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Legal, pensions and money

Buy now pay later advice please

(58 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

BlueBelle Mon 02-Oct-23 18:19:16

I think it all hangs on the messages going into your spam for three years and you not noticing !!!

M0nica Mon 02-Oct-23 23:35:35

Speak to Citizen's Advice or Trading Standards. They will know whether this is legal or not.

rosie1959 Tue 03-Oct-23 06:33:04

When you first took the loan out OP what were the terms for bnpl usually with such small amounts as your new coat it would be a three month term or at the most 1 year.
So if it was 3 months your DDM would have to have been around £50/to clear the balance in time.
If you did not clear the balance by the end of the term interest would accrue on the balance due.
I occasionally use this method to get a discount on products but tend to make the payment in full once I get the first statement if it is for a smaller amount.

NanaTuesday Tue 03-Oct-23 09:47:35

tickingbird ,

Neither do I ! This the the whole point , it is a complete nightmare . I have not defaulted on any payment and now that I am in the account I can clearly see that the payments have been taken monthly on a regular basis no defaults as some have suggested.
The fact is/was that Yes I knew payments were being made from our joint account to this company (Very) but my husband has an account and has often purchased things from them so I was not too concerned about the monthly payments ,Although ironically I have often asked him not to be for purchasing via this medium rather than paying direct

NanaTuesday Tue 03-Oct-23 09:50:29

Germanshepardmum, Unfortunately , not so the statements only go back to Oct 2022.
It seems that other small items purchased also had tiny outstanding balances (when I say tiny under £2.00 !)were incurring interest .....

NanaTuesday Tue 03-Oct-23 09:54:50

Yes, I probably originally had that plan in mind, however things went awry and now here we are . Update is that I have made the payment in full and have also made a complaint ,I have spoken to the UK Complaints team and am expecting a call back today .
I will get back to give the response

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 03-Oct-23 10:01:51

That makes more sense, if other items were added but the DD wasn’t altered to make extra payments, then interest would have accrued. Change your password and don’t tell your DH the new one, so that he can’t buy anything else from them.

rosie1959 Tue 03-Oct-23 10:11:42

NanaTuesday I hope you get a response from the Company
I too have used Very in the past for quite a large purchase I brought my daughter a Silver Cross pram and got 25% off which made it a excellent price but made sure I paid it before the term expired by logging into your account you can see where you are without waiting for emails.
I would presume it is up the the purchaser to keep an eye on
their own accounts to watch for any payments due. With most companies you can still opt for paper statements sent by post.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 03-Oct-23 10:40:52

I see that Very has an option for paying for an item over three months, which they call Take Three. No interest is charged if you make the three monthly payments. However if you don’t, interest is charged at an eye watering 42.9% APR and they take a small minimum monthly payment from you. This is clear on their website. I found this easily:

Your coat would have been paid for by three payments, two of £50; and one of £49 (ignoring any delivery charges). Obviously you didn’t, for whatever reason, make those payments so you have been charged interest on your outstanding balance (including interest already accrued), less the minimum payments you have been making. At this rate of interest, compounded, the debt mounts up very (sorry) quickly. I’m sure that if you request statements going back to Jan 2021 from Very’s customer services they will be provided.

I really don’t see that you have anything to complain about. You should have realised that you weren’t making the three payments for your coat, and you should have read the emails which went into your spam box - I have perfectly legitimate emails landing in spam every day. Doubtless they contained your monthly statements or told you that the latest statement was available to view online. I’m afraid you have had to pay a high price for not paying attention for the best part of three years. It’s all perfectly legal and the conditions are clearly understandable. You don’t have cause to complain. For heaven’s sake close this account.

