We were recently visited by a pleasant middle aged lady who lives close to our offices. She was very upset as a result of the way in which a solicitor’s firm had dealt with the estate of her late father. She said that she had wanted to instruct us but her father shortly before he died had urged her to use his own solicitors. She decided to honour her father’s wishes and the solicitors were duly instructed.
At the outset the solicitors gave their new client a reasonable estimate for the work involved for what she wanted them to do – obtain the grant of probate. She would actually deal with winding up the estate by collecting in the assets and distributing the proceeds between her and her sister, the only beneficiaries. The solicitors then proceeded to make a series of mistakes. They misspelt the name of the deceased and mixed up the date of birth with the date of death. When amended documents were produced different errors were introduced and instead of trying to put right the mistakes as quickly as possible, they tried to implicate the client in the mess which they had created. At the conclusion of the case the estimate was doubled!
I would hope that this would be an isolated case but I suspect that this kind of poor service is not uncommon. And that must give great hope to those like the Co-Op and Saga (and no doubt similar large organisations to follow) that they will be able to “clean up”, yet I am not convinced. If you look at the blogosphere you will find that there are plenty of complaints and irritations expressed by customers with this type of organisation, usually centred on the “call centre” nature of the operation, the impersonality and the inflexibility of the service.
At Probaters what we are trying to achieve is fairness with the fixed pricing together with a complete emphasis on client service and satisfaction.