QuickQuid (QQ) and its smaller brand Pounds To Pocket (P2P), which in February 2019 rebranded as On Stride, have been getting increasing numbers of affordability complaints from customers asking for refunds of interest.
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, P2P 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
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. In 2019 there is normally a sentence such as this one:
CEU offers products under brand names QuickQuid (QQ), Pounds to Pocket (P2P) and OnStride (OS) and as such we will review your complaint as it relates to all our brands.
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 P2P loans.
Getting faster about replying
Lenders have 8 weeks in order to reply to a complaint. QQ and P2P used to take most of the 8 weeks but in 2019 they have got faster and some people will get a reply in a couple of weeks.
This doesn’t mean their offers are much better… but as soon as you get a Final Response you can send your case to the Financial Ombudsman.
A list of your loans is usually enclosed with the response to your complaint. If you think it doesn’t look right:
- the dates in the table are American style – mm/dd/yyyy;
- if you have rolled or extended a loan, this often only shows as one loan.
QuickQuid asks for bank statements – what should you reply?
QuickQuid and Pounds To Pocket often 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.
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.
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 do a proper job of seeing if the loans were affordable. But one person who sent her 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.
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. You can get old bank statements, even from closed accounts.
QuickQuid’s standard response
This used to be a small goodwill offer
In 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 this. 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’s reply – designed to put you off
In 2018 QQ had a long and convoluted template letter. The ones I have seen in 2019 have a simplified one – of course your letter may be different.
Here are some bits from one recent QQ response (in italics) together with my comments on them.
When you read what they have written, you may feel depressed and that you don’t have a good case. That is what QQ want you to believe! But in many cases the checks QQ did were far from adequate and the wording in their replies may mislead you.
We have assessed loans funded before FCA regulations were implemented using the “other credit commitment” (OCC) value taken from your credit report at the time of funding and used a reliable average for all remaining expenses.
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. You won’t win your case just because QQ can’t produce this information, but if you kept borrowing or rolling loans for months then you shouldn’t worry that QQ has some brilliant way of showing they did great checks.
In assessing loans funded after FCA regulations were implemented, we used validated expenses figures. We arrived at those figures by validating your declared expenses for various categories from your loan application against credit reference agency and Office of National Statistics data.
Here QQ usually has kept more records. But they were validating your expenses against some national averages. that may have been fine for the first few loans, but if you kept borrowing, QQ should have wondered if your real expenses were larger than their estimates. So they should have done extra checks on your later loans, not just kept repeating the same checks.
In assessing whether your loan(s) were affordable, we evaluated whether your total repayment across the loan term was sufficiently less than your total estimated disposable income across the loan term, after taking into account your expenses.
They were estimating your income and your expenses, without verifying them.
Also did you have had one of QQ’s “three month loans” where they only charged the interest for the first two months then the whole of the capital repayment plus another months interest in the third month? If you did, QQ estimated if this was affordable by assuming you saved up money in the first and second months. But the Ombudsman often doesn’t think this is fair, for example, here is one Ombudsman decision.
We further assessed affordability by viewing your account history for hardship. If we concluded that any of your prior loans were in hardship status, we evaluated whether any subsequent loans were issued without an adequate gap in time in between.
But QQ doesn’t seem to take account of whether you had to roll a loan, ask for a top-up or ask for extra time to repay a loan, even though that is also evidence that you were struggling.
we closely reviewed whether you took out multiple loans in short succession and whether there were negative changes in your individual circumstances such as a decrease in income and/or an increase in “other credit commitments” between said loans. We further analysed dependency by examining whether you had any loan(s) with numerous extensions or rollovers and if so, whether any subsequent loan was funded in close proximity thereafter.
QQ say they “closely review” these, but often they just seem to reject a case even if often you had to roll a loan or borrow again soon after repaying one.
You may feel this letter doesn’t actually reflect your sitution at all – and you are probably right! QQ don’t explain why they have refused to refund some loans, or why they picked the ones they did.There is just this standard words.
How good is QuickQuid’s offer?
QQ do not negotiate – it is a waste of time trying to get them to improve an offer.
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.
Special case 1 – loans taken after March 2015
In 2018 QuickQuid started refusing to refund on loans taken in March 2015 or after. This isn’t explained in your response letter.
This is apparently because they changed their lending policy then. It’s not a good argument – 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.
The Ombudsman is not agreeing with QQ’s argument, pointing out that after you have borrowed several times from QQ, they should be doing more detailed checks.
Here are the Ombudsman decision published in January 2019 on this issue.
I haven’t been carefully selective there. In every January decision published so far involving post-2015 loans, the Ombudsman has rejected QQ’s argument.
So if you have recent loans from QQ, don’t feel depressed that you haven’t been offered a refund, send the case straight to the Ombudsman to look at.
Special case 2 – loans that are more than 6 years old
Many lenders have been paying out refunds for loans over 6 years since 2017. But so far QQ 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 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.
In 2019, QQ has paid out on a couple of test cases and the Ombudsman is starting to look at more cases. See the comments below this article for recent developments!
But still QQ is labelling these older loans “Outside Time Limits” on the list of loans they send you with their response. I suggest you ignore this and send the complaint to the Ombudsman.
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.
Three things not to worry about:
- you won’t “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.
- the Ombudsman won’t reject your case because you had a large income or 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.
- cases where there was a lot of repeat borrowing and gambling are getting good refunds.
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.
Worried they may go bust like Wonga?
You may be worried that QQ will go bust like Wonga.
But QQ’s 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 updated March 2019