterling.com.au At this stage our customer service team has asked that you review the the statement of advice document you were given at the time of the advice (around 22 pages) and the numerous 1-2 page letters detailing lodgement, cost and completion of your insurance products. You were also sent additional short documents directly each year from your insurer and the superannuation company as part of their statement. Whilst we receive commissions from insurance products there was not other exchange of fees for our advice, implementation and service and commissions is how we are remunerated. This is detailed in the remuneration section of the soa and was explained by your adviser at the time. We have since provided you with an additional current comparison showing premiums as at today for your occupation, smoking status etc. including non Commission insurance providers such as industry super funds as a way of showing you the commission had no impact at the time in regards to the price you paid. We are happy to try and resolve this with you through normal complaint process if you wish to but at this stage our last contact with you was that you had cancelled everything and gone elsewhere. regards, National SterlingYou're really missing the point here. There was no talk of fees or commissions of any kind. Yes, you're right, all information pertaining to your commissions, etc, is outlined in the absurdly named (48 page) SOA,- which was not provided to me until several days after signing the latter of authorisation. Again, I couldn't possible make an informed decision, as I was still operating under the false-impression that your assistance was free of charge (not based directly on the amount of my premiums, as stated in the SOA). This was clearly not the best policy option for me. I could've quite easily remained on my existing policy and paid only a couple of hundred dollars a year in premiums.Hi Ben, Unfortunately there is a difference of memory here and the adviser is adamant that he did infact disclose all of the costs to you. Further to this as a company we take steps to ensure customers are informed; 1. We issue a statement of advice which has a cooling off period if you need to change your mind or make changes to the plans 2. We issue a welcome letter with all products which is 1-2 pages. Much less than the SOA and summarizes the costs of the products you are taking As mentioned the SOA will detail the reasons your medically assessed cover is different and more costly than default cover provided by your superannuation fund. I am sorry that we could not come to a mutual agreement as to what occured here but as offered before we are happy to review this for you and go through it with you again to ensure you understand what you now have (default cover) and what you could have/did have. Regards, National Sterling

Disgraceful customer service. Allowed life insurance policy to lapse. No response to email.

National Sterling allowed my husband’s life insurance policy and TPD insurance to lapse and we found out by accident when the insurer contacted us to check my address for my policy, as the one they had been provided with was returned to sender. It turns out NS had not bothered to update our address or my husband’s phone number with the insurer and then ignored letters and emails sent advising the policy was due for renewal and in danger of lapsing (which it did eventually).
Thank goodness we discovered the issue by accident rather than in a case of something having happened to my husband leaving our family with no protection.
To make matters worse, due to a recent medical query he was then unable to get full insurance for a period and once we did the premium had doubled. Had we had the continued cover that National Stering were being paid to provide that would not have been the case.
To add insult to injury, they did not even bother to respond or follow up once they were aware of the issue. Absolutely disgusting. Stay far, far away!!

1 comment
Hi Cartherine, I am sorry that you had that experience. I have spent the morning looking into your complaint and found the following; 1. We had not recieved any notification from Macquarie about your husbands lapse and therefore were not notified in time to contact you. All lapse notifications come through to us via email and we do not delete them so had they have sent the email we would have it. 2. Macquarie removed our online access from ALL clients shorlty after they were bought out by Zurich in 2016. We have asked for this access back many times but becuase we do not write a lot of insurance business for Zurich they are not interested in providing it to us. Unfortunately this means we only know about issues or claims etc. via email notification which in this case never arrived. 3. The last time you saw one of our advisers was in October 2015. We have not had a request to change your address registered since then and if you have not updated us or Zurich then of course any notifications they mailed to you directly would have been lost to your old address. 4. I have checked with Reception and gone through messages and calls in and the only record we have of this is when you called AFTER the last had already occurred and due to the length of time since lapse we could not reinstate it. our notes show that you spoke with Matthew in administration who offered to organise quotes and new insurances but you told him you would handle it yourselves. Again I am sorry for your expereience and its seems a few things have contributed to the outcome. We wish you all the best in the future and as offered before are happy to try and find a better altnerative for you if this is something you desire. Regards, Chrystal

Apartsments - Not a good retirment investment .....

