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News : South Africa: Frustration At Vitality's Lack of Service
Cape Town, South Africa, Jan 8, 2016 -- Discovery Vitality has moved to quell fears that it may be on strike or has closed shop after members struggled to get hold of the company through its website, call centre, social media platforms and even HelloPeter.
Discovery Vitality chief operating officer Barry Sundelson told Fin24 on Thursday that Discovery's wellness rewards business had experienced unprecedentedly high servicing volumes following the launch of a number of new benefits, including Vitality Active Rewards.
In addition, Vitality also typically anticipates high volumes of queries at this time of year as annual changes come into effect, he told Fin24 in an emailed response.
He said the spike in servicing volumes was more than twice the typical seasonal peak, affecting service levels.
Sundelson was responding to a letter from Fin24 user Jacques, who was complaining of the "worst ever service".
Jacques wrote: "Are they striking? Are they closing up shop? When you log in to the Discovery site and try to access the Vitality section you either get 'Could not Load' or 'Access Denied'. When you phone the call centre, you are placed on hold indefinitely until you give up... This is the worst service that I have EVER seen, and certainly not what I have come to expect from a Discovery branch."
Members also took to social media and online customer service website HelloPeter to complain about the lack of access to service at Vitality.
"Their Facebook page is flooded with complaints about not getting replies and not getting through to their call centre, and no replies from Vitality on Facebook either. HelloPeter is also being flooded with complaints, and the same generic response 'Thanks for making us aware, we will investigate' to all complaints," Jacques wrote.
On Tuesday, Kieran Rennie tweeted he had been trying to get hold of Discovery Vitality all day through phone calls, Facebook and Twitter, but received no response. "Unbelievable. Unaccepted," he said.
Sundelson said the benefit enhancements and volumes also temporarily affected website servicing, but those issues have now been resolved.
"Although we had taken steps to bolster our servicing resources, the benefit enhancements have led to much higher engagement than we anticipated. Unfortunately, the spike in servicing volumes has affected the high standard of service we strive to provide."
He assured members that Vitality is working hard to resolve member queries as soon as possible.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Discovery Health:
Discovery provides innovative and unique financial services and assurance products.
Published: Monday, January 11, 2016