A Pretoria businesswoman has accused WesBank of robbing and overcharging her more than what has been agreed in her monthly vehicle installments.
Lucy Klein said the vehicle finance institution had overcharged her more than R13 000 in her installments, for the Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 A/T she purchased in 2017. The car was valued at R362 563.20, and she was expected to make a payment of R5 104.00 every month in installments.
Klein purchased the fancy vehicle on July 7, 2017, and was expected to pay until July 7, 2023.
However, the contract ended in October this year, but the bank said she was in arrears.
“My contract came to an end at the end of October and before that, I engaged the service of financial investigator Emerald van Zyl to double check all was according to plan. He later came back and said there was an overcharge of R13 894.03,” she said.
Klein added that the bank was informed but disputed this, despite evidence that was put on the table.
“They kept on coming back to us and said they had hired the highest level auditors and their stuff was done properly, and they don’t owe me anything. But one of their employees once admitted that my interest was calculated incorrectly, but he refused to respond when van Zyl sent the documents to take the matter further.
“I then asked the bank if the interest was charged in advance, and they could not answer the question. They kept denying it and told me to go to the Ombudsman. And the interesting part is that they even failed to answer where van Zyl’s calculations were wrong and they kept on saying they hire the highest level auditors,” said Klein.
She said she did not receive her vehicle papers as the bank said she had been in arrears for two months. Klein said this also affected her credit score.
When asked for a comment, Wesbank did not respond.
Klein further said that the bank wanted to bully her into continuing with payments, despite her last instalment in October.
“Right now I am asking myself, do I pay the R5 000 as the last instalment and get my car papers and continue with this fight?”
However, in an email sent to the financial institution on November 15, Van Zyl said WesBank interest was calculated in advance for the period of the loan, which was not the prescribed method in the National Credit Act that states that interest must be calculated at the end of the period.
“The interest was calculated daily and capitalised at the end of the period/month which was the 5th of each month. The amount overcharged is R13 894.03,” said van Zyl.
He also accused WesBank of trying to cover the overcharges.
“The monthly instalment is R5 104 for 72 months. This includes the monthly service fee of R68.40. Therefore the total amount due was R367 488 (R5 104 x 72 months).
“At the bottom of this column, you can see that an amount of R378 583.40 was paid, which means that an amount of R11 095.40 was paid too much (R367 488 - 378 583.40). From this information, it is clear that WesBank overcharged Ms Klein,” said van Zyl.
Van Zyl said the matter would be referred to Munro Consulting Actuaries to analyse his calculations.
“If they certify the recalculation as correct there will be no dispute that WesBank did overcharge its clients and I will refer this to the media.”