Hindsight is wonderful as we all know!! Unhappily we were introduced to NS to assist with our financial future, which now turns out to be a disaster. We invested our hard earned super into an apartment in Brunswick 7 years ago which is still worth about $150k less that what we paid for it. They also managed to talk us in to another one in Altona with an interest only loan, this one is also worth over $100k less than what we paid for it 5 years ago. We did all this on the promise from the advisor that as real estate had doubled in the 10 years prior to us signing up, we could expect that to happen again. So instead of having a healthy and growing super fund, we now have a reducing fund.
NS talked us into a self managed fund and set that up at a cost of $20k which we now know was an absolute rip off, they also charged us $5k for a loan repayment calculator which we were told by Tom Maloney that we had to have.
Instead of being able to retire at 60, we will have to work another 15 years past that to recoup our losses and pay off the debt which National Sterling got us in to.
We are sure that other people will be in the same boat. Perhaps a class action looms.....

3 comments
Hi, Please contact us to discuss your review. I am unable to contact you based on the information you have left and we would like to help with your situation. Property investments carry risks and in the case of Brunswick West and Altona it sounds as though your properties have decreased with the market instead of increasing. We did however recieve some happy news from one of Altona investors on the weekend that they sold thier 2 bedroom property for $585k and that new developments are underway and being sold in the same price vicinity. This is good news for existing owners as it will help to set a new price precedent in the area however each property is different as is each development and investment. We would like to try and help you will making an informed decision as to when to sell these properties or how to best structure them until they can be sold. Please contact us and ask to speak to complaints. We can only help if you contact us to discuss. (03) 9533 8555HI there, you are delusional if you think in the years we have had both properties that the market has decreased, we were simply charged well over the market price for buying off the plans. We weren't advised of any risk with these purchases, quite the opposite. If as you suggest that property investment carries an element of risk, this should be explained to your investors prior to signing up. In the case of the happy investor who sold at Altona on the weekend for $585k, great news for them, however, the only one reported was sold for $445K (406/105). I'd certainly be interested to know which one sold for $585K, perhaps they bought for $585K and sold for $445K which seems more realistic. Frankly we were stupid to trust that what your advisor/estate agent said would happen, would in fact happen. We wont be contacting you for any future advice, we will be contacting our lawyer when the time is right who has already advised us of misleading and deceptive conduct by your advisor. Interestingly I see that you have been found guilty to the charges bought about by ASIC and the penalty will be handed down later this month. Seems to be a common thread happening here......Hi, I am happy to chat with you more about this. Investments all carry risks and we would have done a 'risk analysis' with you as part of your initial Fact Finding process. Both of these properties were sold at the time off market valuations which we still have copies of and unfortunately by the time construction finished the market had dropped some in the case of Brunswick West. Altona was valued the same at settlement as when they were sold off the plan. I understand though that when you are sitting there with an investment that has lost money none of this means very much. I invite you to have a chat about it. The ASIC proceedings are public and you can read about the 8 insurance customers that were found to have issues. We have tried our best as a company to show good well and re-mediate that with the customers etc. We agreed to ASIC's findings because like everyone we can make mistakes and in these cases there were mistakes. If you have a genuine complaint I encourage you or your lawyer to take the necessary steps to make a formal complaint either directly to us or via the ombudsmand.

Horrid customer service

Never experienced a more horrible lack of service than from here. Was promised return calls & never received a single one. Always chasing. Business going elsewhere.

2 comments
Hi Rebecca, Not sure who you are leaving messages for but can you please contact us via email so we can look into this for you? Please email this headoffice@nationalsterling.com.au Thank youAlso, please be aware that I have searched for you in our database and cannot locate you as a customer or even a potential customer. Please ensure you include your full legal name that we would know you by.

Customer Service = Customer Satisfaction!

During the course of this month I have on a number of occasions, emailed your office and in particular, one of your service representatives in relation to an incorrectly paid Insurance Premium to AMP dating back to December 2015.

Your representative continually kept me informed via email of her outgoing instructions, questions and on my behalf, suggested enforcement actions to ensure prompt remedial action - needless to say the matter has been resolved favourably.

Such high calibre service deserves equal recognition. Therefore, abiding to your request not to provide personal details is reluctantly accepted!

1 comment
Thanks so much for the feedback Gary. Greatly appreciate it!

Life Savers.

Absolute life savers - saved me so much time organising my super & insurances through Macquarie.
I was paying so much for my insurances, National Sterling showed me how much money I could save moving my insurances,

1 comment
Thanks for the feedback :)

thanks guys, saved me so much money

what a great help these guys have been, saved me so much money on me super and insurances.
other companies were ripping me off for years and I had no idea - thanks guys

1 comment
Thanks for the feedback Craig. We appreciate it :)

excellent Service

National Sterling helped us refinance to a rocket repay loan, The process was easy. Very happy with the outcome.
Thanks

1 comment
Thanks for the feedback Rebecca. So great to hear :) Regards, Chrystal

Excellent service

Since using National Sterling I have found that they always keep me the member in the know with how things are going and about any changes. I have nothing but praise for the way this company operates for their members.

