Are you the Owner of this Business? ×
BBB® Accredited Business Seal

Are you...?

If yes, click here to login.

Are you...?

BBB Business Reviews may not be reproduced for sales or promotional purposes.

Description

This company offers life, disability, income and long-term care insurance, annuities and mutual funds.


BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Northwestern Mutual meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Find a Location


Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Northwestern Mutual include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 33 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

33 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 11 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 1
Billing/Collection Issues 7
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 25
Total Closed Complaints 33

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

6 Customer Reviews on Northwestern Mutual
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 1
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 5
Total Customer Reviews 6

Additional Information

BBB file opened: January 01, 1939 Business started: 03/02/1857 in WI Business started locally: 03/02/1857 Business incorporated 07/26/1972 in WI
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Commissioner of Insurance
125 South Webster Street, Madison WI 53703
http://oci.wi.gov/oci_home.htm
Phone Number: 6082663585 8002368517
Fax Number: (608) 266-9935

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. John E. Schlifske, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Michael G. Carter, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ms. Joann M. Eisenhart, Senior Vice President, Human Resources Mr. John M. Grogan , Senior Vice President - Insurance and Investment Products Ms. Betsy Hoylman, Director -- Corporate Communications Mr. Ronald P. Joelson, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Mr. Raymond J. Manista, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Mr. Gregory C. Oberland, President Mr. Timothy G Schaefer, Executive Vice President -- Operations and Technology
Contact Information
Customer Contact: Ms. Betsy Hoylman, Director -- Corporate Communications
Principal: Mr. John E. Schlifske, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Business Category

Insurance Services Financial Services Insurance Companies Insurance - Life Insurance - Long Term Care Insurance - Disability Insurance Agencies and Brokerages (NAICS: 524210)

Products & Services

Northwestern Mutual offers the following product(s): Annuities, Disability Insurance, Life Insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance, Mutual Funds and Other Investment Products

Industry Tips
Advanced Fee Loans Avoiding Fraudulent Tax Preparation Counterfeit Currency Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act Credit-Budgeting Made Easy

Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

Northwestern Mutual has received 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A+.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Additional Locations

  • 1 Northwestern Mutual Way

    Franklin, WI 53132

  • 720 E Wisconsin Ave

    Milwaukee, WI 53202 (414) 271-1444 (800) 388-8123

  • 85 Campau Ave NW

    Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • 950 Trade Centre Way

    Portage, MI 49002

  • THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

    7733 Forsyth Blvd Ste 1000

    Saint Louis, MO 63105

  • THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

    7733 Forsyth Blvd Ste 1000

    Saint Louis, MO 63105

  • THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

    601 Union St Ste 2500

    Seattle, WA 98101

  • THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

    601 Union St Ste 2500

    Seattle, WA 98101

  • THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

    PO Box 2177

    Portland, OR 97208

  • THIS LOCATION IS NOT BBB ACCREDITED

    PO Box 2177

    Portland, OR 97208

X

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

6/23/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Northwestern Mutual did not tell me about the fees associated with transferring some funds from their company and refused to explain them. I made a decision to transfer some money from one of my accounts. The decision was made due to poor customer service and poor results of the company which I believe was due to neglect. The company made no attempt to tell me and my wife about $800 in fees associated with the move. When my wife complained she was told that they only dealt with me even though one of the accounts was in her name alone. When I complained they said the fees were in the contract I signed some years ago. When I asked specifically what the fees were for the local branch transferred me to the national branch. After three days of chasing them I finally spoke to someone who could not explain what the charges were for but kept saying they were in the contract. I have shown all the documents to several other brokers who have said the fees are no where close to the industry average. Finally the response was that Northwest Mutual would waive all the fees if I would put the money back and they sent me paperwork to do that. This only reinforces my belief that whatever they did did not really cost them any money.

Desired Settlement: I am seeking that a reasonable fee for the services provided be charged and an apology for treating a long time customer in this manner and for treating my wife in this manner.

Business Response:

Dear Better Business Bureau,

Thank you for making us aware of Mr. ********’s complaint and allowing us to share our perspective.

Mr. ******** signed a contract to purchase a back-end variable annuity on March 24, 2014. He states that we did not disclose there were withdrawal charges associated with the annuity and he demands a refund of $386.51 in withdrawal fees.

Our records show that Mr. ******** was informed numerous times that his annuity included withdrawal fees. This information was disclosed to Mr. ******** when he signed an application, when he signed his contract which contained a detailed explanation of withdrawal fees, in the quarterly summaries he received for approximately two years, and when he contacted us requesting a withdrawal. Mr. ******** also signed a suitability form acknowledging that he did not anticipate surrendering his funds within the eight year period when surrender fees would apply.

The third party advisor who recommended to Mr. ******** that he transfer his variable annuity to a different provider should have been aware of the withdrawal fees when he viewed Mr. ********’s quarterly summary.

We have offered Mr. ******** two choices to refund his $386.51 in fees. He may transfer it back to Northwestern Mutual and we will reinvest his withdrawal charge, or he can ask the advisor who recommended the transfer to refund the fee.

Regards,

***** *******

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I take exception to the fact that I have demanded anything.  My broker never told us about these fees. Shame on me for trusting the broker and not reading the contract prior to signing it. My broker knew that I had gone through a series of personal trials. I believe that he took advantage of my mental state.   I have never had a quarterly review since signing up for these policies.  I recently went in to see my broker whom I have known for over a decade we had a nice talk but he never mentioned the fees.  It wasn't until I received the bill in the mail that I noticed the fees. 

I have asked the company numerous times what I received for the $800 I spent and they have declined to tell me.  I have shown all my documents to other brokers and they all say these fees are excessive.  I have merely asked for a fair rate. These charges far exceed the industry standard. 

I find it funny that it cost $800 to move the money out but they are willing to spend $800 to put it back and waive both fees which would total $1600.  I would never put my money back with a company with ethics like this. 

I would suggest that we discuss this issue in a more public forum.  I would like to publish all my documents on the internet and let the public weigh in on whether this is fair.  The public needs to made aware of the practices of this company. Another suggestion would be to bring in two representatives from other companies and compare these rates to their rates.

As for moving my money back ..... really ????  I would never trust this company with a dime.  They would charge me a quarter to hold it.  Unfortunately I still have other money at this facility and I"m trying to figure out how to get it out. 

My wife intends to also file an EEO compliant against this company.

 



Regards,

**** ********

Business Response:

Dear Better Business Bureau,

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Mr. ********’s recent complaint.  At his request we delved further into his client records to determine whether he is correct that we had failed to disclose contractual fees and whether the fees charged were excessive.

Our records show numerous verbal and written communications between Mr. ******** and our company from March 2014 until May 2016 when he withdrew his funds. During a face-to-face meeting with his financial representative on 3/25/14, fees and withdrawal charges associated with annuity contracts were reviewed. An email exchange on 4/15/15 and records from a phone call the same day also reveal that we provided information on fees and withdrawal charges. In addition, from 2014 to 2016, Mr. ******** received quarterly statements with summaries on withdrawal charges that might apply to his account.

We received forms of intent from Mr. and Mrs. ******** to surrender their annuities in April 2016. They met with their Northwestern Mutual advisor on 5/6/16 so that the advisor could again explain how withdrawal charges worked. Mr. ******** said he preferred to consolidate his funds with an advisor who had worked with his father.

Mr. ******** claims our withdrawal fees are excessive. We provided for him a list of the eight leading companies in the annuity industry and the withdrawal fees they charge. Ours are tied for lowest.

Based on our review, we find Mr. ********’s request to refund his withdrawal fees and treat him differently from other clients covered by the same contract to be inappropriate.

