Old Mutual SA under fire for alleged mistreatment of former staff and clients

Old Mutual faces mistreatment claims. Picture: File

Old Mutual faces mistreatment claims. Picture: File

Published Mar 11, 2024


Old Mutual South Africa has come under fire on social media for allegedly short-changing the payments of customers’ policies and forcing employees to pay for missing client instalments.

As of last week, social media has been abuzz with numerous posts from dissatisfied customers and former employees who spoke of the poor treatment they had received when dealing with the insurance company.

X user @ceekaylab, who claimed to have been a former employee of the company, went as far as alleging that she was left with a bill of R160 000 from the company which she has been paying for the past four years.

“All @OldMutualSA financial advisor’s get fined all the commission they made when they leave the company. I am sitting with a bill of R160 000 that I have been paying for the past four years. So are all my 17 former colleagues. Old Mutual mistreats both their clients and staff. Sad,” she tweeted.

This set off a chain reaction where other former employees and customers started sharing their experiences when dealing with the company.

Another user, Sebabatso Molefi (@Seba_S_M), shared how another former employee, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed to have experienced similar treatment while working at Old Mutual during 2018.

In screenshots shared alongside the comment, the former employee claimed they had worked at Old Mutual between August and November 2018, where a clause existed in their contracts that if an individual missed a contribution on the policy, the employee who signed up the individual must pay for the missed contribution out of their own salary.

“So after I left in November, because I got a new job, I received an email from them saying that a client I had signed up had missed a payment and I was thus responsible for paying the missed contribution. They threatened legal action if I didn’t, so I paid it just to get them off my back.”

Molefi also claimed the company had been giving her and her mother the runaround in paying out her pension.

In a series of tweets, Molefi claimed her mother had invested R3 million of her pension money in Old Mutual, and despite obtaining a court order on December 14, 2023, ordering the company to make two payments to a trust account of their client’s attorneys, no such payments had been made to date.

“Dear @OldMutualSA please advise why you are refusing to release my mother’s money even though a court order has been provided. You are in contempt of court and I am about to lose my cool right now,” Molefi wrote.

A number of celebrities and media personalities joined in the conversation, sharing their experiences with the company, including musician Zakes Bantwini and radio personality Sizwe Dhlomo.

“Yey labantu dinangwe, only R380 we received as a payout for my mother’s life cover with Old Mutual,” tweeted the musician.

Dhlomo responded to the original posters’ complaints, tagging a response from the company on handling the matter and saying that he would be doing an entire show about them.

Complaints over the issue of Old Mutual payments are not new. In 2019 the country was left shocked after videos of a family from KwaZulu-Natal decided to drop off their dead relative’s body at the Old Mutual offices in Stanger, in order to force the insurer to pay out their funeral policy claim.

In a video that circulated on social media at the time, the two sisters are seen carrying the body which was placed in a big blue bag into the offices and out of the Old Mutual offices back into the undertaker’s vehicle only after the claim was paid.

By Sunday afternoon, the company was yet to issue an official statement regarding the allegations. However, a tweet on their official X account indicated that they were dealing with the Molefi matter.

“The Molefi issue is a sensitive matter involving the private financial affairs of two individuals. We cannot engage on it publicly in this forum without breaching their right to confidentiality.

“We are in contact with both parties to resolve the matter. Old Mutual remains committed to delivering on our obligations to our clients while ensuring that we operate within the regulations of our industry and the law,” read the comment.

Attempts to get comment from Old Mutual were unsuccessful at the time of publication.