1 comment
Thanks Cam.

set for the rest of my retired life.

I was contacted by Ferris from national sterling, he came to my house and he explained everything to me about my super and retirement. I am very happy .

1 comment
Thanks For the feedback Caz :) even though Ferras is no longer with us we hope to assist you wherever we can

excellent customer service

thank you for such excellent customer service and explaining what it all means. The Rep from National Sterling made it very easy to understand and the process was smooth and not forced. Thank you

1 comment
Glad we were able to assist Bridgette :)

Appreciate the professional service!

Very happy to be dealing with a Melbourne based company that I could physically visit and speak to without making an appointment - rare these days. They ask questions and listen as opposed to the other selling machines out there. My last minute requests was handled professionally. I have referred NS to my family and friends as promised!

1 comment
Thanks for the feedback Bill :)

Really valuable help and advice

Really happy with the service provided by National Sterling. Helped set up income and life insurances that correspond to my families financial position and goals.

1 comment
Glad we help :)

Great advice and future planning

National Sterling have been great!
Helping me to piece together a plan to get my super to where it needs to be so that I can retire happy- have recommended to all my friends!

Have consolidated all my super funds into the one and organised insurance cover so that if anything happens to me, it doesn't effect my family.

1 comment
Thanks so much for the feedback Gracie

Great bloke

Glad I took up offer of appointment. First time ever I thought about super and income protection and life insurance and what it means. Vince is a great bloke who explained it all and I'm really happy with the work he's done for me. Look forward to working with him again.

Thanks guys!!!

I first saw a National Sterling advisor 6 years ago and they sorted out my super and insurance - which at the time wasn't doing well. I have received regular reviews and updates from them over the years and their advice has always been relevant to my situation and goals - from single and carefree to married with a mortgage. Their customer service has always been fantastic.


my rock when i was in a tough place

Recently I was let go of my job at one of the major supermarket chains (I wont name them here). I was there for a over 16 years full time and they restructured my job out of the store I was at. I was at a loss as to what to do but I had been a client of National Sterling's for a long time and call on a whim to see what I should do now with my Mortgages and investments now that I had no job. I knew they couldn't offer me much assistance finding a new job but was pleasantly surprised to receive so much assistance. They helped me locate some employment legal advice, sent me the links to fair work so I could get some free advice and even helped me find a way to update my resume. We then restructured my finances as best as we could to make sure I kept making the repayments while looking for a new full time job. My daughter ended up updating her resume at the same time using sites they had found for me and it was all for free. They really went above and beyond for us even though really there was nothing new in it for them. I will continue to support this business for a very long time as they have supported me in this really tough time. I


Top advice!

Excellent Service and help- Vince was a gent! Highly recommend! Feel like everything is sorted out for the future! Feel looked after!

1 comment
Thanks so much Matt. Great to hear nice feedback. I will pass it on to Vince :) Regards, Chrystal

Very Disappointed At The Lack Of Communication

We have had 2 consultants come out and promise that our refinance would be quick and easy. 1st consultant left the company which delayed the refinancing, people when on holidays and then on long service leave and no one though to let us know what was happening. 3 months later, I still have to make a phone call to ask what's happening and still no answer as to when settlement will be finalized. How hard is it to let your customers know. Very disappointing!!

2 comments
Hi Belinda, Chrystal here. I just wanted to let you know that we are working on this for you. I will give you call now to discuss. Regards, ChrystalHi Belinda, Just tried to call but there was no answer. Just to give you an update - it has been a long weekend here so a short week. We received your application last week and it is in progress. As you know we had to re-complete valuations as this was the issue with the previous bank. I will not go into much detail here but your application is in progress and Pam (your administrator) sent you an updated letter on the 4th of November when the office re-opened. This letter details what we have applied for etc. I just want to make sure you are aware that we only received the updated application last week and then it was a long weekend so unfortunately there was no one in the office to communicate to you. The bank has actually returned a result (partially) on Wednesday but they had asked for some requirements that were unnecessary so we went back to them as such. Now waiting on a full approval (with any luck). Please contact me via email chrystale@nationalsterling.com.au over the weekend and if okay we can swap details and talk verbally. Regards, CHrystal

Amazing Service

The service provided so far is good. The two consultants I have worked with since I signed up are professional and have provided me sufficient information on my super.

1 comment
Thanks for the positive feedback! So glad you have had a great experience

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