Regards,

***** *******

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

The vendor made no attempt to explain their rules to me although I met face to face with them just days before making the move and they never mentioned the financial penalty but now they will waive the penalty if I move my money back.  That is a horribly unethical way to make money.  I have and will continue to vet this with various financial professionals.  I have set up an appointment to meet face to face with my Senator to discuss this.  I have also discussed this with several local clergy members at churches that have in excess of 15,000 members and they have deemed this as unethical so I feel pretty convinced that once this case goes public I will be found in the right.  I am providing everyone with complete documentation. 

Additionally I have tried to move the remainder of my business away from this vendor and they are insisting that I remain with them or suffer similar financial penalties.

This is a sorry way to treat disabled veterans. 

 

**** ********



Regards,

**** ********

6/21/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have been trying to contact my financial representative(******* ******) to cancel my products with the company for over six months. in this time span I have lost my job and can not afford these services anymore. I still get billed and the money is taken directly out of my bank account with out my consent and since I do not have any income; my bank account is being hit with hefty overdraft fees. I have notified my advisor on multiple occasions and he simply ignores my calls/emails.

Desired Settlement: I wish to receive back all the money I have paid into my products, stop payments and to end my business with the company.

Business Response:

Dear Better Business Bureau,

Thank you for making us aware of Mr. *****’s situation. We strive to provide an outstanding client experience and we have sent a letter offering him the following actions to resolve his situation.

Mr. ***** made us aware his financial representative, ******* *****, had not responded to his request to cancel his policies and discontinue his EFT payments. We apologize for Mr. *****’s lack of attentiveness.

Since we have a record that Mr. ***** contacted his representative on Feb. 4, we have offered to reimburse him for the EFT payments made on 2/4/16 and 3/4/16 and we will also reimburse him for the payment made from his insurance service account on 4/4/16.

If Mr. ***** incurred any overdraft fees associated with these EFT payments, we will reimburse him for those charges if he provides a copy of his bank statement. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused him. No further EFT payments will be made from his bank account.

Mr. ***** has also indicated he would like to discontinue his long-term care policy with our company, and we have forwarded to him the form needed to cancel it.

We hope Mr. *****’s employment situation is resolved quickly and according to his preference.

Regards,

***** *******

Consumer Response: [A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.

Regards,

**** *****

6/11/2016 Problems with Product/Service
5/6/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Northwestern agent ****** ***** sold me two life insurance policies in 2008, one for $400K and the other for $500, explaining that these policies functioned precisely like another $100K policy I have held since 1983. The 1983 policy increases in cash value with unchanging premiums throughout the life of the policy. ***** lied on two occasions: 1. Of the two newer, larger policies ($400K and $500K), he told me that the price of one policy was contingent on the price of the other policy. This statement is untrue, as corroborated later by two agents, ***** ********** and *** *******. 2. He said the premiums of these two policies would never increase. This statement is untrue, as my policies have increased several times. Northwestern rejected both complaints I filed with Northwestern, taking *****'s position. This decision occurred even though the Northwestern "investigator," **** *******, admitted to me that the illustrative tables are ambiguous, making misinterpretation a likely consequence. Ultimately I canceled both policies. I excerpt below my position in an email I wrote to Northwestern's Mr. *******: Hi ***, I appreciate your concern about my situation and trust you will help me. Attached are the two letters, page 1 only, and below are my Northwestern insurance record and a summary of the situation. INSURANCE STATUS ****'s Life Insurance Value and Payments Through December 31, 2015 Policy: 8-880-386 Type: Term to Age 65 Insurance: $100,000 Years: 33 Plan Began: 03/27/83 Premium: $520.00 Cumulative: $17,160.00 Cash Value: $44,539.0 Difference: $27,379.01 Policy: 18-124-222 Type: Estate Comprehensive Life Insurance: $400,000 Years: 8 Plan Began: 01/25/08 Premium: $5,686.80 Cumulative: $44,311.22 Cash Value: $31,467.01 Difference: ($12,844.21) Policy: 18-111-068 Type: Estate Comprehensive Life Insurance: $500,000 Years: 8 Plan Began: 01/14/08 Premium: $7,170.96 Cumulative: $57,367.68 Cash Value: $40,735.49 Difference: $16,632.19 MY VIEWPOINT The attached letters are clearly misleading in limiting me to two options (I see at least seven) just as the Joe ***** sales pitch was when he sold me the two 2008 policies and his accompanying illustrations, which show no increase in premiums. I had Mr. *****’s word that the two 2008 policies would mirror Policy 1-880-386, whose premiums have never increased in 33 years. Thus, I should have paid to this point $40,000 for Policy 18-124-122 and $56,000 for 18-111-068, which total $96,000; in fact, I have paid $5,678.90 more than this amount. While I realize that nominal service charges account for some of the difference, Northwestern has clearly blindsided me with these increasing charges. The Northwestern “investigative process” into my allegation has been bizarre, to say the least. In 2009 and 2015 letters, one of its own employees, **** *******, claims to have investigated the case by never asking for my version of the situation. Therefore, he has taken Mr. *****’s word at face value. Does he really expect Mr. ***** to say that he misled me? What fair investigation does not ask both parties for their side of the story? The attached letters offer two options, but I see—and you have confirmed—the following seven choices: • Option 1 – as stated in the letters • Option 2 – as stated in the letters • Option 3 – reduce insurance value • Option 4 – cancel one policy • Option 5 – cancel two policies • Option 6 – cancel three policies • Option 7 – use cash value to pay premiums Although I do not blame you personally, I am dumbfounded that your first proposal yesterday, in relation to Option 3, is to reduce the insurance value of Policy 18-124-122 and Policy 18-111-068 to $250,000 each, totaling $500,000 insurance, for annual premiums of $4,500 and $6,200, totaling $8,700. Why would I accept this as a reasonable choice when I am paying $7,170 for a $500,000 policy, which is $1,530 less? I have no choice but to conclude that Northwestern continues to treat me unfairly. At this point, I would consider unfair anything short of a $5,500 refund for additional insurance premiums paid and a permanent return to the original premium rates of $5,000 and $7,000. I hope you can help with a fair solution. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you, **** *******

Desired Settlement: I expect two outcomes: 1. A $5,500 refund for the overages of premiums throughout the years. 2. A reinstatement of the two policies at the originally quoted price without a premium increase for the life of the policy, beginning with a cash value increase of $0 and proceeding to accumulate as originally quoted.

Business Response:

Dear Better Business Bureau,

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Mr. ********’s complaint.

Mr. ******** has filed complaints with our company in 2009, 2015 and 2016. He has expressed dissatisfaction with increases in his life insurance premium and states that we have not listened to his opinion.

Our 2009 and 2015 letters and conversations with Mr. ******** have focused on the materials provided to him when his policy was issued. Our representatives have reviewed with him the illustrations he was provided, which included information stating that his premium may increase due to changes in the non-guaranteed dividend interest rate. After reviews in 2009 and 2015, we can find no evidence that Mr. ******** is due a refund.

Mr. ******** says our company never sought his perspective on this situation, but our records show multiple phone conversations, voicemails and exchange of email with Mr. ********. The most recent conversation took place in January 2016 where he was assigned a new servicing representative in his community. After several conversations with his new servicing representative, Mr. ******** decided to terminate his contracts effective February 18, 2016.

We greatly value our commitment to the people who place their trust in us. We hope this information helps you understand the steps we take to ensure that we continue to deliver on our promises to our policyowners.

Regards,

***** *******

Tell us why here...

3/29/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: In November of 2015, I filed paperwork with Northwestern Mutual for a "Request for 1035 Exchange" as our prior Agent had switched companies and we were receiving sub-par communication from NW Mutual. We filed this to switch our NW Mutual Policy (No. 19020580) to NY Life Insurance Co and our agent has reached out to NW Mutual several times. I have also 1) given them a POA of my wife, who was attempting to handle this while I am out of the country; 2) spoken with several NW Mutual agents over the phone, and 3) been told on numerous occasions that "they have not received our paperwork". I have made several phone calls to NW Mutual, while overseas, in an attempt to rectify this situation and they continue to be combative and not of any assistance. At this point, NW Mutual has deducted $153.28 out of our bank account for the months of December, January, and February, and our exchange notification and paperwork had been made in late November of 2015.

