LONDON, May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Investment specialist Skandia has called time on tedious terms and conditions and signed up award winning comedian and barrister Clive Anderson to present their online terms to customers in a video.
Online research commissioned by Skandia shows that only 7% always read full online terms and conditions when signing up for products and services, with 43% of those who don't always read them saying they are boring or contain wording they don't understand. Given the choice, nearly six in ten (58%) adults said they would rather read an instruction manual or their utility or credit card bill than go through online terms and more than one in 10 (12%) would rather read the phone book.
Worryingly, just over a fifth (21%) of the people surveyed say they have suffered as a result of ticking the terms and conditions box without having done their homework. One in 10 (10%) have found themselves locked into a longer term contract than they expected by signing up without reading the small print and one in 20 (5%) have lost money by not being able to cancel or amend hotels or holidays.
"We know people find terms and conditions boring but they're a necessary part of any contract and they're particularly important where money is concerned," says Skandia's Jo Rimmer. "Our initiative with Clive marks the start of work to completely overhaul all our terms and conditions to make them easy to understand. It's a major job but it's worth it because it will give our customers a greater understanding of what they're signing up for."
In the video, Clive Anderson talks about the importance of knowing what's hidden in the small print, as well as reading out in full Skandia's online service terms and conditions.
During May 350,000 Skandia customers are being contacted to sign up to the service. They will be given the opportunity to watch Clive Anderson's video, or simply listen to him read them via an audio file, as an alternative to having to read the terms themselves before they tick the box to confirm acceptance.
"Signing up to our online service will give customers easy access to important information about their investments," says Jo Rimmer. "It will also reduce the amount of paper we use to communicate with them, which will have an additional environmental benefit."
To view the Clive Anderson video please click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/SkandiaUK#p/a/u/2/kEeoD2r0inE
Notes to editor:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2002 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st - 4th April 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
Launched in 1979, Skandia UK is now the largest retail fund platform provider by funds under management (GBP33.9 billion as at 31.12.2010). Skandia is a leader in the new model of long-term investments, offering flexible and tax efficient solutions.
Skandia's products are distributed through financial advisers as they are best placed to lead investors on the journey from traditional products towards investment solutions.
Skandia's market-leading investment platform provides access to a wide range of investment solutions and combines this choice with a selection of tax wrappers so investors can make the most of their money. Skandia's scale gives it buying power to offer these funds at very competitive prices. This market proposition is underpinned by Skandia's award winning support and service.
Skandia is part of the wealth management business of Old Mutual plc, a leading international long-term savings group. Old Mutual plc has approximately GBP309.3 billion of funds under management (as at 31.12.2010) and approximately 57,000 employees.
This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers. For more information visit http://www.skandia.co.uk.