James Moore: Wonga should be told when it is in the wrong
Outlook Wonga.com likes to claim that it is a "responsible lender" which is largely based on the fact that it shamelessly boasts about its usurious interest rates and charges.
According to the Office of Fair Trading it isn't quite so responsible when it comes to collecting money from people who find themselves struggling to pay back their loans (not least because of those charges).
If people find themselves drowning in debt the responsible thing to do is to enter a debt management plan with creditors to slowly pay them off. But not, it seems, in Wonga's world. Some of the people in such plans were sent letters which told them if they didn't find Wonga's wonga when Wonga demanded they'd find the police pursuing them for fraud. Another group had cancelled card-based payments to Wonga. They were told the same.
The company plans to appeal the OFT's findings, claiming the letters were simply "isolated incidents".
Isolated incidents that will have generated quite unnecessary fear among people with enough on their plates. The OFT started a review into this unsavoury sector of the loans market in February. It is time for it to be wrapped up. Wonga needs to be on the receiving end of a few more nasty letters from the watchdogs.
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