Desired Settlement: I request that our exchange be properly processed immediately, and a refund of $459.84 that drafted from our bank account, post-notification to NW Mutual to process the Exchange as we are now paying into a policy with NY Life.

Business Response:

Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

On March 17, our home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Mr. ****** in response to his complaint to the Better Business Bureau. In our letter, we share that we have tried reaching Mr. ****** using the telephone number and email address he provided, but have not received his response to our questions needed to process his 1035 exchange.

We understand his frustration with the process, but we must follow federal and state regulations to file necessary paperwork. We will be able to comply with his Power of Attorney granted to his wife when a copy of that document reaches our office. We included in his letter a new 1035 exchange form and provided multiple options for returning the paperwork to us in the manner most convenient for him. He has been provided the name and direct phone number of a person at our company who has been assigned to assist with his needs.

We hope this resolves Mr. ******’s situation.

Regards,

***** *******

3/15/2016 Billing/Collection Issues
3/2/2016 Problems with Product/Service
1/25/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: ******* ***** set up an IRA account with automatic withdrawals from my savings account for $750 a month. At no time was I ever informed that you can only put $5500 a year into an IRA or you will be penalized 6% every year for excess contribution. I discovered this when shopping for an IRA CD to put my mutual funds into and was informed by a banker of the limit. I contacted ******* ***** and said he had a lot of clients and failed to tell me this and was sorry but could not refund the $650 penalties I have incurred nor credit me for the fees I have paid him in the past for his financial advice. The information I did not receive was vital to this type of account and the penalties have directly affected my future goal of investing in an IRA. Clearly $750 a month into an IRA would put a person over the $5500 limit and suffer financial consequences.

Desired Settlement: I desire to be reimbursed for my penalties and past membership fees I paid for advice I never received.

Business Response:

Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

On Jan. 13, our home office in Milwaukee replied to Ms. ***** by letter. Our financial representative began working with Ms. ***** in 2011 and she opened a brokerage account with *****western Mutual Investment Services. She also discussed opening an IRA, and our representative indicates he discussed with Ms. ***** how an IRA works including contribution limits and required minimum distributions.

Ms. ***** chose to open an IRA funded by a variable annuity contract. At the time of application, the monthly electronic funds transfer established from Ms. *****’s bank account was $400, which placed her under the annual contribution limit at that time of $5,000. The variable annuity contract was not established with a $750 monthly payment.

In addition, our representative provided the IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP Disclosure Statements, which Ms. ***** acknowledged receiving when she signed the annuity application. Our Jan. 13 letter includes a copy of these statements highlighting the contribution limits. This document, along with others signed and recived, clearly state neither *****western Mutual nor its financial representtives can give legal or tax advice.

We also detail in the letter Ms. *****’s month payment increases and annual contributions. Each time a payment was made, Ms. ***** was sent a Variable Annuity Confirmation Statement containing the tax amount and tax year.

While we note it is unfortunate Ms. ***** exceeded the annual contribution limits, our representatives are not tax advisers and cannot give legal or tax advice. Therefore, we are unable to reimburse the $650 requested.

Sincerely,

***** *******

*****western Mutual Liaison to the Better Business Bureau

1/17/2016 Problems with Product/Service
9/28/2015 Problems with Product/Service
8/10/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: May 2013 we started a life insurance policy. We wanted to stop the policy january 2015. We paid in $5400, when they sent us $921.28, something is bad. May 2013 we started a life insurance policy. We wanted to stop the policy january 2015. We paid in $5400, when they sent us $921.28, something is not right. We spoke with them a few times. They never mentioned the terrible return on our investment. They never gave any options. They just kept 80% of our money. We feel this is a rip off and a crooked way to do business. This complaint is so that nobody else has to go thru this and get ripped off like we did.

Desired Settlement: We would like a fair refund on the money we sent to Northwestern Mutual. We could have found life insurance for $20-$30 a month and the rest of the money would have gone towards an investment. We just don't like companies like this walking away from such bad business practices. Please help!

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

On July 2, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Mr. ***** in response to this complaint. In our letter, we share that life insurance costs more to put in force than other types of insurance, because it costs more to issue a contract than it will collect in premiums for the first few years. This initial loss is amortized over several years until the policy becomes self-supporting.

Our records show Mr. ***** had coverage in force less than two years and as a result, it was not able to recover the total cost of the premiums that had been paid when the policies were surrendered.

Our records show we responded to Mr. ***** on this topic Feb. 20, 2015. At that time, we shared the reasons that we do not typically refund premiums. Upon acceptance of the coverage, for example, Northwestern Mutual was liable to pay the combined death benefit. There is a cost for this protection. In addition, per the contracts, Mr. ***** had a 10-day free look period after accepting coverage to receive a premium refund.

Finally, as a mutual company, we are owned by our policyowners. Any profits we earn are distributed among our policyowners as dividends. Losses from refunding premiums would also be shared by our policyowners in the form of lower dividends.

We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns. 

Steve S******

Northwestern Mutual Liaison to the Better Business Bureau 

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

A letter is being sent to Mr. ***** dated Aug. 6 in response to his rejection of our last communication. We understand he continues to be dissatisfied with our explanation about why we do not refund premium payments. After another review, our position remains the same.

In addition to all the reasons stated previously, we share the following in our letter:

Mr. *****'s contract was issued with a Right to Return Policy. He had 10 days upon receipt of the policy to return it for any reason and would have received a refund of any premiums that had been paid.

Mr. *****'s contract was issued with cash values that were guaranteed. Including premiums he paid to the end of the second policy year, the value was $697.

Finally, the contract clearly states that any proceeds he would receive at the time of surrendering the policy would be the Cash Surrender Value at the date of surrender. This totaled $697 as indicated.

Again, unless we are provided with additional information that we do not know, we consider this matter closed. We've provided Mr. ***** with the personal contact information of an individual in our Policyowner Services department for any additional contact directly with Northwestern Mutual.

Sincerely,
Steve S******
Northwestern Mutual Liaison to the Better Business Bureau

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

It simply needs to be noted and shared that Northwestern Mutual has shady business tactics and prospect be aware. 

Regards,

***** *****

4/13/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
3/10/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I surrendered a policy which created a refund. Northwestern Mutual asked for my checking account number so they could electronically transfer the refund. The refund was transfered successfully with one exception, they also transfered to my account a second deposit that was obvisioly not intended for me, it had a different name referenced on it and it was more than my annual income. I called Northwestern Mutual and talked to someone in the policy services department about the error. The person was quit insistant that they did not send the extra deposit and had no record of the other name. My reaction was to visit my bank and have a banker return the wrong deposit. In the mean time Northwestern Mutual tried to recapture the funds intended for someone other than me and caused my bank account to be deactivated because the attempts failed. Two days later I got an alert from my bank that my overdraft protection kicked in draining my line of credit because Northwestern Mutual had reached into my checking account and took a second ammout equal to ammount that I returned two day earlier causing a huge overdraft. I feel that Northwestern Mutual has made a mistake, tried to covered it up and has been hacking my account to my detriment. For a company that promises to take some of the worry out of life they sure created a big worry in mine.

Desired Settlement: I need to have my accounts broght back to normal at my bank (my money not yours) and because I am sure enough red flags have been raised due to money transfers that there is a good chance I could be audited next year, I need some assurance you can provide me with the correct documents that will show that you did make a mistake and that I did not profit or gain in any way from this. It wouldn't hurt to send a thank you to my banker for all of their efforts to clean up your mess

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

This morning, we spoke to Mr. ****** by phone and are following up with him by letter today. In our letter, we apologize for the error and inconvenience we caused him when funds belonging to another policyowner were erroneously deposited into Mr. ******’s checking account. This was the result of a processing error.

