A Response to Convoy’s Lame Excuses

To Convoy, Zurich International, and Hong Kong Regulators:

Convoy acknowledged receipt of my letter written on behalf of DeAnn Tsang. They are aware that DeAnn wants a full $93,000 refund, and they are aware of the reasons. They’ve seen the statement that DeAnn signed granting me permission to help explain those reasons, and DeAnn confirmed it both on the phone and through email. Despite this triple confirmation, Convoy seems to be refusing to accept that my letter does in fact explain DeAnn’s reasons for requesting a refund, and they seem to be asking her to rewrite the complaint so that it does not focus on the management at Convoy, but rather only on the consultant who sold her the Vista policy. DeAnn is not going to do this.

Convoy is also making ridiculous excuses to delay processing DeAnn’s refund request. I’ll address those excuses, one by one.

1) Convoy mentioned that my letter did not name the consultant who sold DeAnn the policy, as if this were an insurmountable problem. This is not a problem. I’m sure Convoy can enter DeAnn’s name and policy number into one of their computers to retrieve the answer instantly. Since they are dragging their feet, I’ll save them some time. The consultant’s name is [redacted], also known as [redacted]. (PIBA No: [redacted])

2) Although they already have it, Convoy said they need to be supplied with documentary evidence in support of DeAnn’s complaint. I have already supplied it, and everyone in the world can see it because I posted it online. There’s no excuse for Convoy pretending to be blind. Even if it weren’t online, Convoy should already have copies of all of DeAnn’s original documents, since I assume they store copies of all their clients’ documents. Regardless, I am going to put myself through the unnecessary trouble of printing and personally delivering an extra copy. Hopefully this will cure Convoy of their inability to see what’s in front of their face.

3) Convoy says they need DeAnn’s “authorized signature” before processing her refund request. They’ve repeated this at least twice, never explaining what is meant by “authorized signature”. Can someone please tell me why the signature I posted online is not considered an “authorized signature”? Whatever the answer, I am going to deliver a piece of paper signed by DeAnn. If this is not “authorized”, then someone please tell me what “authorized” means before I waste my time.

I have nothing more to say about their pitiful excuses, but DeAnn wants me to re-emphasize some points that need to be clear. She thinks Convoy misled [her friend] into believing that ILAS is an investment panacea, rather than the financial poison that it actually is. Although [her friend] mis-sold Vista to her, she doesn’t believe he would have done this if he had been properly trained and educated at Convoy. DeAnn believes that [her friend] is a good person who would never do anything to purposely exploit her or betray her trust and friendship. Consequently, she doesn’t think [her friend] deserves all the blame for what happened. She believes most of the blame should be placed on the architects and overseers of Convoy’s training and ILAS education program, which we presume is Rosetta Fong and Quincy Wong. (Leung Chung Yan also thinks Convoy’s management should be held responsible for the poor training and education that Cat Lau received.)

I did not emphasize enough in my first letter that Zurich also needs to be held accountable for what happened to DeAnn. I will make up for my negligence here.

By paying a large commission (arguably a bribe), Zurich created the incentives for Convoy and [her friend] to mis-sell Vista to DeAnn. The reason Zurich paid such a large commission is because Vista (along with all other ILAS products) are fundamentally bad investments for Hong Kong citizens. ILAS products were originally created to allow rich foreigners to evade investment taxes in their home countries (by disguising their investment as insurance), but Hong Kong citizens don’t pay investment taxes. Consequently, as I have explained many times before, there’s no compelling reason for Hong Kong citizens to pay excessively high fees to embed their mutual fund investments inside an inflexible and risky insurance contract. The primary reason ILAS is being sold to Hong Kong people is because the insurance industry (especially Zurich) has thoroughly corrupted the advisory industry with commissions.

Zurich also designed the Vista policy to confuse, mislead, and deceive investors like DeAnn. The “account value” is a fraud meant to trick policyholders into believing the money they pay during the initial contribution period (ICP) is being “locked up”, when in fact Zurich just immediately takes all that money, never intending to give it back. They do this to recover as quickly as possible the commission paid out to the sales agent, because Zurich knows that most policyholders will never even come close to finishing their contracts. The “surrender penalty” is another fraud meant to lend credibility to the “account value” fraud. The truth is there can be no “penalty” because there is no money left to “surrender”. The ICP money was already surrendered the instant that Zurich debited it from policyholders’ bank accounts. Even though the “surrender penalty” is fictional, Zurich deceives policyholders into believing it is real, which motivates policyholders to try to avoid this penalty by keeping their policy alive until the end of the contract, which maximizes the management fees that Zurich is able to collect. Investors who keep their policy alive until “maturity” will falsely believe that they didn’t lose their ICP money, but really, Vista’s management fees are so high that policyholders will lose far more than just their ICP money by the time the policy matures.

Think about the following questions.

1) Why doesn’t Zurich just say very clearly that they keep the ICP money in order to recover the commission paid to the sales agent?

2) Why didn’t Zurich say to DeAnn: “Ms. Tsang, after you pay us a $50,000 HKD sales fee over 18 months, we will then begin to put your monthly $3,000 contributions into mutual funds, but we will charge you an additional .75% annual management fee and an annual policy fee of $720 HKD for doing so.”?

3) Why didn’t Zurich just have a single “account value” that remained at $0 until DeAnn paid 18 months of contributions?

