QuickQuid (QQ) and its smaller brand Pounds To Pocket (PTP), which in February 2019 rebranded as On Stride, have been getting increasing numbers of affordability complaints from customers asking for refunds of interest.
This started in 2016 but has taken off in 2018. Until now many people thought they had just been foolish to borrow from a payday lender, they didn’t realise the lender had broken the regulator’s guidance on irresponsible lending or that they could get compensation.
In 2018 QuickQuid became the most complained about banking and credit firm in Britain, according to the Finanical Ombudsman.
You may be able to get a refund if you had loans from QQ, PTP or On Stride you couldn’t repay without borrowing again. You can get refunds for all type of loans including instalment and flexi loans.
If you rolled a loan repeatedly or repaid the loan and soon after took out another one, this suggests the loan was not affordable.
The main Payday loan refund article has the template letters to use for making these complaints.
One loan complaints can be hard to win, but if your loan was large, as some of the loans from On Stride are, read Getting a refund for a large bad credit loan which has better template letters for your situation.
QQ settles some complaints directly but too often it rejects a good complaint or makes a poor offer. But people are getting good payouts from going to the Ombudsman.
Starting your complaint
One complaint or two?
If you had loans from both QuickQuid and Pounds to Pocket, you only need to make one complaint, covering both sets of loans.
It doesn’t matter if you have made two, but the reply you get will probably cover both sets of loans. There is normally a sentence such as this one:
As a responsible lender, we have reviewed your lending as it relates to QuickQuid and Pounds to Pocket as these brands are both owned by CashEuroNet.
That’s good… but be careful – don’t think it’s a good offer for your QQ loans and not realise it also includes your PTP loans.
Asking for a list of your loans
If you can still log in to your online account, this may show all your previous loans. 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 when you ask for one.
One thing that puzzles many people is that QQ’s computer system allocates a new loan number for each loan extension or rollover. 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 five but you can clearly see 12 loan numbers.
Wait for the 8 week point
Lenders have 8 weeks in order to reply to a complaint and not many QuickQuid or Pounds To Pocket complaints are getting either a rejection or an offer earlier than this.
The 8 week clock has started ticked from the time you sent your Step One email asking for the list of your loans. Or from the date of your Step two full complaint email if you skipped the first step as you knew the details.
QuickQuid asks for bank statements – what should you reply?
QuickQuid and Pounds To Pocket usually ask people to send banks statements and payslips. I have no idea why they ask for payslips – the Ombudsman never does.
I suspect QQ is hoping that some people will give up because they don’t have the bank statements or they are worried that gambling is showing on their statements.
But you can get old bank statements, even from closed accounts. If you don’t have your bank statements, this would be a good time to get them, so you are prepared if the case goes to the Ombudsman. And cases with gambling showing are getting good refunds.
You don’t have to give QQ this information. You could reply Thanks for your email. I don’t have my bank statements etc to hand. I will supply them to the Financial Ombudsman if necessary. I want you to continue to investigate my complaint.
In theory if you send bank statements, QQ should be able to make a better decision about your request for a refund. But do they look at them? Let’s look at how QQ assess complaints to see.
QuickQuid’s standard response
This used to be a small goodwill offer
In early 2017, QQ’s most common response was either a rejection or a low “goodwill offer” with no explanation as to why that amount was selected. Many of these cases have been upheld by the Ombudsman with payouts that are 10 or even 20 times larger. The highest payout I have seen was more than £13,000 – that reader was originally offered only £400.
No-one has reported one for a while so they may have stopped doing it entirely! If you get one, unless you think your complaint is very weak (see below) I suggest you send your complaint straight to the Ombudsman.
QQ has a long template reply
QQ has been using variations on a standard response to many people now for over a year. Here the bits in italics are what QQ writes, your letter may be slightly different.
When I reviewed your file I found that you were never charged a late fee, which shows a sound financial history and ability to sustainably repay with us.
Obviously being charged late fees does show you were in difficulty. But not paying them may just show that you were borrowing again from QQ or were borrowing elsewhere. This does NOT show a sound financial history.
The investigation of your complaint considered all relevant information
There is often no reference in what QQ writes to your credit record – but that is relevant! From some published Ombudsman decisions, it seems that QQ hasn’t kept the details of many credit checks it did for loans before 2014, see this decision for example.
It was noted your monthly income was stated as [£n] per month. I compared your income to your total monthly repayment for each loan you took with us. From this I see that the income you made during each payday loan with us was always more than enough to cover the amount you had to repay us for each loan and thus I cannot agree with you that your loans were unaffordable.
This appears to be saying that if they loaned you less than your entire wage, then the loan was affordable, which is nonsense. Expenses have to be taken into account. Before 2014, I don’t think QQ used to ask borrowers about their expenses in the loan application at all.
When I reviewed your loan history I see that you held a total of [n] loans which given the low number does not exhibit financial dependency.
In saying this, the reply sometimes doesn’t take into account that you may have rolled a QQ loan several times. This does show an inability to repay the loan on time but they don’t mention it.
You are claiming that you were dependent on loans. Yet if you were dependent on taking out one loan to repay the other then you would have taken out numerous loans, for equal or increasing loan amounts, and with very little time between paying off one loan and taking out the other.
QQ seems use this as a metric in deciding which loans to refund. If you had borrowed loans of 200, 200, 275, 300, 250,400, 350, 500 you may be puzzled that QQ are offering to refund some of these but not the 250 and 350 loans. They are being left out because they were lower than the previous loan.
The Ombudsman doesn’t do this.
When I reviewed your loan history I see that you never had more than four consecutive loans with less than 15 days between loans.