We will be reimbursing Mr. ****** for any bank fees he incurred as a result of our error. We will also be in touch with his banker to confirm when the funds were returned from the bank, and will provide his banker a letter of apology as well as a thank you to per Mr. ******'s request.

We’ve also provided contact information for Mr. ****** to reach one of our policyowner services specialists directly.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and our apology again to Mr. ******. 

***** *******  
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

Along with our letter to Mr. ****** dated March 4 detailing this situation and its resolution, we included a copy of the letter sent to Mr. ******'s bank at his request. We also indicated in our letter, "Please use this letter as evidence for your bank and/or Internal Revenue Service should this situation raise questions in the future." 

We've also provided Mr. ****** a direct contact in our policyowner services department for any other questions or concerns. 

***** *******  ************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** ***** ******* 
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

Consumer Response:

[A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 

Regards,

 

******* ******

 

 My response on March 6th was accurate in that I had not seen the letter to my banker and I was disapointed that I did not get an officil accounting of dates and ammounts.  The March 4th letter that you refer to did not arrive in my mail until March 9th three days after the maximum ten day response time.  I didn't make the mistake

 

3/4/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Northwestern Mutual auto-withdrew from my account after I submitted all the paperwork to cancel services with them. The withdrawal occurred on January 27th in the amount of 31.87 I submitted all required paperwork to cancel my account & services with them on the 23rd. At this point they have refunded only a partial amount ($16.99). They refuse to give me the other $14.88 as they have decided, without notifying me, to retroactively charge me for earlier changes to my account. I have never given them permission to do that and they cannot provide proof that I ever agreed that they had the permission/ability to retroactively bill me if they ever desired.

Desired Settlement: Refund of the remaining $14.88 owed.

Consumer Response: On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 8:57 AM, *** ****** ************************ wrote:

Good morning *******,
In regards to complaint ********, after avoiding directly answering any questions or giving me any information my account rep stopped responding stating that I was lucky that even though I cancelled before the money was withdrawn it was only because of his good graces that I got any money back.  
At that point I also reached out to my bank.  After explaining the situation to my bank and sending them a copy of the emails they have reversed the remaining funds making me whole again.
We can probably close this complaint as this is resolved.  If I may compliment my bank here, ************* worked very fast to help their customer.
Regards,
*** ******

Business Response:

March 3, 2015

 

 


***  ******

XXX

XXX

 

 

RE:      ***  ******   Policies  XXX

                                                                  

 

Dear Mr. ******:

 

Please accept my apology for the auto-withdraw that was taken from your account after you requested to cancel your policies listed above.

 

After careful review of this matter, I am pleased to inform you that we have honored your request for the full reimbursement of the January 26, 2015 payment that was taken.  The balance of $14.88 is being sent to you under separate cover. 

 

Mr. ******, I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you and trust this matter has been resolved to your satisfaction.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

***** *****  

  ***** *****

2/23/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: ********* gave me bad advice after my divorce from my ex-wife in 2002. I assumed I would cancel my ex-wife's 2 insurance policies, but ********* told me to keep paying on them. I trusted her advice. Boy, was I wrong. In June, 2013 my ex-wife cashed out the $25,000 whole life policy that I had been paying on for 11 years. It cost me over $3000. Is that good financial advice? Knowing what I know now, and what she knew at the time is that she should've advised me to take my name off as payer and allow my ex-wife to take over payments. But ********* wasn't looking out for my best financial interest. She was looking out for her own. Is that what a financial advisor is supposed to do? I would sure hope not.

Desired Settlement: DesiredSettlementID: Refund I would like all of the premiums back that I paid on those two policies from 2002-June 2013.

Business Response: Dear BBB of Wisconsin: 

Per our original response to the *** ** ********* on Jan. 9, information is being shared with the policyowner regarding our assessment: We found no record of conversations with the policyowner regarding how he should handle his ex-wife's policy following their divorce. The payer did authorize the payments and received annual policy statements indicating that payments were being made on the policy in question. At any time over the past 10-plus years, he could have contacted us to stop the payments he was making. 

We've provided this information to the policyowner as well as contact information should he wish to discuss this further and make modifications. We now consider this matter to be closed. 

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. 

***** ******* 
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

As we have previously noted, Northwestern Mutual recommends that a payer continue to pay the premiums on insurance so that there is no lapse in coverage during divorce proceedings. Once a divorce is final, a client should provide a printed copy of the decree to Northwestern Mutual. Similar to any significant life event – whether a birth, death or other personal change – it’s the responsibility of our clients to provide that information directly to us.

In order to help explain this particular situation more fully, we’ve attached our correspondence with the Minnesota Department of Commerce. (Personally identifiable information has been removed under relevant rules and regulations as well as our own privacy policy.) In each contact with our financial representative, Mr. ******* could have noted that his divorce was final and received advice on next steps. Our representative does not have any record of Mr. ******* sharing that the divorce was final.

In addition, Mr. ******* received notices each year about his payee status that included contact information for the company. At any time over a period of more than 10 years, Mr. ******* could have contacted us to stop the payments he was making.

***** *******
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]

Again, as Mr ******* doesn't seem to understand, I was not notified that I was to provide a divorce decree to Northwestern Mutual.  Since Mr *******, Northwestern Mutual or ********* Forrester Schneewind have not provided proof of notifying me of these company guidelines, they are negligent.  Mr *******, there is a big difference between death and divorce, so linking those events together is pretty weak, to say the least.

As I've clearly noted previously, my agent works for me.  My agent is paid by me.  

When I notified ********* that I was getting divorced, she told me to keep paying premiums on my ex-wife's life insurance policies.  She never followed up with me to explain my options.  So, I ask myself, why do I have an agent and why am I paying her if she's just neglecting me?  The only time I received correspondence from her in the mail, it was in regards to me spending more money.  

NEGLECT: to fail to take care of or to give attention to (someone or something).

I also want to point out that I've been on ** ********** since 2007, and the government and tax payers wouldn't be too happy to hear that ********* defrauded them by neglecting me.  During my divorce, I was extremely depressed along with anxiety and panic attacks.  I don't appreciate Mr ******* and Northwestern Mutual pointing their finger at me, accusing me of being neglectful.


Thank you for all you've done for me, BBB of Wisconsin!  Your honesty, thoughtfulness and kindness were greatly appreciated!


Regards,

******* *******

 

 

12/5/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Was denied for Disability Insurance and then was charged for insurance anyways.It has taken over a week for my money to be credited back to my act. Was denied for Disability Insurance and then was charged for insurance anyways.It has taken over a week for my money to be credited back to my account. The policy was being prepared by ******* ******* at the ********* office. When I brought it to her attention on the morning of Tuesday November, 4 2014 that money was taken out of my checking account for the premium amount she preceded to ask me if I was sure it had been taken out I responded yes it has been taken out. She called me later on that day and said it would be put back in my account on Friday November 7,2014 or even before that. She never called me again and followed up with me to ask me if the money had been returned or anything. I had been checking everyday and I checked the morning of Friday November 7, 2014 and the money still had not been credited to my account. I immediatly called ******* ******* that same morning and told her that it still was not in my account and said that it might be put back in my acccount later on in the day. I checked all day that day the money never got put in my account. ******* never called me again that day to let me know what was going on with my money. It's only until I called her she called back and left a message on my cell phone telling me that possibly my money would be in my account Monday November 10, 2014 and she told me I could call their corporate ofice if I had any further questions. I called the corporate office last Friday November 7th explaining to them the issue I was having and I explained to the lady what was going on she pulled my account up on the computer she told me that the payment had not been intiated yet. She could tell from my voice that I was upset and she explained to me that the department I needed to speak with about the matter with she did not think was still open.She spoke to her supervisor and found out the department was still opened by that time my 15 minute break at work was over and I asked her could she have them call me back she responded by saying she didn't think she could do that. I explained to her that I would be filing a complaint. I decided to wait till Monday to check if my money was in my account. I checked my checking account the morning of Monday November 10th 2014 the money still had not been put in my account so I decided to contact the corporate office again. I called at 7am Monday November 10th while being on the phone for an half and hour I was put on hold and transferred to 4 different people the last two people couldn't give no answer to why it's taken so long for them to return my money both people had different answers to how long it should have taken the money to be transfer back to me. The last women I talked with was going to transfer me again and at that time I told her I didn't want to discuss it anymore because my question wasn't being answered. I explained that at that time I wanted to file a complaint. The woman that I could do that with was not in the office at the time so I left a message for her to call me back and she has yet to call back.