4) Why did Zurich deliberately create two values for the account: a fictional “account value” and the real but misleadingly labeled “surrender value”?

There is no doubt in my mind that they did this to fool DeAnn and every other person who has bought their product. Their complex fee structure was purposely designed to defraud consumers. The only reason they didn’t use a simple fee structure with a single honest account value is because they could not sell their rotten product if consumers understood how badly they were getting ripped off. In short, Vista is such a bad deal that Zurich necessarily has to bribe salespeople and defraud consumers.

I will be posting this letter on the internet. If any lawyers are reading, please contact me if you have any free advice about pursuing multi-party litigation in Hong Kong.

Ms. Diana Chu is the representative from Convoy who has been contacting DeAnn and Chung Yan in response to my letters. Ms. Chu, if you are reading this, I want to give you some advice. Find a better job. I believe that working at Convoy will be harmful to your character and your reputation. Have you ever heard the phrase “corporate robot”? Don’t let Convoy turn you into one. You are obviously working in the complaints department, so I bet you have seen lots of egregious cases of mis-selling. If you are able to comprehend my letters, then you must understand the harm that Convoy is doing to your fellow Hong Kong citizens. I’ll repeat myself in case it’s still not clear to you: Convoy recruits young people with no knowledge about investing, puts them through a short, inadequate training program that misrepresents ILAS as a good investment product, encourages them to sell this ripoff to all their friends and family (which results in the eventual destruction of relationships), and then disposes of these young employees if they exhaust all their relationships and cease to be profitable. Ms. Chu, I hope you will decide that there are better ways to earn a salary. You don’t have to be a cog in this evil machine. You could do a great service to your city by leaking to the media some of the misdeeds you have witnessed in Convoy’s complaints department. We can talk about this more when I bring you DeAnn’s documents.

After I print this letter, DeAnn is going to sign it. I’ll deliver it as soon as Ms. Chu tells me when she is free to meet. Below is a copy of the email exchanges between DeAnn, Ms.Chu, and me.

I advise Zurich and Convoy to speedily refund DeAnn’s money because I am prepared to drag this out as long as it takes.

Lindell Lucy

DeAnn's Statement and Signature [Resized]

On Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 11:29 AM, De <faymingming@yahoo.com.hk> wrote:

 Mr. Lucy,
Thank you. Please help me send to ms. Diana in person
And the complaint letter with my signature will provide you later.
Ms. Diana,
Would you please kindly reply your free time for mr. Lucy’s meeting?
Many thanks!!
Best Regards,
DeAnn Tsang

Sent from my iPhone

On 5 Aug, 2013, at 15:33, Lindell Lucy <lindelll@gmail.com> wrote:

DeAnn, I can personally deliver it for you if you want. Ms. Chu, what time are you available to meet?

On Aug 5, 2013 2:43 PM, “Lindell Lucy” <lindelll@gmail.com> wrote:

They know who the agent is because they have copies of all your documents. They want you to write another letter probably because they are ashamed of the contents of mine. Just give them a physical copy of your signature and mention that the agent is [redacted]. Is that enough, Ms. Chu?

Dear Ms. Tsang,

Thank you for your email.

According to our complaint handling procedure, written complaint with your authorized signature is required for relevant department’s handling and investigation.

Please be informed that we do not find the name of the complained consultant mentioned in Mr. Lucy’s email.

We are sorry that we do not have any sample for complaint letter.  We appreciate if you could explain the issue related to alleged mis-selling by the consultant during selling process and send the original complaint letter to the address below.

Once your letter is received, our relevant department would commence investigation on your case based on the information provided.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions and we are glad to help.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Regards,

Diana Chu 

Assistant Relationship Manager, Customer Experience
Convoy Financial Services Limited
(D) 3601 3680 (F) 8148 0882
39/F, @CONVOY, 169 Electric Road, North Point, Hong Kong
<logo_46x17.jpg> Visit us at www.convoyfinancial.com

 

From: De [mailto:faymingming@yahoo.com.hk]
Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 12:41 PM
To: Diana, Chu
Cc: lindelll@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Complaint (CED/2013/0713) 

Dear Diana, 

I think all the complaint document are sent by Mr. Lucy already and my complaint is clear in his email too. 

And the authorize letter id already sign to give permission for mr. Lucy  

So I wondering what should I sign more or can u provide a sample to me? 

Thanks!! 

Best Regards

DeAnn Tsang

Sent from my iPhone

 

On 1 Aug, 2013, at 10:23, “Diana, Chu” <Diana.Chu@convoy.com.hk> wrote:

Dear Ms. Tsang,

Thank you for your time yesterday.

According to our complaint handling procedure, it is required that complainant’s written complaint with authorized signature to be sent to our Legal and Compliance Department for handling and further investigation.

Address:  Convoy Financial Services Limited, 39/F, @CONVOY, 169 Electric Road, North Point, Hong Kong.  Attn:  Legal & Compliance Department

To support our further investigation, appreciate if you could state the issue in detail and provide all relevant documentary/written evidence(s) in support of your allegation.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions and we are glad to help.

Regards,

Diana Chu

Assistant Relationship Manager, Customer Experience
Convoy Financial Services Limited
(D) 3601 3680 (F) 8148 0882
39/F, @CONVOY, 169 Electric Road, North Point, Hong Kong
<logo_46x17.jpg> Visit us at www.convoyfinancial.com

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