Why Old Mutual customers are cancelling their policies in protest

  • A single post on X claiming that insurer Old Mutual was withholding pension money creating a social media boycott #OldMutualMustFall.
  • Users shared stories of non-payment from the company, and some are even cancelling their policies in anger.
  • Despite the social media barrage, Old Mutual reported on Tuesday that it has seen an “exceptional growth” in profits.

A boycott that swelled on X has led to customers of Old Mutual claiming instances of non-payment from the financial services firm en masse. Some customers are even posting screenshots of policy cancellation messages after a user complained that the company had withheld their mother’s pension payment.

User Sebabatso Molefi posted on X that Old Mutual was refusing to pay her mother’s money “even though a court order had been provided.” The post sent the social media platform into a frenzy, with other users emerging claiming similar stories of non-payment.

The hashtag #OldMutualMustFall was trending Wednesday morning on X, accompanied by people either stating they were planning to purchase cover from Old Mutual but will no longer do so or cancelling their policies at the insurer.

“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,” Old Mutual said in a statement posted to the platform.

“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 has settled with Molefi and her family after a private meeting was held between both parties. The pension payout from Old Mutual to Molefi was worth R3 million according to an IOL report. Consistent public apologies from the company and evidence that it has in fact settled the matter with the original complainant has not been enough for irate South Africans.

Seemingly the issue transcends Molefi, and her complaints merely revealed a significant amount of unhappy Old Mutual customers.

Despite backlash, Old Mutual’s stock price in the JSE has remained steady. It dipped by about 0.33 percent this morning, but it is in fact up by 1 percent in the last five days. The company, the largest insurer in Africa, is seemingly weathering the storm. On Tuesday, amid the social media boycott, it reported “exceptional growth.”

According to Bloomberg, Old Mutual’s profit after tax for 2023 is likely sitting at R7.6 billion. In a trading statement, the company said that it was raking in higher profits “due to strong operational performance underpinned by exceptional growth in new business and value of new business as we continue to gain market share across our segments.”


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