This is a standard sentence, the numbers 4 and 15 do not vary. This seems to be another metric that QQ are using. If you had a run of loans which did have less than 15 days between them, then one where there was a gap of say 20 days, QQ may have refunded the run of loans but not the one with the 20 day gap.
Again the Ombudsman doesn’t do this.
we uphold your complaint as it relates to dependency but do not uphold your complaint as it relates to affordability
Sometimes people have this sentence followed by an offer of a refund on a few of your loans. It is a strange argument. What does it mean to say you are dependent on borrowing from them if you can afford the repayments? I suggest you ignore this.
Does it make a difference if you sent your bank statements?
Some people get good offers even if they don’t send in bank statements.
I would hope that if you had sent your bank statements, QQ wouldn’t bother with this template letter and their standard metrics, instead they would do a proper job of seeing if the loans were affordable.
But one person who had sent her bank statements got the standard template back with a rejection She said:
To be honest I feel like they didn’t even look at the info.
How good is QuickQuid’s offer to you?
If you get a rejection take your case to the Financial Ombudsman unless you only had one or two loans or there were many months between your loans.
If you have been offered £761 (say), that could be good, OK or pretty poor. The decision from QQ is often a refund on what looks like a random selection of your loans! The Ombudsman does not use QQ’s odd criteria.
To tell if your offer is reasonable, add up all the interest and charges you paid on all your loans. If you aren’t sure, ask a question in the comments below.
You can’t change your mind later if you accept a decision and then realise you could have got a lot more.
QQ do not negotiate – it is not worth wasting time trying to get them to improve an offer.
QuickQuid cases at the Ombudsman
The Ombudsman service is easy to use but slow. The Ombudsman was sent more than 4,500 complaints against QuickQuid in the first half of 2018 and it is currently agreeing with the customer and ordering refunds in seven out of ten cases.
Don’t worry that you will “lose” an offer from QQ if you go to the Financial Ombudsman. So far as I am aware, in every case where someone was offered an amount by QQ the Ombudsman has increased the amount.
Also, don’t worry that the Ombudsman will reject your case because you had a large income, were gambling, your partner kept bailing you out etc. Lots of people have won these cases. If you kept borrowing then QQ should have realised you were dependent on the loans and stopped lending.
QQ may increase their offer
QQ sometimes increase their offer even before your case gets looked at by an adjudicator. For example:
QQ rejected my complaint so I forwarded to the ombudsman… although the case hasn’t been picked up yet I was contacted to say QQ would like to make me an offer to refund one of the loans and would I like to accept – this was £1548.
Sometimes these “second offers” are still not very good. The comment above goes on to say:
Overall I paid back around 6.k interest.
Remember QQ are only offering these because they know you have a good case. Don’t worry that the adjudicator will decide on a lower amount – we have never seen this happen!
How do they respond to the adjudicator’s decision?
The Adjudicator is the name for the first stage of an Ombudsman complaint. Only 10% of cases have to go to the second stage is when it is looked at by an Ombudsman.
QQ accept a lot of adjudicator decisions. But sometimes they offer a lower amount, in which case you have to decide if it’s worth taking that or asking for the case to go to the Ombudsman. Sometimes they reject the decision or simply ignore it, in which case it goes to the Ombudsman level for a final decision.
Blanket refusal to refund loans taken after March 2015
In late Summer/Autumn 2018 another issue has emerged. QuickQuid have started refusing to offer refunds on loans taken in 2015 or after.
This is apparently because they changed their lending policy then. It’s not a very good argument in my opinion. Wonga argued this for years and routinely lost cases at the Ombudsman.
No matter how good a policy a lender has, it may not be implemented well. It’s like saying that you passed your driving test a couple of years ago so you should never get a speeding fine.
At the moment the Ombudsman is working with QQ to try to get this resolved so quite a few affected cases are on hold. Here is an new article looking at a January 2019 decision from FOS about these post 2015 loans.
Loans that are more than 6 years old
If you get a rejection saying that your loans are more than six years old so QQ don’t have to consider your complaint, send it straight to the Financial Ombudsman.
Many lenders have been paying out refunds for loans over 6 years since 2017. But so far QQ hasn’t accepted this and has been arguing with the Ombudsman about whether the Ombudsman is allowed to look at such old loans – you may hear this described as whether the Ombudsman “has the jurisdiction” to look at these loans.
In September 2018 the Ombudsman, at last, published a couple of general decisions. In both cases the Ombudsman decided they could look at the older loans as the customer had only found out recently that they could complain. See Ombudsman decisions on payday loans over 6 years old for details.
But in October 2018 QuickQuid was still telling customers they wouldn’t refund these older loans. I think it is now misleading to ignore what the Ombudsman has said – see QuickQuid – misleading customers about loans over 6 years old
So ignore QQ saying they won’t look at older loans and (unless their offer is good) send the complaint to the Ombudsman.
Worried they may go bust like Wonga?
in case any of you are worrying whether QQ will go bust like Wonga, their American parent, Enova, released profit figures in October 2018 and their UK operations sound as though they are doing very well. They said:
“In the UK, we are also seeing very strong growth. We remain the leading subprime lender by market share, and we believe we are well-positioned to capture additional share. As many of you are aware, one of our largest competitors in the UK, went into administration during their third quarter, primarily driven by company-specific factors and lack of profitability, combined with elevated customer complaints. … Third quarter UK revenue increased nearly 20% compared to the same period last year, primarily driven by strong growth in our installment loan product. Loan originations rose 17% from Q3 of last year, led by robust new customer growth. And while complaints related expenses have increased, you can see there, it has had little impact on Enova overall, given our significant scale.”
Last update – October 2018