Stansgran Tue 03-Oct-23 10:57:31

It is very easy to ignore the spam folder. It is so full of objectionable things. The internet can be a total pain. The best of us can make mistakes. I’ve just bought some new covers for settees and paid the deposit. I didn’t get a bill for the remainder amount so sent a cheque. The company returned the cheque saying I’d already paid. I haven’t as it’s a peculiar amount and easily searchable in my accounts. I’ve kept the letter and the cheque and will return it to them when they do their sums but they are an excellent company and I do not want them to lose out.but I have not the time to sit on the phone and try to find the right person. ( I’ve got time to read gransnet though)

Katie59 Tue 03-Oct-23 10:58:24

These deferred payments are deliberately attractive because they know a significant number of buyers will not be able to pay on time and the finance company will make a much higher profit.

Many of these purchases are not essentials, they are what the buyer “wants” not what he/she “needs”, don’t get caught!.

Stansgran Tue 03-Oct-23 11:00:08

Also my DH who carries all our finances in his head has been told that he has some spare money in Hargreavess lansdowne and even he is baffled. I would argue with the company. It’s worth a try. They are not all perfect.

Millie22 Tue 03-Oct-23 11:21:16

It seems to be purely a case of compound interest. It's not a new thing and people can get caught out by it as you have.

Frizzywizzy Tue 03-Oct-23 14:28:50

I was in a similar situation myself once. We bought a little teddy from Laura Ashley, moved house and I didn’t get a statement asking for payment. I thought I’d given them the new address, but they denied it.
Anyway, with all the stress of moving house and becoming self employed for the first time, I completely forgot about this tiny little teddy that cost about £12.
I’m afraid it cost me hundreds of pounds, but can’t remember exactly. It was over £300, but can’t remember exactly.
Due to this little teddy, my credit rating was ruined and I then chose to go to Court to try to get my credit rating sorted.
If you possibly can, pay up right away and put it all behind you x

missdeke Tue 03-Oct-23 15:06:37

I don't think you have any legal means to not pay what they have asked, however, I would write to them and grovel a bit. Explain everything that's happened and ask if there is any way the interest debt could either be removed or reduced. Or alternatively if you cannot afford to pay it all in one go, ask if you can pay in a set number of instalments over a set period without any further interest added.

As long as you take ownership of the problem they may help due to your mitigating circumstances. If youu don't ask you won't get. Good Luck.

arum Tue 03-Oct-23 18:58:41

I would contact the Citizens advice in the UK (opied from their website):

Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 0808 223 1133 Relay UK - if you can't hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0808 223 1133
You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone.
There's no extra charge to use it.
Find out how to use Relay UK on the Relay UK website.
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

suzie20 Tue 03-Oct-23 19:25:51

These are the BNPL terms for Very

About Buy Now Pay Later
How is Buy Now Pay Later interest calculated?
Interest is calculated from date of order and compounded daily. The interest will be added to your account as a lump sum at the end of the delayed payment period. This means you will pay interest on interest.

How can you avoid paying Buy Now Pay Later interest?
You can avoid all of the interest by paying the cash price before the end of the delayed payment period, this can be done in one full payment or multiple partial payments. Making partial payments without clearing the cash price in full will reduce the amount of interest charged at the end of the delayed payment period.

If you choose not to pay the cash price before the end of the delayed payment period a lump sum of compound interest will be charged to your account.

How to pay Buy Now Pay Later
Remember, to make a full or partial payment towards your BNPL items, simply login to your account, choose 'Make a Payment', select 'Pay Buy Now Pay Later' and allocate your payments to the specific Buy Now Pay Later purchase you wish to pay off. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 11 00 00, but remember to tell us that your payment is towards your Buy Now Pay Later item(s).

Don't forget, even if you make a payment towards your Buy Now Pay Later transactions you will still need to make at least your minimum payment as detailed in your account summary.

If you have paid the cash price in full before the end of the delayed payment period, you will not pay any interest. If you have not paid the cash price in full or have only made a partial payment, a lump sum of interest will be charged to your account. Any outstanding balance plus the interest will now become payable.

