Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bogus Liberty Life Marketing

Liberty Life is supposedly a reputable financial company. If they were so reputable in the past, they blew it today. They ignored the fact that my wife's number (and mine) is on the DMA's Do Not Call list, and called.
In fairness, their Joeleen from their Customer Relations department (011 408-1987) was horrified to find out about this, and has promised to investigate. What I want to know is why would Liberty Life allow any of its agents to do this kind of marketing? Surely they understand that it makes them look like desperate con artists out to make a quick buck? Do they really want that kind of reputation?
Update 12th August: Liberty has no idea who "Vincent" was, but he doesn't work for them. I believe Mr Motete, the guy who called me, because they didn't have my cell phone number on record, but they did have a policy going back to 1993 when I bought my first home. Somewhere out there some rogue agent is violating Liberty's own marketing policies and running a call centre posing as Liberty Life. I hope they catch the bastard and take away all his clients and take back all his commission. Then they can sue him for damages and violation of the ECT Act and throw his sorry arse in jail.


Nebb said...

Mmm... I too have a policy with Libery Life. When I signed up it was said to be the best medical insurance policy to date, at least until the government put a stop to the whole medical insurance thing. Even today, my current medical aid advisor is telling me to keep the policy, since the benefits of it are still pretty good when compared to most on the market today.

When I first applied, the liberly consultant told me that Liberty Life pooled all the money contributed by its members over the last 'how many ever' years together, and that since doing so the amount had grown to "(insert impressive amount of money here)", and that they now earn huge amounts of interest from this pool alone. Furthermore from this interest alone, they can cover all the medical aid expenses incurred from payouts etc, which they monitor to ensure the capital portion is never affected. A portion of my contribution (50% I was told) however cash goes to an investment company, which invests your money in stocks, for extra return on the policy maturation.

My payment started at around R350 per month, increasing 10% each year, up until the age of 65, after which I was told I would receive a payout of around 2 million rand. Projected of course, and taking into consideration inflation, etc.

This was however, not my main reason for signing up. It was due the fact that I do a lot of hazardous sports, especially those that usually require licensing and additional medical aid, that I signed up. Liberty covered these sports without any hesitation. Great, I thought. But this is now more than 5 years ago, and now, besides the odd track day or motorboat race, I don't really spend as much time doing any hazardous sports. So I figured, let me see how the investment portion of the policy is doing, since I may want to increase/decrease this.

It took me over 2 months to get this information, eventually after having my broker request this information numerous times, I received news that there had been less than 1% growth on my investment portion. When I asked them as to why, I was told that the fund was not exactly managed. I only wish I had recorded that call.

Now I'm no genius, but shouldn't one of our largest insurers be notifying their customers that their money is NOT getting invested in the way they were initially told it was? Its disappointing they went this way, as I am now fortunate enough to have a little more money to invest into other ventures. I would have perhaps looked into Liberty for investment purposes, but the fact that there is a possibility nobody could be looking after your money, it makes me wonder if they could perhaps be offsetting losses against investments. I guess I'll play it safe and go with Allan Grey instead for this purpose, but now they've opened up a can of worms I'm definitely going to pursue.

My rant... :)

Donn Edwards said...

"Never ask an insurance salesman if you need more insurance" - Author unknown.

Always get this kind of promise in writing as part of a quote.