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Opinion

'I wasn't told 6-month payment holiday would add 20 months to my loan term'

13 October 2021 8:22 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Sanlam
Wendy Knowler
call centre
call centre agents
payment holiday
consumer issues
DirectAxis
loan repayment
loan terms
payment term
loan term

Wendy Knowler follows up on the case of a DirectAxis client who feels she wasn't informed of what she was letting herself in for.
© shutterhero/123rf.com

A DirectAxis client approached consumer journalist Wendy Knowler when she discovered the six-month payment holiday she accepted during the Covid-19 pandemic had added an unexpected amount of time to her loan term.

What it has done is extend her payment term not by six months, not even by 12, but by a full 20 months.

This of course also hugely increases the amount of money she has to pay back.

She’ll end up paying R325 600 for that R120 000, or R61 600 more than she would have, had she not taken that payment holiday.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Did she in fact have a legitimate contract with DirectAxis?

In the process of following up over the past week, Knowler asked the client to apply for the voice recording of her call with the agent.

They [Sanlam's PR company] got back to me this week to say they played it to her over the phone on Friday... I asked them to send her her own copy so that she could listen to the recording in her own time on her own terms.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

It turns out Indira hadn't had that call, she hadn't listened to the recording...

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Indira told Knowler she had filled in the form she'd been requested to, and sent it to the legal department.

The consumer ninja was then informed on Tuesday that what had been officially relayed to her had actually been "a misunderstanding"

Indira was finally able to listen to the recording today (Wednesday).

What I wanted to establish is how much they disclosed in terms of the impact... She initially took three months, and then another three months, that was the maximum.. On the first call they didn't say how many months it was going to add...

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Knowler doesn't believe that the client in this case was able to make an informed decision.

DirectAxis also acknowledged that they did not contact her when the follow-up email sent to her bounced back.

I've got a big issue with telesales calls or anything conducted over the phone where the important things are read very fast... I asked Indira if she even heard the word 'term extension' and she said no... Then at some point she must have extended it by another three months.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

With the late release of the recording Knowler has not had time to go back to the company and find out if they will do anything about this case.

Part 3 of the saga will be coming up on The Money Show, she promises.

Listen to the full story in the audio below:




13 October 2021 8:22 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Sanlam
Wendy Knowler
call centre
call centre agents
payment holiday
consumer issues
DirectAxis
loan repayment
loan terms
payment term
loan term

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