Edgars accountholders are among SA’s most frustrated consumers right now, says Wendy Knowler

The hardest goodbye
I continue to get a steady stream of complaints from Edgars customers, most about battling to close their accounts, and some about battling to stop the extra charges or interest being applied to their “six months’ interest free” accounts.
The Edgars accounts story is such a sad, complicated one, the bottom line being that for many, settling the amount owing in order to close their accounts seems like an impossible task.
That’s mainly because those extra monthly charges, which get added to their account whether they buy goods or not - service fee, club fee, insurance premiums - keep being added for as many months as it takes for the company to process their cancellation request.
Many just don’t have the time or the energy to get to the closed account stage, so I hear from quite a few sons and daughters of accountholders, or mothers of people too busy in their jobs for the time they need to devote to closing their accounts or settling a dispute.
A quick recap - Edgars has been sold by Edcon, currently in business rescue, to the Durban-based Retailabilty group, and its accounts management has been outsourced to RCS.
And Hollard underwrites the insurance policies which Edgars has sold many of its account holders, their monthly premiums being paid via their monthly accounts.
Sayon Pather wrote to me about this 79-year-old mother’s Edgars’ drama.
“She has always maintained an impeccable financial track record,” he began.
“At this stage in her life she should not have to deal with the stressful harassment proffered by Edgars, and now the debt collectors they have handed her over to, for R511,11, which in fact she should not owe.
“My mother's Edgars account was made paid-up in full and the account closed in January 2020. This was confirmed by the cashier and witnessed by family.