Tuesday, November 18, 2014

First For Women Insurance - For Useless, Deceitful, Unethical Non-Service!

20140925

Hi there,

Please could you verify for me what the arrangement is around my tracking device payment? I see the Matrix payment went off my account this month and I was told that FFW would cover this payment for me?

Thank you! :)

Kind regards,
Christina Engela

20140926

Good day Miss Engela

Thank you for your email dated 25.09.2014, regarding your below tracker payment query.

Please note that we have received an updated your tracker certificate on your policy.

Kindly be advised, we are not affiliated with Matrix and unable to take on your Matrix premium payment and make them part of your policy premium.

Please note that you will be debited by Martrix as per your agreement with them and we will only debit your policy premium.

If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regards

Tshifhiwa Botha
Policy Service Consultant - Contact Centre

20140930

Dear FFW,

I am well aware that Matrix and FFW are separate entities.

Before we get into an ugly argument, I request that you consult the recording of my conversation with you on the day I agreed to accept the policy with FFW.

The salesperson was very clear that all I had to do was forward proof of my contract with Matrix to show what sort of tracking device and cover I have with them (which you have received), and the cost of my Matrix debit fee would be deducted from my FFW debit order. In point of fact, I clarified this with the salesperson several times in the run of that conversation - and this alone was one of the main reasons I decided to move to FFW.

Kindly do so, and get back to me asap as to why this has not yet transpired.

Thank you.

Kind regards,

Christina Engela

20141001

Good Day Miss Engela

Thank you for your email dated 30/09/2014, with regards to your below enquiry.

We have escalated the enquiry to the relevant department to listen to the sales conversation recordings and you will be contacted shortly.

Should you require further assistance, please feel free to contact us.

Regards

Gugu Zwane
Policy Service Consultant - Contact Centre

20141117

Dear First For Women.

I have been patiently waiting since the 25th of September (escalated to the 'relevant department' on the 30th of September) for you to give me feedback on my query regarding my motor vehicle insurance costs.

It is now the 17th of NOVEMBER and I still have had no further response to this query.

This is UNACCEPTABLE.

Meanwhile, you have continued to deduct more than my agreed premium from my account.

I believe your failure to respond indicates that you have found in the recorded telephone conversation you were going to look for, EXACTLY what I told you you would find - that your agent promised me that FFW would waive the cost of my monthly tracking device fees.

You have had more than a month to handle a simple inquiry. Kindly respond within the next working day, or I will take it further.

Sincerely.

Christina Engela

20141118

Dear First For Women,

Yesterday morning I sent you an email demanding a response to my query made more than a month ago, on a matter relating to the final cost of my premiums - in which you stated you would check the recording of the original conversations, where your agent promised me FFW would deduct the cost of my vehicle tracking device from my monthly fees to FFW.

I have waited in vain since the 25th of October for a reply on my inquiry. Meanwhile your company has continued to deduct more than the advertised amount from my account, while essentially not responding to my messages.

Are you aware that this amounts to fraud?

If your agents are unethical or incompetent or just downright dishonest, that should not become the burden of your customers - and as a customer, I accepted a contract with FFW in good faith on the promises made by your agent.

In addition to the past 53 days, I also gave you the entire working day (yesterday) to respond to my query, and you did not respond.

I feel the way I have been treated by FFW smacks of unethical behavior, dishonesty, deceit, attempt to deceive, and plain old disinterest.

First For Women has got to be the second most useless, incompetent and pathetic excuse for an insurance company in South Africa that I have had the displeasure of doing business with in the 24 years that I have had motor insurance!

This is to give you notice and instruction that you will cancel all contracts in my name and debit orders on my account forthwith, or I will consult my family lawyer!

Since my payments are made in advance, this should not be a problem for you.

Sincerely,

Christina Engela

Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Blachart" Re-release Available!

Blachart JEA"Blachart" by Christina Engela - the first installment in the Galxaii Series, released by JEA, is here!

Here is the link to the Kindle version of Blachart, and this is the hard copy link

Get in there and enjoy it! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Manic Street Preacher "Eats Witches For Breakfast"


Let me tell you about my morning. Two things have absolutely pissed me off and ruined my mood for the day. I went to SARS (the 'tax man' for my non-local friends) at 645am, thinking I'd be near the front of the que. I was number 6, which is not bad, considering I was number 13 yesterday. But then we waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited - watching SARS people to-ing and fro-ing and not actually doing anything much - until 815am, when the chap eventually turned up to give us our numbers. That's 2 hours of standing, with no benches, and no toilet facilities - and if you leave the que, you lose your place. The doors finally opened to let us in at 830, and I finally got to the counter at about 910am. The cause of this unacceptable delay? The SARS staff "write exams" on Wednesdays! Seriously? Why can't they write their exams after hours instead of inconveniencing the public who has been standing in the street for 2 hours??? I have better things to do than to waste my time waiting for them - and in fact I was 1 of around 100 people who had better things to do than to waste their time waiting for them!