Desired Settlement: I would like an apology and a through explanation of what has taken so long for my money to be returned.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

On Nov. 21, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Ms. ***** in response to her complaint. This is addition to a telephone conversation Nov. 10.

In the letter, we explain that, due to processing that has to take place, a refund cannot be started until the second business day after that action, which was Nov. 3. Ms. *****’s regular payments, which assumed her policies would have been approved, were scheduled for the first of the each month. In November, this was a Saturday, a non-banking day. The automatic payment was therefore initiated on Oct. 31 and the payment was recorded Nov. 3.

While refund processing began Nov. 3, a 3-business-day hold was placed given the automatic payment and a refund began Nov. 7. A bank normally acknowledges the returned funds and posts them to accounts in two business days, which would have been Nov. 11. Because that was Veterans Day and banks were closed, the funds posted Nov. 12.

We have apologized to Ms. ***** for any inconvenience in the refund delay as well as erroneous information she received earlier, due in part to information from the bank. We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns. 

***** ******* 
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

10/26/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: My husband and I purchased life insurance policies for each of our family members (7, he & I and 5 children). He also purchased a separate financial planning fund because his company doesn't have 401K (self contractor). Our monthly premium on all policies was just over 300.00 a month. In April we had some family issues to arrise and with the economy my husband ***** called to cancel the policies 2 days before the autodraft for the premium was to come out of the bank. It drafted 2 days later to take a payment of over 300. We figured that could be because 2 days is a short amount of time for processing. Called the representative that sold us the policy and he said no problem it was cancelled and he would return our money. No money came. The following month another premium drafted for over 300. Again the representative apologized and said it would be processed for a return to us. In June 300 drafted again from our account. By this time we are sure there has been time for processing a cancellation and call for answers. Again the representative apologized and said to await a refund. It never came. I called the corporate office and opened a investigation case to request our refund. The company sent us a 250 check, which in the letter explains it's the amount that had been payed into the policy before cancellation. Still no 900.00 refund. Now we cannot reach the representative by phone, goes to voice mail and mailbox isn't setup. I called the corporate office again and their number says not accepting calls. I called each of the representatives (2) and their assistant and receive no answer. I really believe at this point that this company or at least this group is running a scam.

Desired Settlement: I would like to have the 900.00 returned to us that was deducted via autodraft from our banking account after our policy was cancelled.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

The home office in Milwaukee has been in contact with Mr. **** and he is aware that we are working providing premium refunds on his policies dating to April. A surrender form was signed canceling these policies in April, but could not be located in the office of the financial representative. We're working to complete this refund as soon as possible based on this complaint and will provide a final response when that work is completed. 

***** ******* 
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

10/18/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
10/11/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was told on 7/9/2014 that 260.00 would pay me until 8/15/2014. I sent in the money and they received it 7/25/2014 was specifically told I was up to date and that the billing account was opened and everything was fine. Then on 9/17/2014 i go to check my mail and there are letters in there with bills from 6/15/2014 and 7/15/2014 and they said my billing account is closed again!! They also told me on 7/9/14 that I could cash the checks that they sent me and I did! Now on 9/17/2014 they are telling me that I have to pay over 240 to be paid till 9/15/2014 and that I have to pay the money back for the checks that they sent me that they said I could cash!!!!!!!!!!! Northwestern Mutual has the worst cumstomer service! For years now they tell me one thing and its usually always incorrect and then they never have notes or recordings of the LIES they tell you!

Desired Settlement: I want my account paid till 8/15/2014 just like the crooks told me that i was! Also I want them held accountable for telling me to cash checks that they sent me and then telling me I have to pay them back! Also if possible I would like to see if we can make them listen to the recordings of the call

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

On Sept. 30, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Mr. **** in response to this complaint. In our letter, we apologize for the misunderstanding regarding the need to return the dividend checks when the noted policies were terminated.

We inform Mr. **** in the letter that his policies and Insurance Service Account have been reinstated and are paid to Sept. 15. We also note that the ISA has closed on numerous occasions since 2013 and to avoid future terminations, Mr. **** may wish to consider paying monthly premiums through automatic electronic funds transfer through his bank account. This would also save $12 per year because there is a $1 monthly service fee charged for direct bill accounts. We’ve provided an EFT authorization and instructions.

We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns. 

***** ******* 

************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

10/1/2014 Advertising/Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Northwestern mutual used undue influence, which is illegal, by using someone I held as a confidant who I owed a favor to, to beg me and use high pressure sales tactics on me so I would buy an unnecessary life insurance. Not to mention the insurance plan was misrepresented and the insurance policy charges a ridiculously higher rate than standard insurance rate.

Desired Settlement: A cancellation has been requested and is pending. Only the cash surrender value, which is 30% of what I paid into the policy. I would like at least 70% of the full amount I have paid into the policy. (Full amount = random fees charged supposedly not part of the insurance plan)

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

On Sept. 12, a representative of the home office in Milwaukee called Ms. ***** in order to get a better understanding of her concerns. During the conversation, Ms. ***** explained that her reference to “undue influence” was about her concern with how individuals in our college internship program go about their business by contacting friends and family. We explained to Ms. ***** that our college interns are licensed individuals trained in our products and services.

Ms. ***** also alleged in her complaint that the insurance plan she purchased was misrepresented. According to Ms. *****, she asked for the least expensive product she could purchase and has seen the prices of other insurers’ policies, which are less expensive than her policy. She also indicated these other policies were term life insurance. Our representative explained that Ms. ***** had purchased permanent life insurance rather than term insurance. PLI builds cash value over time and is often used for retirement planning. Because of the accumulation feature, PLI is generally more expensive than term insurance. Ms. ***** confirmed she understood that PLI is for retirement planning.

Ms. ***** continued to pay premiums for two years but indicated she no longer wishes to do so and that she had asked for her policy to be canceled. This had been done Sept. 11 and Ms. ***** is receiving a check for all proceeds of surrendering her policy.

We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns. 

***** ******* 
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

On Sept. 30, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Ms. *****. In our letter, we address several items.

When one of our home office members spoke to Ms. ***** on Sept. 12, Ms. ***** clarified that her concerns are not about Mr. Donahue, but rather Northwestern Mutual and its college intern program. Our college interns are licensed by the states to sell insurance products within those states and they complete pre-licensing requirements. They are essentially full-fledged financial representatives who get an opportunity to build close relationships with clients, analyze financial situations, and make recommendations to help clients address insurance and financial needs.

Northwestern Mutual has a training program for our interns consistent with training offered to full-time career representatives. In addition, the office in which the college interns work provide additional support. Many work jointly with more experienced financial representatives and others receive assistance from a team of trained professionals who provide sales support, including analysis of client needs and preparation of customized plans to meet those needs.

Our program has been named as one of America’s top 10 internships from 1997 to 2014 on *********, a career information website.

Our review of the documents pertaining to Ms. *****’s work with Mr. Donahue indicate she discussed with him her desire to provide for her family in the event of her premature death. She also wished to plan for retirement. The primary purpose of permanent life insurance is to provide a death benefit, but it also accumulates cash value over time that can be used. Although Ms. ***** states that she should have been offered term insurance because it is a lower cost, term does not accumulate cash and therefore would not have been suitable for retirement planning.

