'We recover R165m for our readers'

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Image: 123RF/zerbor

Consumer Line has for the past 12 years recouped R165m on behalf of our readers who had either been cheated or misinformed about their rights when signing deals.

The service is free, and this year alone we have managed to recover R11.7m.

Unreasonably delayed pension payouts, cybercrime and motor vehicle problems topped the list this year.

Cases of nondisclosure when taking out an insurance cover were among some of the complaints that Consumer Line could not help resolve.

This because in most cases the consumer was dishonest at the inception of the contract.

This included cases where the insured client bought a car and, in an attempt to reduce an insurance premium, registered himself as a regular driver instead. The insurance industry views this as fraud.

However, we successfully helped Lindiwe Nkuna whose vehicle was damaged beyond repair after she had left it in the care of Executive Carport in March.

The arrangement was that she would leave the car at their receiving office and a driver in the employ of the company would then take it to their parking lot nearby.

Later in the day, she was informed that her Mercedes-Benz C180 Coupe got damaged while being driven to the parking area.

Nkuna was also told not to lodge a claim from her insurance company as theirs would take care of the claim for the damage.

The details of the accident provided to her were sketchy and suspicious, said Nkuna.

Her car was eventually written off and she was offered a new car following Consumer Line's intervention.

Victims of cybercrime, Ofentse Ramarumo, Jeremia Ngcobo, Peter Mosiane, Cheryl Daniels and Zanele Sekhame got a refund after their money was pilfered.

Ngcobo's bank account was emptied within two hours while flying to Eastern Cape while Ramarumo's was also cleaned out after his cellphone number was ported without his authorisation.

Ramarumo said he had taken a R50,000 loan which was deposited into his Absa account on August 24.

He subsequently received a notification stating that he had applied for a SIM swap, and if not he had to call the number provided which he did, only to be told there was nothing wrong with his cellphone.

He said he later noticed there were no notifications coming through his cellphone after making purchases at the Maponya Mall.

Upon further investigation, he discovered that a SIM swap was done in KwaZulu-Natal.

Consumer Line also helped Molai Lebeko on a case that involved the rights of unborn children to inherit.

Lebeko was five-months pregnant when her husband died and the mineworkers provident fund had for nine years refused to acknowledge the rights of her child after the child had been born.

Lebeko and her child were eventually paid what was due to them after the publication of their terrible experience.

Complaints of inflated car prizes with tempered mileage came through in big numbers.

Lungile Makhanya and Zenzo Sibanda were refunded R250,000 they had paid for a truck with a mileage that had been tempered with.

Jadine Bennet's story was the most horrific. She wanted to trade in her car for a second-hand vehicle.

Her car ended up disappearing at the dealer. Consumer Line traced the car to Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal.

Complaints about road accident and government pension fund were very few this year. One Road Accident Fund victim was paid R7m as a result of our intervention.

One ex-gratia payment was also made to a reader whose vehicle was hijacked while being driven by his son.

Nedbank paid him in good faith even though his car was regularly driven by his son.

The reader had not disclosed to the insurance company that his son drove the vehicle more than he did.

Consumer Line would like to thank all service providers for their cooperation.

We will close from December 21 to January 20.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.

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