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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

‘We don’t want a statement, we want you to pay’: Old Mutual still under fire from customers

Old Mutual continues to face public backlash following customer complaints.

Despite issuing an apology on Tuesday, Old Mutual’s efforts to explain why it had not paid a customer their pension have been met with public outrage and skepticism.

This follows the company’s public relations crisis after Sebabatso Molefi accused the company of defying a court order to pay her mother’s pension.

Since the allegations surfaced on social media, Old Mutual has been received backlash from the public.

Customers complain about Old Mutual

Molefi’s social media post about the company opened up a can of worms when other people also shared their experiences with Old Mutual.

According to Molefi, she and her mother’s lawyers met with the company on Tuesday to discuss the matter of how and when the insurance provider would pay her mother.

“The meeting was positive. Old Mutual tabled two options towards a full and final settlement of the matter,” she said in her post.

ALSO READ: Old Mutual faces public backlash amid allegations of defying court order

We have requested further information/clarity on each, subsequent to which we will take the final decision,” said Molefi.

Furthermore, Old Mutual released a statement of apology “for the way the issue was handled”.

The insurance company acknowledged the positive outcome after the meeting it had with the Molefi family.

“However, Old Mutual’s reluctance to engage and debate on X stems from the complexities of the case and our duty to protect the personal information of the individuals involved.

“The sheer number of customers that have voiced their unhappiness on X with regards to our levels of service is of huge concern to us. We apologise unreservedly to all customers who have been unhappy with the service we have provided and we are continuously looking at ways to improve this,” the company’s statement reads.

Tarnished reputation?

However, Old Mutual’s apology was still met with public outrage.

Customers expressed a loss of trust in the company being able to serve them fairly and respectfully.

A number of customers also threatened to leave the company due to their fear of being “the next victims”.

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Some called for Old Mutual to pay settlements to all the other customers who were “swindled”.

Furthermore, X users criticised the company for its handling of another situation involving a man who wanted a payout after his son’s death. The Old Mutual branch called police when the customer got angry at the apparent lack of service from the company.

Old mutual replied: “Security measures had to be put in place to address the safety concerns of our branch employees and customers due to security threats.”

Speaking on eNCA, reputation management specialist Dominik Heil said Old Mutual was in a predicament because customers are complaining about a core part of its business.

“If you’re in financial services, whether you deliver the goods surely will be very important for your reputation.

“I suppose the important thing for the long term effect will be: is this a relatively singular incident or will there be lots of repetitions, especially in the public space?

“And in this case, the answer is already on the web, with lots of people saying ‘look we have similar issues’.”