When the policy was issued, we provided a contract detailing the terms and conditions as well as premium requirements. Ms. ***** had the opportunity to review the policy and under the Right to Return provision, could have returned it for a full refund of premiums for any reason. By choosing to accept, Ms. ***** also accepted the insurance protection it provided and Northwestern Mutual accepted its contractual responsibility to provide the benefits detailed.

Ms. ***** requested that her policy be surrendered and on Sept. 11, it was canceled and she was sent $430.58, which is the cash surrender value.

Although Ms. ***** may wishes she had handled her insurance planning differently, we cannot conclude that she was unduly pressured or that the policy was misrepresented to her or unsuitable. We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns. 

***** *******  
Northwestern Mutual Liaison to the Better Business Bureau 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID 10205215, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I suppose Northwestern Mutual and I will just have to agree to disagree, but I would like to make a few more comments. I did not specifically request insurance with retirement benefits, I specifically requested the cheapest insurance. While ********* recommends Northwestern Mutual's internship program, reviews on ************** **************** ******************** ***************************** *** ************* seem to suggest the internship program is mediocre at best if not a complete scam.

Regards,

********* *****

 

 

8/26/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: We have three life insurance policies with Northwestern that have a stipulation that if the insured becomes disabled then the premiums are waived. The company (Northwestern) was made aware that the insured had become fully disabled several years ago but never acknowledged this 'premium waiver' stipulation, never waived the premiums, and ultimately canceled the policies due to non payment of premiums. Now, after bringing this matter to their attention, they have acknowledged the premiums should have been waived. They are stating that they will reinstate the policies and adjust cash values. All of this appears to be moving ahead, but at a snails pace. We were informed that the process will need to be done manually and will take another 4 weeks or more to process. We feel that manual processing of these policies should not take 4 to 6 weeks, and is unacceptable. This started in March 4, 2014 , and now they say it will still be another 4-6 weeks. Since this began it has been 5 months! It is our position that it should take a reasonably informed agent a few hours to do the paperwork and they should do it immediately - manual or otherwise!

Desired Settlement: Immediate reconciliation of policies

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

On Aug. 13, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Ms. ***** in response to this complaint. In our letter, we reiterate a telephone discussion with Ms. ***** on July 24 in which we approved the requested Waiver of Benefit claim. We also explain that because of the circumstances spanning 14 years and because two policies had lapsed, it took time to calculate the needed adjustments retroactively to determine if the policies could be restored.

Those calculations have been completed, the policies and have been restored, and policy values have been brought up to date. While this was done as quickly as possible, we continue to process the accounting adjustments that may result from the premiums being waived. The premium payors will be notified if there are any adjustments.

Ms. ***** also asserts that we were made aware of the disability several years ago but did not acknowledge it or waive the premiums, which resulted in termination of two policies because she stated it was her understanding that the premiums were waived. The communications we have made over the years did not indicate premiums were waived.

We also have no record of a claim until being contacted by Ms. ***** on March 26. At that time, we promptly sent a claim kit outlining the process and the information necessary as proof of disability. The needed form was received April 17 and our evaluation began.

We also kept Ms. ***** updated on the status of the review and outstanding information needed, both in writing and in response to phone inquiries. This included a conversation July 2 in which we specified the need for additional information. The information needed was received via fax on July 22 and the claim was approved July 24.

We appreciate Ms. *****’s patience during the process and have apologized that the calculations took longer than she expected. We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns. 

***** ******* 
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

8/23/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have cancelled my policies through NW Mutual and should be refunded a total of $297.84 that has been charged over the last three months. I was informed that I would be receiving a refund for two months on August 23 and have since been charged another month. I was informed that my policy was no longer in effect and the monthly automatic withdrawals would stop as my policy had been cancelled. After I was notified that everything would be cleared up, I received a TEXT MESSAGE saying that I needed to come in and sign some paperwork - I am not comfortable with the sorts of communication and just want my refund and all communication with them to stop since I was already told that things were settled. I had asked on several occasions if I needed to prepare a formal letter.

Desired Settlement: Refund of $297.84. Stop Communication once this has been received. See Proof of Cancellation of Policy and cancelled automatic withdrawals.

Business Response: Dear BBB of Wisconsin:

In response to this complaint, we mailed a letter to Ms. ***** today in which we explain we will be glad to honor her request. She will need to complete forms sent with the letter and return them to us as noted to complete the process.

In the letter, we apologize to Ms. ***** that the forms had not been provided to her earlier. While the automatic draft information was removed, the further steps required were not taken in a timely manner. We want our service to match the quality of our products and will make that happen as soon as possible. We've provided direct contact information for one of our home office colleagues if there are any questions or concerns she has going forward.

We will consider this complaint closed when we receive the completed forms we have sent to Ms. *****. Please let me know if there are any further concerns.

***** *******
************ ****** ******* ** *** ***

8/14/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was buying an insurance policy from this company. My independent agent told me I would have to pay 78 dollars July 11th to catch up and then my normal payments would be taken out every month on the 25th. A draft of 53 dollars and some odd cents (regular premium amount) were taken out on June 16th without my permission. Another draft for the same amount was taken out on the regular date of the 25th. I have called my individual agent and customer service and they continue to say it was to play catch up when I was initially told that is what the 78 dollars was for. No one is addressing how they can take an extra 53 dollars out of my account without telling me and without authorization. I also asked to cancel and they report the cancelation does not go into affect until they mail it to me and they receive it back (which could take weeks) and my refund would be based off that. I had to keep asking questions before the rep would even offer the information of the options for them to email me the cancelation form but that would still take days. I believe this process is not fair as my refund dwindles due to their policy and I'm receiving a service I don't want. They record the calls soni am.on record stating I do not want this service. How do I get this issue resolved? I have text messages from my independent agent of him saying 78 was due and then him changing the amount once an unauthorized payment was taken from my account.

Desired Settlement: I would like the 53 and odd cents taken out July 14th refunded to me.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

On Aug. 7, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Ms. ****** in response to this complaint. In our letter, we share that we will be issuing a check to her for $53.76 and canceling her policy as requested.

By way of background, Ms. ****** applied for two insurance policies on April 25 and an Insurance Service Account was established with an initial payment requirement of $76.81. This is a short-term premium from the issue date of the policies to provide coverage during their appreciation period.

A monthly payment of $53.76 was then due each month starting May 25. The initial $76.81 payment was not honored by Ms. ******’ bank because the bank account number on the Insurance Service Account form was incorrect. On July 11, Ms. ****** was informed by our financial representative that a payment of $78 was therefore required to pay the account from April 25 to June 25. However, the monthly payment of $53.76 due June 25 was still required and this was withdrawn on July 14.

We understand Ms. ****** was not informed of the account number error that led to the July 14 withdrawal we have apologize for the confusion and inconvenience. In addition to the check for $53.76, we have offered to reimburse any bank fee incurred.

We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns. 

***** *******  

************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

Consumer Response:

[A default letter is provided here which indicates your acceptance of the business's response.  If you wish, you may update it before sending it.]

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********. Though some of the explanation for the misunderstanding was incorrect,  they did refund the draft and I find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. 

Regards,

 

******* ******

 

 

 

8/1/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was a northwest mutual account holder with financial advertiser **** *******. Through our initial introduction of the plan he described the plan to be a fail safe plan. He guaranteed I could withdraw money when I needed without penalty as well as when cancelling my plan, no penalty. Over a course of months we became personal and at ease with each other. When missing a meeting with **** *******, he text my phone a series of messages that were unprofessional, hurtful, and degrading. Then he recommended I cancel my account because it does not affect him monetarily. After the conversation ended I asked him to just send me my money. He said he would and that was the end. After 1-2 weeks which he promised id have my money, no money was deposited into my account. It had been 13 (business) days so I decided to text. He said my money should be in the account. I said OK, and waited a couple more days (very unprofessional). After the money still was not there i called him and asked why there was no money and how much it would be. He told me that he filed my money later than he said but when it comes it should be $1.97 in my account!! I asked him about all the money i had deposited and he said i get nothing back! None of this was initially told to me and explained. **** ******* and Northwest mutual are unprofessional and basically legal thieves. They use conniving ways, words, and motives to suck people into this legal scheme. Product_Or_Service: Northwest Mutual Life insurance policy

Desired Settlement: I believe that all the money or a certain percentage I deposited into Northwest Mutual with financial adviser **** *******, should be returned to myself. He was not at all a financial adviser for me. He was a financial gainer for Northwest Mutual. Nothing that happened was ever explained to me. Even with him knowing my personal life and goals, he did not care. It is unprofessional, unethical, and flat out wrong.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

On July 18, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Mr. ******** in response to this complaint. In our letter, we explain that the cash value of his policy is contractually guaranteed to grow over time. Withdrawal or surrender penalties do not apply to this type of policy.

