QuickQuid, one of the UK’s largest payday lenders, is getting a lot of “affordability complaints” from customers asking for refunds of interest and charges. Many people are going to the Financial Ombudsman and getting large payouts awarded.
This article looks at the QuickQuid refund process. It also applies to refunds from Pounds To Pocket, Quick Quid’s sister company. Every case is individual, but we have seen enough QuickQuid complaints to be able to say what often happens.
You may be able to get a refund if you had loans from QuickQuid, whether you repaid the loans on time, repaid them late or currently have a balance outstanding. See How to ask for a payday loan refund for details and template letters to use.
This also applies to a “flexi account”, as well as “normal” payday loans.
Getting a list of your loans
The first step for many people in the refund process is getting a list of the loans you had. For QQ this is easy: if you can still log in to your online account, this may show all your previous loans.
QQ are deleting these for some people. If you can see yours, take a copy in case it later vanishes!
If you can’t see your loan history, QQ will send you a Statement of Account if you ask for one. With these you can then put in your complaint and ask for a refund of the interest and charges that you have paid.
If you get an immediate rejection (one reader had one within 3 hours!) saying that your loans are more than 6 years old so QQ don’t have to consider your complaint, send it straight to the Financial Ombudsman. The FO is now looking at older loans, see Refunds for loans taken out more than six years ago for details.
Replying to QQ’s questionnaire
Most people are then sent a questionnaire to complete. You don’t have to answer these, but if you don’t want to, reply saying you don’t have the information or you want them to consider your complaint without it. Don’t ignore it, or they may reject your complaint because you didn’t reply.
The number of the questions varies but here are the common ones with my thoughts on what you could reply:
- we have seen an increased number of complaints where the complainant has obtained a template from a website or blog. Did you use a website template? If so, can you please provide the name of the website?
- You can name this website or not, I don’t care and it won’t make any difference to your claim.
- Did you tell us that you were experiencing financial hardship? If so, when did you tell us of your financial difficulty.
- Of course they should have this recorded on their system. But in case they haven’t, you may as well tell them if you did say you were having problems repaying a loan.
- You may have been in a lot of financial difficulty but not told the lender – you can still win an affordability complaint.
- Please provide a copy of a bank statement from the time of your loan(s).
- Many people don’t have bank statements because they closed their bank accounts after payday lenders ransacked them! Just reply you don’t have your old statements. This won’t be a problem if your case goes to the Ombudsman as the Ombudsman can easily get copies of old statements direct from a bank.
- You may think your bank statements are personal and not want to send them. Just tell QQ that you will supply statements to the Ombudsman if they ask for them.
- Complaints are being upheld by the Ombudsman where there has been gambling, so don’t give up! But you may prefer to discuss this with the ombudsman and not a payday lender.
- Please provide a copy of a payslip from roughly the time of your loan(s).
- I can’t see why they want this and bank statements, but it’s an alternative if you don’t want to send a bank statement.
- Just say if you don’t keep your old payslips. It won’t harm your complaint.
I suspect QQ are hoping that you will be put off by these questions, even if you have a good case – so don’t be! If you borrowed repeatedly from a payday lender, this on its own is an indication that the loans were not affordable.
If QuickQuid were better at making reasonable offers to people, I would be suggesting that it is a good idea to send them bank statements etc. But they aren’t, as you can see from the examples below. I’m not sure why you should bother to send them piles of stuff that they are very likely to just ignore.
Then sit back and wait for the 8 week point
Lenders have 8 weeks in order to assess a complaint and very few QuickQuid or Pounds To Pocket complaints are getting any offers of refunds earlier than this. In fact few complaints are getting reasonable offers at all!
If you don’t get any reply, or get a rejection, or get an inadequate offer, take your case to the Financial Ombudsman. The Ombudsman service is easy to use and most people find it pretty friendly. You don’t need help from a solicitor or a claims company, you just need to tell your own story. One reader whose QQ complaint was upheld by the Ombudsman commented “My Adjudicator was amazing, I wish I could buy him a round”
The fact that your case was rejected doesn’t mean that it is a poor case – we have seen many cases where the Ombudsman upholds a case that was rejected, including one where the refund was over £5,000. I have written a detailed case history of one of these rejections if you want to look at the details.
Offered a stupidly low amount?
If you get an offer, you have to consider if it is adequate. QQ seem to often be rejecting the suggestion that their loans were unaffordable and making a low “goodwill offer” instead. Many of these cases are being upheld by the Ombudsman with payouts that are 10 or even 20 times larger. A few examples:
- John C was offered £750 but went to the Ombudsman and had a refund of £7,048;
- Victoria was only offered £150, after going to the Ombudsman she was very happy to settle for £3,200;
- Ally was offered £150 and her outstanding balance of £1,100 to be written off – after going to the Ombudsman this offer was increased to a refund of £3,900 plus the balance write off;
- Grace rejected an offer of £250 – and had a refund of £2,200 after going to the Ombudsman;
- Sam F was offered £350 – after going to the Ombudsman a settlement of £4,200 was paid.
We haven’t seen a case where someone was offered an amount by QQ and the Ombudsman didn’t decide to increase the amount.
Counting up the loans
One thing that puzzles many people is that QQ’s computer system allocates a new loan number for each loan extension or roll-over. But when QQ send you a letter, or talk to the Ombudsman, they will only refer to the original loan. So you may think they are ignoring some of your loans when they say you had 6 but you can clearly see 12 loan numbers. It’s worth making this clear to the adjudicator if they seem confused by it too.
This all takes time
The Ombudsman is busy at the moment with all the payday loan complaints, but the main delays seem to be coming from QQ’s side. Even when an Ombudsman’s award is accepted by QQ they manage to drag out repaying the money for two or three weeks. Perhaps they should cahnge theirr name to Slow Quid :)
Although these delays are irritating, the refunds being awarded are often very large, so it’s worth persevering with this process. Would you rather have £250 now or ten times as much in a few months time?
An unfair way to handle complaints?
I hope most readers will be getting reasonable settlements in the end. However there will be people who are under too much mental stress – they may give up on a good complaint when they receive the off-putting questionnaire or accept Quick Quid’s very low offer.
I don’t think this is the way a responsible lender should be handling complaints. Quick Quid will have know for a year what a typical ombudsman decision in a payday loan affordability case looks like. Why aren’t they applying that standard themselves and making reasonable offers when their customers complain?
If you end up with a good refund after going to the Ombudsman but are annoyed at the process QuickQuid have adopted in your case, you could report your concern to their regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, at firstname.lastname@example.org..The FCA’s rules say:
DISP 1.3.1 Effective and transparent procedures for the reasonable and prompt handling of complaints must be established.
DISP 1.3.2 These procedures should … ensure that lessons learned as a result of determinations by the Ombudsman are effectively applied in future complaint handling
This won’t get you any more money, but it’s simple, no hassle and you may help some other people. You will just get an acknowledgement back from the FCA. A reader who reported a different lender for refusing to send her a list of her loans had the following reply:
“Although we can’t look into individual complaints the information you’ve sent me is useful and will help us to build a picture of how [xxxxxx] operate in the industry and deal with their customers. I have passed the information you have provided to my colleagues that supervise the firm. My colleagues will consider whether the firm have breached our rules and guidance.”
So the more people that do this, the better picture the regulator will have of QQ’s poor complaints handling.
OTHER RESOURCES FOR PAYDAY LOAN REFUNDS
Make sure you read the Template letters for “affordability” complaints.
Read about other people’s complaints in the comments on that article.
If you have an outstanding balance Will the lender write it off?
Other common questions are answered here: Payday Loan Refund FAQs.