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Legal, pensions and money

Buy now pay later advice please

(57 Posts)
NanaTuesday Sun 01-Oct-23 22:26:19

Has anyone else experienced this particular issue ?
I am not an advocate of bnpl , however in Jan 2021 I purchased a coat via this method at a cost of £149 .
At the time I believe the country was in lockdown & this was a way to cheer my daily walks .
Fast forward to today 1/10/23 & I have discovered that the balance on the account is ……..
As you can imagine I am feeling quite ill about this !
Yes, I was aware of a small amount being taken via a DD monthly this I presumed was my DH account , so didn’t question it , until now .
The Coat that originally cost £149 has cost me an untold amount which is incredibly insane and inflating daily .
So , how did this happen ? I have already said I thought it was DH’s account .
Stupidly ,
in the Summer of 2020 we had a house flood , resulting in us having to find alternative accommodation put our belongings in storage and deal with all manner of house renovations/ refurbishment/ drying out etc. we moved out in Oct 2020 moved back in April 2021.
Then in July 2021 another houseflood ( I can see you thinking 🙈) these were due to one of those heavy rainfalls that happen over a short time frame unfortunately this one was worse with the same outcome of moving etc etc . We finally moved back in March 22.
Having said all of this you can understand that my mind wasn’t exactly focused on a small amount coming out of my bank monthly or of making the payment in full .
So here we are and I do not know what to do . On the one hand pay the amount because it’s needing to be paid on the other “ how can they get away with this “ interest is being charged daily so in effect you are paying interest on interest & my coat to date including the amount outstanding today has cost in excesss of £600 !!!!!!!!!! !!!
Oh and as an added extra yes there were emails sent which didn’t arrive in my inbox as I failed to press whatever I should of when I received the first email - which ironically I didn’t receive they all went to a spam box !!
Also due to the house moving scenario mail was also sent to the temporary address & any further mail ( if any for this company) was also sent there ! To receive the goods I had changed my address online & not changed it back until yesterday , when I found out I was still paying .
Advice required please

welbeck Sun 01-Oct-23 22:45:24

can you pay the amount outstanding now, to avoid further interest charges.
it's a lesson learned, i guess, to read the small print of any financial arrangement before agreeing to it.

Oopsadaisy1 Sun 01-Oct-23 22:56:47

Check that there is no penalty for paying the outstanding amount in full and pay it off.

As Welbeck said read the small print when buying and paying in instalments.

vickymeldrew Sun 01-Oct-23 22:57:25

NanaTuesday - as Welbeck advises, just take ownership and pay the bill now and your problem is solved.
Next time (if there is one) you won’t make the same mistakes.

Shelflife Mon 02-Oct-23 00:17:36

Some unsympathetic responses here Nana , but sadly correct ones! I don't think you have any option but to pay the bill in full before it escalates again! Please be very careful in the future, I am sorry this had happened and recognize how upset you are. I feel sure you won't be in this position again. Pay in full asap, and make sure this does not happen again. Good luck.

NanaTuesday Mon 02-Oct-23 08:24:02

Thank you for the “ support” it is appreciated. My first response was/is to pay this amount, this is not something I have a habit of doing and anything that I have brought from this particular retailer ( primarily known as a catalogue , back on the day ) have always been paid prior in a timely fashion with no escalation of interest.
Welbeck , Vickymeldrew , I totally take on board ownership of this and intend to make payment .
The issue for me is that is this “entirely legal “?
Rolling on and on when the actual payment of the item purchased has actually been paid almost 5 times over . This cannot be allowed, maybe I should have asked in a clearer fashion the question….” Is this legal “ ????????
So in response I am paying & never did I say that I was not paying .
But again to repeat myself , how can this practice be allowed !!!!
I will take this further & see what happens .

NanaTuesday Mon 02-Oct-23 08:29:50

Shelflife ,
Apologies, typo , your name was changed in the writing of my response.
Also to be clear this was ONE item purchased from what is a “ reputable [welknown seller “
If you use one of these sellers we all know the t&cs what I fail to understand is how something for such a small amount continues to be billed for 3 years later how does that even happen ?

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 02-Oct-23 08:33:42

Have you checked with them? Maybe the DDs were taken in error? Do you still have the catalogue so that you can read the current interest rates?

Could be a simple error on their part, most reputable ‘ ‘ ‘Catalogue’ companies only charge a small interest fee.

Doodledog Mon 02-Oct-23 08:47:05

It does happen. Years ago I knew someone at work who bought a bra from somewhere similar to what the OP describes. It didn’t fit so she returned it - or thought she had. She was going through a divorce at the time and had other problems so hadn’t realised that the parcel hadn’t been taken to the PO as she misremembered, but was tidied away and left in a drawer for ages.

As with the OP, she had a lot going on financially because of the divorce, and didn’t notice the payments coming out of her account. When she did notice she stopped them, thinking that the bra had been returned. Later, she applied for a mortgage in her own name and was horrified to find that she was refused because of what showed as an unpaid debt. The payments she had made for the bra more than covered the cost of it, but the interest mounted after the payments stopped, and late fees were added each month.

I can’t remember what happened in the end, but it was out of all proportion to the cost of a bra - particularly as she could have afforded to pay outright and as it didn’t fit anyway.

Her fault, no doubt- but these things do happen, particularly when people are under stress.

