Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Insurance men who go check to see that nobody is escaping 

While I’m in the mood for a rant, I think I’ll compose a letter to Momentum.

Dear Momentum,

As you may remember, I recently cancelled my pension contributions. You then sent me a letter detailing a charge of $50 for this service, despite the fact that all of your costs are in Rands, and all of your employees in South Africa. The investment is offshore, denominated 50/50 in Euros and dollars, so apparently that means you can charge me in dollars if it suits you. You also charged me almost $1900 as a deduction from the value of my investment to cover you against commission charges that you had not yet recouped. These are commission charges that you paid someone to sell your product to me.

I understand that you have every right to charge me pretty much whatever the hell you want according to your contract, which of course I did not read before I signed my application, but this seems a bit steep. Since the tax statement that you sent me last year was denominated in the wrong currency, you will understand that I am a little sceptical of your abilities when it comes to getting the details right, so I requested a breakdown of how you arrived at this calculation.

The total commission you agreed to pay the broker was apparently a shade over R17,000. At the date I signed the agreement, this translated to about $1600. Yet you say that I still owe you nearly R1900 worth of commission. The commission was paid to the broker in Rands, so I confess to being a bit mystified as to how you think I owe you more than you paid him in the first place, after two years of paying it off. Perhaps one of your clever actuaries got his signs wrong? Either the Rands in which I am paying premiums are converted to dollars to pay off the commission, or the Rands are used to reduce an outstanding balance of commission payable in Rands. In the first case, the outstanding dollar commission should be less than it was when it started (it’s not). In the second case, the outstanding commission is continuously variable, and thanks to the strengthening of the Rand against the dollar, the amount outstanding is more than was paid in the first place. Whoopee.

In either case, your invoicing of me in dollars for costs which are incurred in Rands seems like a con. Or you are complete fuckwits. The latter conclusion is supported by the statement you sent me with the right figures but the wrong currency. Given either scenario, please explain to me why the hell I should invest any of my hard earned loot in one of your schemes ever again?

Love and kisses


PS: What kind of a product name is “Investo”? It sounds like a magician. Or a clown. Maybe it is spot on after all.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?