As the outstanding balance, plus the interest now form part of your payable balance they will attract interest at your account rate, meaning you will pay interest on interest. This will be included within your account minimum payment request every month and cannot be repaid using Take 3.

crazyH Tue 03-Oct-23 19:52:43

NanaTuesday - when we first set up home, we bought a TV on HP (similar to buy now pay later) . We had a very kind Bank Manager, who called us in and suggested that next time we wanted to make a big purchase, we should apply for a Bank Loan rather than HP. We were young and naive. We became great friends with the BM and went out to Dinner many tines, until my husband and I divorced. I think my Ex still socialises with him.

w1u7 Tue 03-Oct-23 19:56:28

Contact Citizens Advice. They are brilliant.

Caravansera Tue 03-Oct-23 20:11:12

Even so, at current APR of 42.9% (see GSM’s post above), if you compound at the daily periodic rate (APR/365) and didn’t make any repayments between January 2021 and end of September 2023, the sum owing would be just under £490.

I still cannot see how this has cost £600 if regular repayments have been made unless there are other charges to the account.

By the end of year one, with no repayments the debt would be £230, by end of year two £353 and end of September in year three £490.

At the beginning of the period with no repayments, interest is being added at 18p a day and by the end of the period 57p a day.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 03-Oct-23 22:45:07

It seems that further items have been purchased using the account. The OP says that some additional small purchases have been made. She says under £2 - (what can you buy from Very for that?) but she doesn’t yet have all the statements for the relevant period and the account is used not only by her but also by her husband, with the minimum payments being taken from their joint bank account. I have suggested that she closes the Very account immediately to prevent more purchases being made at this horrendous (but entirely legal) rate of interest.

M0nica Tue 03-Oct-23 22:49:35

This story reminds me of a specific company, whose name eludes me, who specialise in getting outrageous sums of money out of people with tricks like this.

I had to extricate several elderly and mentally struggling people from contracts with them. Everything they do is strictly legal, but underhand and nasty.

Caravansera Wed 04-Oct-23 01:06:50

I agree GSM. There must be other transactions which have added to the debt.

A standard APR on a credit card is currently around 25%. On a daily basis, the difference between 25% and 42.9% compounded doesn’t make a great deal of difference to the daily interest added at the start of a loan - on £150, 10p a day compared to 18p a day but it can certainly mount up over time.

What it does highlight is that it is less expensive to pay with a credit card.

Even at 42.9% (and I doubt the APR would have been that high in January 2021 when the Bank of England base rate was at an historical low of 0.10), £15.00 a month would have paid off a £150 debt in a year.

Very publish this example of a monthly statement and explain clearly what each part means.

It would be clear to see if the amount owing at the end of the month was more than was owing at the start of the month, which should always be a red flag if making a fixed monthly repayment.

It shows what transactions have taken place during the month, what interest will be added, what the minimum payment should be and what additional payments are required for TAKE 3 transactions.

I can see no evidence whatsoever, based on what we have been told, that Very has done anything wrong. It isn’t Very’s fault that the customer did not notify them of a change of address until almost eighteen months after moving. Nor is it Very’s fault that a customer doesn’t monitor their own email properly or arrange with Royal Mail for post to be redirected from a previous address.

The company will have been sending out monthly statements from January 2021 when the debt was incurred until now. That’s 33 monthly statements, either paper or electronic or both, that nobody appears to have been checking until now.

M0nica Wed 04-Oct-23 07:22:44

Can I say in defence of the OP. I do understand how things can slip when life is as complex and difficult as hers has been recently.

Both DH and I have had health crises in the last year or so, and we, too, have found that our household administration has fallen from its usual efficiency and we have had a few bills that didn't get paid by the due date, mainly ones where you are notified online.

We also, both, have our own bank accounts, so that all my standing orders are on my own account and regular payments are there for me to see every month., which makes months/years of oversight less easy.

25Avalon Wed 04-Oct-23 08:37:42

It’s sad and understandable but you have to take ownership. How many people check their bank statements at least every month for transactions as we are advised to. Let it slip and you can find a direct debit going out every month for a service you no longer receive.