Credit Ombud puts back millions into the pockets of consumers

Having assisted thousands of consumers with their credit related matters, the office of the Credit Ombud has put back around R2.8 million in consumers’ pockets last year alone.

“This is money that consumers would have e had to pay over to their credit providers, had we not stepped in and assisted them to resolve their matters,’ says Credit Ombud Manie van Schalkwyk. “In some cases consumers have had money paid back to them by the credit providers in instances where they had already made those deductions,” he adds.

Countries all over the world celebrate World Consumer Rights Day on 15 March. This year’s theme ‘Our money, our rights: campaigning for real choice in financial services’ falls right into the ambit of what the office of the Credit Ombud teaches consumers during their regular consumer education workshops. “We consistently advocate that consumers should always shop around for the best choice in credit options available to them before making their decisions,” says van Schalkwyk.

The office of the Credit Ombud has been assisting consumers with their credit related matters for eight years, having opened their office in 2004. In 2011 alone the office effectively dealt with 4 943 disputes.

“We have come a long way since 2004. We started off dealing only with credit bureau information disputes, but once the gap was identified in the non-bank credit and debt counselling areas, our office’s mandate was extended to also deal with these matters,” adds van Schalkwyk.

The services of the Credit Ombud are free of charge and consumers can contact the office on 0861 66 28 37 or email .