This page covered the complaints and refunds process before Wonga went under on 30 August.
Events in August 2018
August 4 – Wonga forced to ask investors for £10million in funding as the cost of affordability complaints increases.
26 August – news reports that Wonga was in trouble.
- Sky News reported that:
Directors of the payday lender Wonga could appoint Grant Thornton as the company’s administrator within days, Sky News learns.
- Piece on Channel 4 News – including a Debt Camel reader talking about his situation.
August 30 – Wonga gives up and goes into administration
With Wonga in administration, complaints and refunds are now being handled differently, see Wonga – latest news of refunds for details.
That page will be kept updated, this one is now closed.
Much of the rest of this page is no longer relevant so the text colour has been changed to this.
Wonga affordability complaints before administration
If you had loans from Wonga that you struggled to repay, perhaps having to borrow again because you couldn’t afford the Wonga payment and get through the next month, then your loan may have been “unaffordable”.
You can ask for a refund of the interest you paid.
Slow complaints handling
Wonga sends a statement of your account without trying to charge you for it, but it can take a while. If you are trying to piece together your loan history from your credit reports or bank statements, old entries saying “Quickbridge” are Wonga loans.
The Financial Ombudsman’s rules say a firm is allowed 8 weeks to reply to a complaint. This clock starts running when you put your complaint in.
In summer 2018 Wonga is struggling to handle all the complaints. Here is a typical message people are being sent:
We’re currently investigating high volumes of complaints. If we can’t respond within our 8-week timeframe, we’ll contact you to explain the delay and let you know when you can expect a response.
If Wonga hasn’t answered after 8 weeks, take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. Wonga will still be looking at your complaint and you could get an answer in the next few weeks.
Have you already had a refund from Wonga?
Wonga had a major refund program a few years ago. If you had a balance owing to them, this may have been written off at that point. They also made some small refunds in 2016 – out of the blue people had a letter saying they will be receiving £6.20 or £51 or some other random number.
You may still have a good case for your other loans being unaffordable – we have seen many people win affordability complaints after already getting a refund or a write-off. The more loans or rollovers you had before the one that was written off, the more you are likely to get a refund now.
Think of the write-off as being the first part of your refund.
Sometimes Wonga makes reasonable offers… but often it doesn’t!
Sometimes Wonga makes good offers, some of them very large:
- John was worried when he was told his case had been referred to their legal team, then a couple of weeks later he got a refund of over £10,000;
- in September 2017, Danny Boy was very happy to accept an offer of £11,934.
However, Wonga rejects some excellent cases, which are then upheld by the Ombudsman. Examples include: Rob got £3,000; Lou got £500; Mart got £6,455. So if your complaint is rejected, don’t assume it is a bad case and give up!
Making a random small offer
And sometimes Wonga offers to just refund on a few loans picked at random from the loans you had. When challenged they have no explanation for why they are offering to refund those particular loans, they just say that’s their offer. With these cases you can do a lot better by waiting for a decision from the Ombudsman:
- Wonga offered Tony £818 for just two loans – the Ombudsman said that all loans should be refunded – £4,800
- Ross had 60 loans from wonga over 5 years. Wonga only offered to refund one loan – £26. He went to the Ombudsman and got a refund on 54 loans – £4,650.
Sometimes refuses to pay out on loans after 2014
Wonga often refuses to pay out on loans after they changed their lending policy in 2014. It’s true that they made a lot more bad loans before that, but they are not getting all the decisions right now!
Many people are getting good refunds via the Ombudsman for these recent loans.
Don’t rush to accept an offer if it misses off a lot of loans
We have also seen people accept an offer from Wonga but then regret it when they realise it is only for three loans. If you are made an offer, sit back and think for a few days if it is good enough.
Could you lose a Wonga offer by going to the Ombudsman?
If you are offered some money but it’s a lot less than the interest you paid, you may be worried you could end up with nothing if you reject it and go to the Ombudsman.
So far we haven’t seen any case, from Wonga or any other lender, where someone who was offered a refund ended up with less by going to the Ombudsman.
Wonga are arguing about loans over 6 years
The Ombudsman’s rules say that complaints have to be made within 6 years, but there is an extra rule that says a complaint can be made later if you have only become aware of the problem within the last 3 years.
Wonga is refusing to pay out on loans over 6 years old. Other lenders have now accepted the ombudsman’s decision that they can look at older loans as people have only recently heard about these affordability complaints.
At the moment Wonga and the ombudsman are arguing over a few test cases and everyone else with loans over 6 years is just waiting until these test cases are resolved. I hope this will be soon!
If most of your loans are within 6 years and only a few are older, you may want to agree to drop the older loans to speed up your case.
Comments on this article are now closed.
See Latest news on Wonga refunds for what is currently happening and the comments there.