I was thinking of doing an Award for Poor Complaints Handling by payday lenders in 2016. But it all felt too serious, so I thought I would go with something more light-hearted. After all, Christmas this year is going to be better for many, many people because of the payday loan interest refunds they have received so far!
So I’ve picked out some bits that have made me smile and some categories you might not expect. Many of them are Debt Camel readers’ comments, showing good humour in the face of incompetence or obstructiveness.
Such poor IT systems you feel sorry for them
Mostly readers are understandably cross when they found searches have been added to their credit records “by mistake” or a lender says they can only issue a refund by cheque and it will take 28 days (or 6-8 weeks in the case of CFO!)
But this one made me feel sorry for the people who have to work there (well almost…):
I chased Payday Express up 4 weeks later, received a reply saying that they could not open word documents so had not been able to progress my complaint and could I now send it in a pdf format.
“We are dithering”
This isn’t an award for procrastination above and beyond what is reasonable – that would have to go to one of the Dollar Financial group (Payday UK, Payday Express and the Money Shop.)
This award is for the quality of excuse for not making a decision. No lender has yet said that a dog ate their reply, but some have come pretty close. I’ve chosen this one for its frankness in admitting the lender was dithering:
My complaint with Provident is with an adjudicator who found in my favour a couple of weeks ago, however Provident are stringing things out by asking for more time as the department that is looking into my complaint is unsure whether they agree or not with the adjudicator’s decision.
A month ago this award would have gone to Lending Stream for the “Experian credit scores” that they quote to people, many of which are astonishingly high for people with CCJs and defaults on their credit record.
But Uncle Buck is now a strong contender because they have started sending incredibly long replies. One person said they had been sent a War and Peace epic. Of course long isn’t always bad… but another person had been sent 2,000 words describing 14 loans and a summary that referred to 13 loans and an offer mentioning 15. Never mind the quality, feel the width? Or have Uncle Buck employed temporary staff who are being paid by the page?
No common sense
Lenders aren’t supposed to just accept whatever someone puts on a loan application as being accurate if it looks extremely unlikely. So when one reader said:
Wonga won’t uphold my claim but offered £75 because they say that (which I assure you I didn’t!) I stated I earned £81,000 a month (instead of £830 pm part time).
it took me less than a second to spot there was a decimal place error here. This doesn’t seem to have occurred to the person replying to the request for a refund of interest.
Ludicrously low offers
One stand-out contender for this award – Quick Quid. Of course making a really low offer is very poor practice, and it could be very misleading for their customers. But Quick Quid’s are often so low that that in retrospect they seem laughable. Take Nigel, who this week has received nearly £13,000 refund after being offered £400 originally.
The best revenge…
Of course the best revenge is to pocket your refund and never ever use a payday lender again! Or logbook loan, guarantor loans, or any of the other high interest lenders. But some readers have been looking for something else as well:
I decided to give them a poor review on Trust Pilot, was really the least I could do.
If your payday lender is still in business, leaving an honest account of their irresponsible lending and poor complaint handling is a great idea!