OUR Chief Minister has an alter ego in St Albans – at least that’s the suggestion on a website which specialises in claiming compensation for people who opted out of public sector pension schemes.
The Bristol-based company, Cutting Edge Claims Ltd, trading as SerpsReviews.co.uk contains a column of glowing testimonials from its many satisfied customers who eulogise about the service and compensation they have received.
One of those featured, with photograph, is Mr R Hart of St Albans, who, under the heading ‘substantial offer’ tells readers: ‘In terms of outstanding customer service and knowledge I couldn’t have chosen a better company to manage my claim.
‘Every question I had was answered and I now have a greater understanding of my situation, this alone would have been worth it.
‘After two months I received a letter awarding me £13,000, I was also offered the option of cash and this of course is the option I took.
‘SerpsReviews did not charge me anything at all and I received the full amount offered. Needless to say I am extremely satisfied.’
But to even the least observant of readers, this clearly is not Mr R Hart of St Albans – or it’s not his photograph at least – because the smiling face on screen is none other than Chief Minister of the Isle of Man Government and Ramsey MHK Allan Bell.
IT seems Mr Bell was amused but somewhat nonplussed by his guest appearance on the web site.
A government spokesman on behalf of Mr Bell said: ‘We understand this site chooses images at random from the web to accompany its testimonials.
‘I think they were probably very surprised to discover that on this occasion they’d selected a photo of the political leader of the Isle of Man.
‘They have obviously been drawn to an image of a distinguished looking statesman, with a particularly honest and trustworthy appearance.
‘The £13,000 compensation mentioned would certainly have been very useful in these times of financial challenge.
‘On a more serious note, the Chief Minister has never endorsed this website and we have requested that the photo be removed.’
Mark Knight of SerpsReviews.co.uk was clearly surprised to find they were featuring the island’s top politician among their testimonials.
‘They are all genuine testimonials, and we have to be able to prove they are genuine,’ he assured the Manx Independent.
‘But the pictures we use on the website to go with them are stock images which are applied by the company that designs our web pages. We pay for each picture. None of them is of us or of anyone that we are aware of.
‘Of all the people we could have chosen...We did have to add an extra picture to the site recently and we probably googled something like ‘‘images of an older man’’ to find one.’
Since iomtoday contacted the firm, Mr Bell’s image has now been replaced with a picture of another man.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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