Mr. ******** expresses concern that no surrender value or premium refund was paid. The premiums were paid with automatic bank draws through an Insurance Service Account, which is designed to allow extra money to accumulate. Northwestern Mutual returned the excess collected by depositing the excess into his bank account.

A surrender form signed June 13 was received in the home office on June 23. Because the policy was not in force long enough to accrue a cash value, a surrender value is not payable.

Northwestern Mutual offers its policyowners the ability to change permanent polices to term insurance within the first 11 months of purchase. Since our financial representative was not able to offer this alternative, we have extended it to Mr. ******** in our letter. Because this would be retroactive to issue and term premiums are less costly than permanent insurance, he would receive a refund. We have provided Mr. ******** with instructions on how he can make this change.

Finally, we have reviewed the log of text messages exchanged by our financial representative and Mr. ******** and have provided this log for his reference.

We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns.

***** *******
Northwestern Mutual Liaison to the Better Business Bureau 

5/2/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: A Northwestern Mutual agent called my home and issued a threat seeking to obtain a favor for an "important client." This harassing phone call had absolutely nothing to do with our professional relationship as client and insurance firm. NWM is aware of the issue but has failed to acknowledge any wrongdoing in this matter.

Desired Settlement: Would like to hear from NWM corporate headquarters regarding this matter. It seems as though they have no problem with financial advisers calling clients (at home) and issuing threats in order to help a VIP client.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

On April 11, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Ms. ***** in response to this complaint. We expect our field force to maintain high standards of conduct while communicating with their clients and we hope to restore her trust in our company.  

In the letter, we share that the financial representative who made the call sent a letter to Ms. ***** in March apologizing for any misunderstanding that may have occurred in the telephone discussion noted. Our financial representative indicates in the letter that he was unable to reach Mr. ***** at his place of work and called his home phone number to get alternative contact information. 

In addition, the director of network office supervision where the financial representative is contracted also sent a letter to Ms. ***** in March apologizing for any concerns the phone call caused. He also shared that he has spoken with the financial representative, who stated that it was not his intent to be threatening or harassing when he spoke with Ms. *****. In noting this in our April 11 letter, however, we have shared that we do not take Ms. *****’ comments lightly. 

We are truly sorry for any inconvenience or concern and have provided Ms. ***** with a direct contact at the home office in Milwaukee for any follow-up. 

We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns.

***** *******
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ******

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

On April 29, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Ms. ***** in response to this continued communication. As we indicated before, we expect our field force to maintain high standards of conduct while communicating with their clients and we hope to restore her trust in our company.  

In the letter, we share again that the director of network office supervision where the financial representative is contracted spoke with the financial representative. We are confident he has addressed these concerns with our representative and taken the steps necessary to prevent this unfortunate situation from happening again. However, due to confidentiality, we cannot share details of these conversations or any action taken. 

We hope that the new financial representative working with Ms. ***** will provide the professionalism and service that she rightly expects from us. We have again provided Ms. ***** with a direct contact at the home office in Milwaukee for any follow-up. 

We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns.

***** ******* ************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ******

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[My goal is to make sure that NWM financial representatives who issue personal threats to clients are dealt with in an appropriate way. I want to make sure potential NWM clients are aware of this office's track record. The NWM financial rep and the office have denied any wrong doing. I cannot accept that. I hope that these public comments will deter others from working with the particular NWM office and representative in question. The fact that NWM reps continue to say this case is closed speaks volumes. I hope that any potential NWM clients will conduct a thorough V-E-T-T-I-N-G process before even considering working with this branch of NWM. ]

Regards,

****** *****

4/27/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Northwestern Mutual did not honor the specifications of their contract in denying me Long Term Disability benefits although proof shows otherwise. They are a scam.

Desired Settlement: I request review and for them to correct it and approve my LTD benefits.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

In response to this complaint, we have mailed a letter to Ms. ***** dated March 6. In the letter, we explain that her file has been reviewed by multiple sources including the original analyst’s review, a review by the supervisor of the relevant group benefits department, medical professional reviews, and an independent review provided to Ms. ***** at her request as part of her rights under federal guidelines. After these reviews, we stand by our decision to deny the claim that was made based on the provisions of of the contract. Our March 6 response includes a copy of a letter sent Jan. 31 that explains the decision in more detail.

We have also informed Ms. ***** that if there’s additional information she feels we do not know and would like us to review, she can share it with us for consideration. We’ve also invited her to reply in writing to any further questions she has about our decision.

We consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if there are any further concerns.

***** *******
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ****** 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]

Hi BBB-

Thank you again for your assistance in this situation. Northwestern's denial is absolutely ridiculous considering the Government has deemed me completely disabled. NW is only an insurance company and should acknowledge the Govt. decision and uphold there part of the contract. But they are not. They are just making excuses so they do not have to pay out the money that they should be. I spoke with an attorney who told me that they would say that their criteria is different than that of the Govt. for declaring disability which is just another way of getting out of their responsibility as an insurance company. And sure enough, that is what they are saying now! Please pursue this and help me fight this crooked company!

Thank you kindly!

Regards,

***** *****

 

 

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

On April 14, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Ms. ***** in response to this continued correspondence. In the letter, we shared again from our March 24 letter to Ms. ***** that the denial of the claim is being upheld do a provision in the group disability insurance contract through her employer. As a result, the claim is not payable. We also share that the Social Security Administration’s decisions are a separate matter because the administration does not have to take into account the particular provisions of the contract through her employer.

We also note that Ms. ***** has already exercised her right to a review of our decision under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and that she has also communicated her concerns to the California Department of Insurance.

Because her most recent correspondence with the bureau did not provide any additional information, our determination is unchanged. We’ve also indicated we will not be responding to further correspondence unless there is additional information to share. We consider this complaint to be closed.

Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns.

***** *******
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ******

4/25/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I reached out to my advisor on December 9th to let him know that I wanted to cancel my policy. We met December 17th and he informed me that he was unable to help me as he was no ****er with Northwestern Mutual, but that he would put me in contact with a new advisor. After a couple of weeks with no contact from NM, I reached out repeatedly but was not contacted until January 22nd at which point I told the new advisor that I wanted to cancel my policy. I was not given cancellation paperwork until February 7th, at which time I filled it out and faxed it in. Though I have a screenshot that shows the fax was sent to the correct number, they didn't receive it, which I didn't discover until yet another premium was withdrawn from my account. Every day they stretch out the cancellation process is more of my premium that they have "earned", it is unacceptable for it to take 11 weeks to cancel a policy. My phone calls are not resolving the issue and I have sent many unanswered emails.

Desired Settlement: I want a refund of the premiums paid after I attempted to cancel my policy.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin: 

On April 14, the home office in Milwaukee mailed a letter to Ms. **** in response to this complaint. As we note in the letter, this is an opportunity to improve our customer service and we’ll be following up with the relevant field office regarding communications to clients when our financial representatives are in transition. 

