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SA Life Companies - Your Customer Service Stinks

06 December 2012, 10:37
As the major breadwinner in my family, I have always taken it upon myself to be financially responsible. To this end, in addition to facilities offered by my employer, I have several retirement annuities (RAs), extensive life and disability cover, short term insurance, and medical aid.

Pretty much all the major life firms in SA are represented... Liberty / Stanlib, PPS / Sanlam, Old Mutual, etc.

That doesn't stop at least one of these companies contacting me on a monthly basis, wanting to come to me, to review my portfolio. I always decline, because I know my stuff is up to date.

Of late, I have been nagging my wife to sign up for an RA and some life insurance, since it is the financially responsible thing to do.
I gave her some suggestions regarding which companies to contact, which we duly did.

Only Sanlam was prepared to come out to her, to discuss her requirements, and provide some proposals. As it turned out though, the representative never kept the appointment, and didn't even bother to call.

None of the other companies was prepared to send out a rep, preferring instead to send their forms and marketing material by email. Which would be fine, if they actually bothered to send the email!

Outsurance, which punts both their new life cover product, as well their differentiation when it comes to covering women, stated that they were not allowed to send stuff by email! How absurd, right? Instead a supervisor offered to contact her back at a convenient time. That's right, we're still waiting for the phone call.

I would desperately love to lodge a complaint about each of these companies on Hello Peter, but frankly, if they can't spare me some time, why should I even bother?

In the end, my wife popped into a branch of Old Mutual Bank, whilst cruising the local mall one day, and as luck would have it, the branch had a representative from the life division present, and he assisted my wife.

I have perused the RA and life cover offerings from Old Mutual, they are in alignment with my expectations, and as such we will be taking them up, even though we haven't been able to compare them with their rivals. Not for lack of trying on our part.

The government and independent financial types all encourage us to make sound financial decisions, to save for retirement, to have some life cover. Why do the fat cat life companies make this so difficult?
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