Right - today I am on the war path.
My domestic worker had her cellphone and wallet stolen by a pickpocket about July last year. This has set of a chain of events culminating in this rant!
At that stage (and I was still blissfully unaware, she was deeply in debt) Absa had lent her R20 000 - twenty thousand, (no typo) Morkels had given her R6000-00 credit and Edgars had given her R8000, Woolworths kindly granted her R7000 credit, she had a Cell C contract and a current account with Capitec Bank - I reiterate she is a domestic worker and she has no other form of income. Her salary is below R3000 per month and she has 3 dependents at home - she is widowed.
Because her phone was stolen, I became aware of the problem as I started getting the calls on my cellphone (her back up number) - realising the magnitude I told her to sort her problems out and go and see a debt counsellor. She did.
She went under debt review and this counsellor has given me proof of all the agreements that the various creditors have signed agreeing to this lady going under debt review.
So this SHOULD be the end of it - except that she will continue to pay this off for ever and ever and ever.
Except that since October when all this took place the calls from the creditors have not ceased. And since January this year the debt collecting calls have without a doubt escalated again.
So today I take the phone and a collection clerk from Edgars tells me that my domestic worker MUST pay more as the amount they are getting from the Debt Review company is not sufficient for them.
Me "I beg your pardon"
Them " She MUST increase her repayments to us as the amount from the Debt Review company is not sufficient"
Me 'So you have received the disbursements?"
Them "yes, but as we said we need another R800 from her by the end of February!!!"
Me ".........silence....." *gobsmacked* - for 30 whole seconds before I utter words that may not be repeated on this here, decent, forum.
Them "Did you hear me?"
Well at this point I told them go and jump, (haha believe that if you wish) , never to phone here or any number on or off my premises or related to anyone I know, ever again, as I will go and lay a harrasment (sp?) charge against every person in this particular clerks upline until I reach the CEO of Edcon.
At this point noticing how angry I am the domestic worker timidly tells me ABSA had phoned her neighbour last week and given the neighbour exactly the same story!! (The neighbour was obviously used as a referee at the time of opening that account)....
So I phoned the Debt Review guy and he says...HE is ready to jump off a bridge and quit the industry because this behaviour from the banks and corporates is escalating dramatically, especially since Jan 2011. He feels that their behaviour has negatively affected at least 2 of his own clients (putting their jobs in jeopardy) in the last few weeks and he understands why there are so many debt related suicides.
Bottom line is the corporates KNOW and they don't CARE and if we don't educate ourselves as the public and stand up to these bullies we will continue to lose forever. PS! He also said that exactly the same thing happens with prescribed debts. They are going back to their books of 10 and 15 years ago and trying to recoup THOSE debts.
I think they are in deep dwang and we, as a people, need to recognise this and arm ourselves with knowledge and paper trails of agreements!
*PS Dave, this forum does not have enough of those emoticon thingies to express what I am thinking and feeling at the moment*