BlueBelle Mon 02-Oct-23 08:47:46

I m not sure I fully understand what are you saying
Do you mean you ve been making payments for 3 years but not enough to cover the interest which has accumulated to £196 ?
Who set the monthly amount you needed to pay to cover all costs ?
If they have sent you emails warning you that you were in debt and you haven’t seen them, for whatever reason then I m afraid you won’t have a leg to stand on and they ve done nothing wrong
I d pay up and forget about it it doesn’t sound as if they re at fault but through your negligence (albeit a valid set of problems took your eye of the ball) you ve missed the warnings
I d put it behind you continue enjoying your 3 year old coat and look to the future

25Avalon Mon 02-Oct-23 08:54:55

You have to be so so careful NanaTuesday. They make their money by catching people out which is what happened to you in unfortunate circumstances. I’m always afraid of being caught out so am extra vigilant. It’s entirely legal as you signed the agreement, which is invariably in small print. Have you noticed how high the interest is on a credit card and how that accrues. Worse are these money lending companies with extortionate nearly 100% interest rates? Poor people who can’t get credit elsewhere are sometimes forced to use them and end up deeper in debt. I think they’ve stopped these companies advertising on the tv which is something.

Cadenza123 Mon 02-Oct-23 08:55:22

Contact Moneybox at the BBC Radio 4, they sometimes cover this sort of issue. Maybe Martin Lewis? I totally agree that the interest rate is extortionate. I'm sure that you are not the only one who has been caught.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 02-Oct-23 09:06:51

You seem to have received emails from this company - even if they go into your spam box they are easily retrieved. I’m afraid you didn’t check their conditions for a credit purchase when you bought the coat. In all likelihood you would have seen they are not unlike credit card conditions, whereby if you only pay the minimum amount each month the debt just keeps growing because of interest which is greater than the minimum payment. These small dds were probably just such minimum payments.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 02-Oct-23 09:26:01

Was it Next by any chance? Here are their standard T&Cs for credit purchases. Note the references to interest and minimum payments.

J52 Mon 02-Oct-23 09:33:02

You seem to have had a few tough times, this situation must have been an added shock. Sorry.
As others have said, companies like this do make money from people’s honest mistakes. I also think that you should contact the company and make a final payment. Even if involves borrowing from you bank or putting it on your credit card.
If I buy anything on line I always put it on my credit card, then I know I’m only dealing with my bank and the choice of payment in full or spreading it out, is mine.
Hope it’s sorted soon.

tickingbird Mon 02-Oct-23 09:40:56

I don’t understand why you owe more than you originally did if the direct debit has been collected for so long or have I misunderstood?

Katie59 Mon 02-Oct-23 09:44:24

Be careful of deferred payments they are credit agreements with T&Cs
A new Sofa £250 pay in 12 easy installments 0% interest.
That only applies if you keep up the payments, if you default the interest rate increases a lot and may double the cost. The OP had unexpected circumstances that affected payment, regardless you do need to be aware how these “deals” can bite you

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 02-Oct-23 09:55:01

Only the minimum payment was collected each month tickingbird. That wouldn’t cover the interest which was accruing - exactly like credit card debts if you don’t pay the amount owed in full each month.

Caravansera Mon 02-Oct-23 09:59:57

£600 on a £150 loan while you were making regular payments even if they were only the minimum?

Those numbers do not look right unless there have been other charges e.g. punitive fees for late payment.

If you put the numbers into an APR calculator at an average APR of 25% over three years you will get nowhere near that.

This will take you to a calculator.

Ultimately, you are responsible for having taken your eye of the ball. You bought the coat and presumably agreed to pay it back over an agreed period although you don't say what that was. If this is a catalogue company, are you sure you haven't bought addition items and added them to a rolling account without adjusting your payments?

You have had some emergencies but you say you have been back in your house since March 2022 and are only now, 18 months later, realising what has happened.

There will be an online account where you should be able to check every statements to determine exactly how this debt has accumulated. I doubt that there is anything you can do as you agreed to the terms but it will at least explain how £150 ended up costing £600.

Chestnut Mon 02-Oct-23 10:10:26

You really have had some bad times with all the flooding and I can't imagine how difficult that has been. So sorry for that.

The first thing I would do is get a statement showing all the payments and the running balance, so you can see how the amount owing has changed over time. At least that will give you an idea of what has happened and how it happened. You could then try contacting them with a sob story of how you've been flooded twice etc. and tell them how much you have actually paid over time. If they are not sympathetic then I agree about contacting Martin Lewis or another such financial service to see what they advise. Alternatively, if you can afford it and don't want the hassle, just pay the amount owing and be done with it. At least that will stop the interest accumulating.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 02-Oct-23 10:19:10

If the company in question is Next (OP’s description fits), if the amount outstanding on a credit account is not paid in full when a statement is generated interest is charged on the entire balance outstanding - i.e. interest is compounded, as with credit cards. There is nothing to be done other than paying off the entire amount outstanding.

NanaTuesday Mon 02-Oct-23 10:20:46

@Chestnut, thank you for reply , yes I am fully intending to take this further .however BNPL is unregulated (have spent lots of time researching over the week end ) Martin Lewis has lobbied parliament to have this changed (July 23) to no avail . Section 75 does not cover BNPL payments .
Which is obviously what I had done knowingly at the time . What I do not comprehend is "the how and why" this has rolled over for 3 years and I am "still "owing £196 an amount that will increase daily .
like many people ,I did not buy via this method because I could not afford to pay in full at the time but because it was available and I fully intended to pay ,with the option of 3 months to pay .. I need to investigate how it got to this point ...!!! (shock)

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 02-Oct-23 10:36:14

If you look at the statements you will see exactly how the original cost has escalated between Jan 2021 and October 2023.

25Avalon Mon 02-Oct-23 11:19:51

GSM is right.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 02-Oct-23 18:14:35

Is the OP confusing a credit card type of Catalogue account where you will be charged interest each month , or an actual Buy Now Pay later account where you don’t pay anything for a number of Months and then the payments start?
I don’t think we were in lockdown until after March 2021 so it all seems a bit confusing.