In the letter, we also share that the home office received her signed Surrender of Policy for Cash Value on Feb. 19 and an analyst spoke to her on Feb. 20. Ms. **** shared that she had requested that the January and February policy premiums be refunded since she had contacted her financial representative in December about canceling the policy as she notes. As a result, the policy was terminated with the premium paid to Dec. 16 and a surrender check for cash value was issued. Our records indicate the check was cashed Feb. 24. The premium refund was included separately in the closing refund and a check for that amount was issued March 3. 

After a review of the policy details, we have confirmed that Ms. **** received the correct policy surrender value and premium refund and that no additional money is payable. We therefore consider this complaint to be closed. 

Please let me know if there are any further questions or concerns.

***** ******* 
************ ****** ******* to the Better Business Bureau  

4/13/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I made monthly installments on a life policy that did not go into effect. It was explained to me that I would receive a refund within 7 to 10 days this was on Tuesday December 10, 2013. On Monday December 23, 2013 I contacted NWM and was told another 7-10 days. Once again I received no benefit for the money that they are holding. The contract was never signed so there was never any money due from me to them. The payments were made in anticipation of completing the contract, which never happened. There is no reason for NWM to hold my money. On Monday December 30, 2013 I was told by NWM that my ACH was "done". Completely false. If it was "done", I would have the money. Their Policy seems to be that they tell the customers it is "done" when they mean that they have authorized the payment within the next few business days. This explains why NWM could not provide any documentation or verification of the transfer being "done'. Today December 31, 2013, I was informed that due to tomorrow being a Holiday, I would receive the money on Thursday, 23 days after I was told 7-10 days. If I was told 23 days, this would be fine. I recently quit a job to start my own business and I did plan for this. I did not plan for my wife's company to down size and for her income to drop 1500/mo and our family of 5 lost our health insurance. This is not NWM's problem or concern. The issue is that I counted on this large A+ rated insurance company to do what they stated they would do. I could have planned for 24 days to receive the money. Instead, I get to deal with this falling set of dominoes because I trusted a company that told me I could trust them.

Desired Settlement: As a person that has been part of multi million dollar businesses, I know that by holding a customers money can be beneficial to the company. You probably were able to make a good return over these 3 weeks. It is just bad policy to lie to your customer about it. This entire 3 weeks could have been done with just a few mouse clicks, and it probably will be. The real insult is to tell me you did the refund but 'it takes a couple days to hit my account'. That is nothing short of misleading smoke and mirrors. When I click on "complete payroll" the money is in my employees account in as little as an hour, 6 hours tops. Stop misleading and do what you state you will do.

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

In response to the initial complaint from Mr. ******* dated Jan. 1, we mailed a letter to him dated Jan. 15. In it, we acknowledged that in a meeting Dec. 10 with one of our financial representatives, Mr. ******* decided not accept a pending contract and that he would receive a refund of extra premiums paid. Unfortunately, the request was not handled promptly in our field office and was not received in the home office in Milwaukee until Dec. 26. Once it was received, the cancelation and refund were handled immediately and premiums were credited as indicated.

In the letter, we apologize for the delay that occurred as well as any miscommunication that also occurred during that time. We asked Mr. ******* to contact us with any further questions or concerns.

With our response to Mr. ******* dated Jan. 15, we consider the complaint closed. Our response to the Better Business Bureau was delayed until today, which was the first time the bureau allowed us to reply to this complaint through its computerized system.

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.   

***** *******
Northwestern Mutual Liaison to the Better Business Bureau

3/31/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
2/18/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Complaint Details Unavailable
1/17/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have filed a claim for a disability starting 4/15/2013,and am trying to gain update information but continually get letters that say he will contact me next week but never does, seems as though he wants to avoid me.I have called multiple times but my representative refuses to call me back.

Desired Settlement: Communication, I at least deserve that

Business Response: Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

In response to this complaint, we are mailing a letter to Mr. ***** in which we explain we have reviewed the entire claim file and are taking action. This includes asking Mr. ***** for specific information in order to complete the calculation of certain benefits. Once we have that information, we will be able to complete the claim.

We also apologize to Mr. ***** for not providing detailed updates and for not responding to his phone calls on a timely basis. He rightly expects better service from us, and it is not the way that Northwestern Mutual typically handles such claims. We've provided direct contact information of a specialist in our home office for any questions or concerns he has going forward.

We will consider this complaint closed when we receive the necessary information from Mr. ***** to complete the claim. Please let me know if there are any further concerns.

***** *******
************ ****** ******* ** *** ****** ******** ******

12/11/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Over 30 years ago Northwestern Mutual sold me a $100,000 '65 term life' policy. I turn 65 this month, which is when payment of monthly premiums ends, and they have sent me notification of this. They also notified me that my Accumulated cash value and dividends (which I always left to accumulate there) equal $56,258.29. They also show a total death benefit of $89,384. When I called them, I was told that this death benefit was less than the $100,000 I originally purchased because their investments had fallen short of their projected performance. They also told me that the $89,384 included my $56,258.29 accumulated cash value and dividends... What I think I should get at death is $100,000 plus my accumulated cash value and dividends. I asked for a copy of the original policy, which they promised, but it has not arrived after months of waiting.

Desired Settlement: I would like a copy of my original contract, plus written assurance that the policy will pay the $100,000 death benefit I purchased, plus all accumulated cash values and dividends, upon my death. Thank you.

Business Response:

Dear Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin:

We have sent Mr. ****** a copy of the policy he requested.  We included a letter to him addressing the points he made to the BBB.  The letter provides Mr. ****** with the name and phone number of a senior customer service representative who can help him.

As Mr. ****** stated to the BBB, the policy he purchased was designed to provide $100,000 in coverage through age 65 at which time premiums would stop. 

He also chose a policy that used dividends paid on his life insurance over the past 30 years to gradually buy whole life insurance coverage that would be fully paid for at age 65.  This allows Mr. ****** the option of now continuing his coverage for the rest of his life with no further costs. Alternately he may surrender the whole life coverage and receive the policy’s cash value. The policy language states that the exact amount of “paid up” coverage at 65 cannot be guaranteed. 

With this response, we consider the complaint closed.  Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.   

Contact ***** ******** ************ ******

 


 

 

Consumer Response:

On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM, ***** *** ****** ****** ************************** wrote:

 
 I received a copy of my original policy and a thorough explanation of my current situation. I am satisfied with the outcome
*****

 

8/4/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: My policy number is *******. I haved called the office in *** ********* asking why for months my payments of $50.00 only reduces my loan by 0.48 dollars! No return call. I also sent the same message over the internet to the home office. No response. My ISA No. is *******

Desired Settlement: How my $50.00 is applied in reduction of indebtedness.

Business Response: Dear BBB of Wisconsin:

We're sending a letter to Mr. ** ****** today in response to this complaint and an online request he made July 3. This is in addition to a telephone discussion July 17.

In the letter, we provide detail about how interest is accrued and loan payments are applied. Briefly, if a loan is taken from the policy, we no longer have the full cash value amount to invest. The company relies on investment earnings from the entire cash value to fund its future obligations. Therefore, an appropriate rate of interest, specified in the policy, must be charged to recoup the investment earnings lost.
 
When a loan payment is received, payments are first applied to the interest and then principal unless requested differently. We have provided a copy of the available loan history for this policy, which includes a record of how interest compounded and how the loan has been reduced when payments were applied.
 
We now consider this complaint to be closed. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
 
***** *******
************ ****** ******* ** *** ***


Customer Review(s)

The customer review(s) below are un-filtered. These positive and negative reviews are not used in the calculation of the BBB Rating. If you wish to file a complaint and request a resolution to your issue please click here. This customer review section is not BBBs complaint resolution system. Customer Reviews are the subjective opinion of the individual who posted the review and not of Better Business Bureau. A customer review is not posted on a business if a BBB complaint on the same issue(s) is also filed. BBB cannot guarantee the accuracy of any customer review and is not responsible for the content of any customer review. Public comments are not customer reviews.

Customer Reviews Summary

6 Customer Reviews on Northwestern Mutual
Neutral Experience (0 reviews)
Fusion Chart
Fusion Chart