The second thing was the absolute incompetence of the SARS security officials. While I was waiting in the que this morning, a man stopped where the que turned the corner to the last stretch of the line to the door. He was dressed in a suit and asked in general if he could share a message from the bible with us. I objected aloud and said "No thank you, I'm not a Christian." The man ignored me and began to preach a sermon about sin and the usual tripe spouted by these types of manic street preacher.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why I Think Oscar Got Away With Murder

I am not a judge, and in fact I have never been trained in any legal trade. However, I am not stupid. Perhaps it is because of this, that like many people, I am upset by the recent court fiasco in which former para-Olympian Oscar Pistorius was given a mild tap on the wrist for the death of his girlfriend Reeva. It weighs heavily on my mind. In fact, the injustice that I feel has been done is quite upsetting to me. Then again, I console myself that in the end, it's not really my problem. After all, I'm okay - I haven't been shot in my own bathroom, and neither am I likely to just go on a shooting spree if I hear things going 'bump' in the night. 

Why am I upset about the light and frivolous sentence dished out by the court? Why am I upset at the apparent efforts by the court to bend over backwards to give Oscar Pistorius a light sentence so he can go home to serve out a portion of his sentence under house arrest?

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Memo

An article by a militant fundamentalist "Christian" group misleadingly called "Freedom Of Religion SA", entitled "Christian Leaders Unite to Protect Religious Freedom in SA" states: "the growing number of cases being opened up against Christians, and lost by them, for trying to live out their beliefs, clearly indicating that religious freedom is already being lost in South Africa." 

Apparently this group, which misleadingly claims to be "for religious freedom in South Africa" is advocating that forcing Christians to share public spaces with people of other faiths, to do business with them, to study with them, and denying Christians the power to dominate society and to persecute people is "a threat to religious freedom and the autonomy of the Church in South Africa"? Interesting how that works. I wonder why I never got the memo?

Yes folks, this is the new terrorism in South Africa - when groups of people get together to claim to represent the actual opposite of what they stand for, and blame the victims of their abuses for being part of fictitious conspiracies to rob them of their religious freedom.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ignorance About Satanism Prompts Stereotypical Knee-jerk Reactions

[20141004 - 180 with Bob on KAYA FM - "Satanic groups have approached the MEC of Education in Gauteng to suggest that satinism should be offered as a religious subject in schools. Do you think it's a fair request or are we taking our democratic rights too far?"

Following posted in response to the article and the comments on the article.]

"Freedom of religion" means just that. And how can people continue to condemn a religion when they DON'T understand the first thing about that religion?

Those of you saying here that Satanism teaches people about human and animal sacrifice have just PROVED that you know NOTHING about the subject at all.

If you want to know more about Satanism as a religion, then get EDUCATED - and by that I mean ask a Satanist, don't waste your time reading Christian material on the subject because it is biased and full of misrepresentation.
Would you read Nazi material to try to understand Jewish people?

I recommend the following website as a reliable source of information on the subject of Satanism and false information being spread by Christian fundamentalist elements.

Minimum Wage = Minimum Worth

Perplexed by the trend lately of grumpy cashiers and unfriendly clerks at convenience stores and fast food restaurants, last evening I picked up a takeaway dinner from a popular chain, and chatted to the lady behind the counter.  She'd been on her feet behind the counter serving customers since 12 am. It was 9pm, and she was hungry and tired. When I asked her about staff meals, she told me they don't get those anymore.

That's strange, I thought, when I was at high school I also did the same job part-time and we used to get staff meals - to the point where the smell of that brand would actually put me off eating it for a while - but we got it. Yes, that was 24 years ago - but I was still rather shocked. 

And I suppose you get paid minimum wage too, I asked the middle-aged lady. (Minimum wage for a cashier in SA is 15.96 ZAR per hour. That's 3111.96 ZAR per month. Back in the day I earned 4 ZAR per hour, but again, that was 24 years ago - and I was a teenager, at school, and living with my parents.) Yes, she said. And then while she's working a 12 hour shift at a "restaurant", she still has to buy her own meals and drinks from that. To give you an idea, a burger at the same restaurant costs between 30 and 40 ZAR - so that means if she wants to eat from the store during her shift, that will cost her between 2 to 3 hours work to pay for one meal and between 4 to 6 hours work for two meals, depending on the length of her shift.

Just then, some employees from the pizza shop next door came to buy dinner at her counter, since they also don't get staff meals. Pizza's are more expensive than burgers, costing anything between 45 and 90 ZAR for a small pizza, so I presume they came here because it was cheaper than buying from their employer. 

I don't know how some people survive in this country. I know I couldn't make it on that kind of money every month, yet most of these workers have families to raise, living expenses, and they keep coming back, because work is scarce and there are so many unemployed people who will bite the hook baited with long hours and minimum wage...

When you think of the amount of turnover and profit made by most companies in this country - and especially the big chains, it's a shame that they pay their employees minimum wage and no more than that. What that really says is: "We're paying you minimum wage, because we're not allowed to pay you any less."

I really think businesses in SA need to look for their hearts and their souls, because they have lost them somewhere in the drive to make money, and perhaps even to survive the economy themselves. Even so, their income far outweighs their labor overheads... to the point where I think it becomes all about greed.

I dislike bad service as much as the next person... but the next time you wonder why the people behind the counter don't make you feel special as a customer, perhaps you should wonder if the person behind the counter feels like a human being, or like an appliance with a pulse, being maintained by a minimum wage.