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Homeserve Halts Telesales Amid Selling Probe

Emergency repair and insurance group HomeServe has suspended all telephone sales after it launched a review into whether some of its staff could have been mis-selling products.

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The company said late on Saturday that following a comprehensive review it had halted telephone sales and they would not resume until its staff had completed a retraining program.

The company wants to ensure that scripts and staff provide even greater visibility into the features of its cover product information and pricing.

"This review showed that there were cases where its sales processes did not meet the company's required standards," a statement said.

"The company has therefore decided to suspend all telephone sales and marketing activity." Homeserve said it had conducted the review over the past month and also commissioned an independent report by Deloitte.

It added that it had been in dialogue with the Financial Services Authority.

"We are determined to ensure customers receive the highest standards of service and we have therefore taken swift action to address the issues identified by our review," Chief Executive Richard Harpin said.

"We have commenced a program to retrain staff. We will resume marketing once we are confident that our sales processes meet the standards that we and our customers expect."

A spokesman said no redundancies were planned over the situation.

HomeServe sells insurance cover for, and fixes, burst pipes, broken boilers and drains through a network of utility partnerships in markets that have little or no competition.

The group, which is worth around 1.6 billion pounds ($2.5 billion), added that it remained on track to deliver market forecasts for full-year profit.