I moved to Australia with my family on 13 August 2008. I contated the Customer Services department at Discovery Health to inform them of my cancellation of my medical aid as well as new contact details of myself (including e-mail address and my mothers' postal address details in Gauteng, South Africa). I still have the e-mail from the Customer Services Consultant where he cc'ed me on an e-mail to the department who were supposed to update my details on 1 August 2008, specifically stating that we were moving to Australia.
2 weeks ago we were informed by my father-in-law in Bloemfontein, South Africa, that I debt collector had turned up at his business (which was my previous work address), stating that we were listed on ITC and had to pay R2500.00 outstanding to Discovery Health. He paid the amount.
I have copied the e-mail correspondence between myself and a consultant at Discovery Health after her reply to my request as to why they never contacted me was that that had indeed tried to contact me. Sent me 4 letters (which to this day has not arrived at the postal address I supplied on cancellation - my mother will confirm this) and tried to contact me on our South African contact numbers. No attempt was made to contact me on my e-mail address or the new postal address that I supplied.
My last e-mail to her, has gone unanswered. In there I wanted her to supply me proof of the fact that these letters were sent to the postal address which I supplied as well as why my husband was listed on ITC while I was the principle member. There could be proof or explanations for this, but Discovery has decided to ignore me.
I feel (as per my comment below) that with so many people leaving the country, they should have something in place in their system to be able to contact people who have moved overseas.
I do not dispute the amount we had to pay. I dispute the fact that they placed us on ITC and caused major embaressment with my husband's parents because of their lack of professionality.
Ps c the copied correspondence below.
RE: Discovery Health account
From: Johann and Gillian Willemse (email@example.com)
Sent: 13 May 2009 01:33:24 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com)
Good Day Pamela,
I don't understand. The last e-mail I referred to (and attached) in my previous e-mail, I received confirmation that the operator confirmed my LEAVING SOUTH AFRICA and moving to AUSTRALIA. How is it possible Discovery would think it possible to CONTACT me by sending letters to a POSTAL ADDRESS in SOUTH AFRICA and by trying to phone me on a SOUTH AFRICAN number???? What about my e-mail address?
The second thing I don't understand is your statement: "Since the amount is now paid, we have sent a request for your name to be cleared off ITC. Please note that our banking details are included in the document attached. Please email me the proof of payment in order for this to be done." What do you mean??
I want confirmation of the postal address where these letters were sent to AND I want to know, why if I am the principle member, my husband's details appear on the attached letter? Does this mean all the letters and the ITC listing was in his name???
I would appreciate your speedy response to a matter that could have been sorted without any problems if someone at Discovery Debt Collection had just taken the time to understand the situasion and handled it appropriately. With so many people leaving the country, is there no other way for Discovery to make sure that they can be contacted after they've left the country other than to send the debt collector if the SOUTH AFRICAN details don't produce results? This is obviously part of the customer service department. I would appreciate feedback from them as how they handle situasions like this.
Mrs. Gillian Willemse
"Do not let the past dictate who you are, but let it become part of who you will be."
Subject: Discovery Health account
Date: Tue, 12 May 2009 10:54:40 +0200
Goodday Mr Willemse
We have received your query regarding the amount of R2228.00 that was outstanding to Discovery Health. I have attached an account of this amount.
Also, please note that we sent you 4 letters informing you about this debt; on the 5th September 2008, the 7th October 2008, the 14th November 2008 and the 16th January 2009 respectively. We did not receive any response; after which we attempted to contact you by telephone, to no avail.
After a certain time has passed and the debt is not paid, our system will automatically list a member on ITC or hand over the account to an external debt collection agency; as it happened in your case Mr Willemse. Since the amount is now paid, we have sent a request for your name to be cleared off ITC.
Please note that our banking details are included in the document attached. Please email me the proof of payment in order for this to be done.
Thank you very much for your query.
Member Debt Administrator
tel: +27 31 576 7166
fax: +27 31 576 7318
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Discovery Holdings Limited
Registration number: 1999/007789/06
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