11 August 2011

The real rip-off culture? Part One

An article covering the story of campaigner Steve Perry, author of  'When Payday Loans Go Wrong'.

By: Chris Skinner
Source: Financial Services Club Blog
Date: August 05, 2011

"Further to my write-up about Wonga the other day, I have been contacted by author and campaigner Steve Perry, who has been on the wrong side of the payday loans industry.
Now don’t get me wrong.
I am NOT against payday loans firms or their operations (I actually admire Wonga's technology ops).
I AM against the uncapped interest these firms charge on their vulnerable customers.
However, this also needs to be qualified in terms of who are 'vulnerable customers' and who actually charges 'rip-off' rates and how.
For example, Wonga have also contacted me to put their side of the story and made clear that they do not target 'vulnerable' people with 'rip-off' rates.
Read Monday's blog to see what their take on the world is, particularly as my original piece was kicked off by the Wired magazine coverage of Wonga.
In that coverage were two issues.
First, the line in the article that stated: “within a year, Wonga had issued 100,000 loans, worth £20 million, earning about £15 million by charging interest at an eyewatering headline rate.”
I had a fundamental issue with a firm making those sort of rates of profits on loans, but Wonga tell me their margins are nowhere near these levels and, having met with them, I will take that as fact.
Second, the star letter that followed in Wired the following month saying: “When I could no longer repay a Wonga loan, it took 50 days of ringing and emailing to get through – an £800 loan became a £1,700 repayment.” Steve Perry
As mentioned, Steve contacted me following the blog entry and I discovered that he is a person who got into serious trouble using payday loans. Wonga tell me they are not a payday firm, which again I will explain on Monday.
But let's look at Steve's story..."

Read the full article
...