Thanks to regulation and an industry-wide price cap introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2015, preventing interest and fees from exceeding 0.8% per day of the amount borrowed, ensuring default charges do not exceed £15, and that borrowers never have to pay back more in fees and interest than the amount borrowed, the high-cost short-term credit industry has changed for the better.
Borrowers are protected from excessive charges, lenders are subject to more rigorous compliance checks with harsh penalties for failure, and borrowers can be confident they are dealing with firms where fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture.
To find out more about other regulations introduced by the FCA to improve the market, click here
With the playing field levelled by the industry-wide price cap and lenders subjected to stringent regulations, borrowers now have the opportunity to evaluate more than just the cost of the loan to find the right lender – and one of the key considerations in this process is customer service.To find out what else you should consider before applying for a short-term payday loan, download our eBook now. It's free!
But what does good customer service look like?
Available when you need them
The lender you choose should be able to respond to your queries in a timely manner and be able to route you to their dedicated call centre as quickly as possible, ideally one local to you.
Efficient and easy-to-use
When applying for a payday or short-term loan, you need your funds as quickly as possible. You want to apply to a lender who has a comprehensive yet streamlined application process in place that allows you to get funds without unnecessary delay.
Throughout your engagement with a lender, you should always receive the same level of customer service across different channels – online or offline – and you should always be confident that you are in excellent hands. Furthermore, those with up-to-date accounts or those in arrears/needing forbearance should all be treated positively, sympathetically and fairly.
Honest and loyal
You want a lender who has your best interests at heart and provides all the information you need to make an informed and responsible borrowing decision up front. The service should begin and end with you. Lastly, make sure they are authorised by the FCA.
To make sure the lender’s service aligns with these features, the next step is to look closely at each lender’s short-term loan reviews. Does the experience match the promise?
Finding the right lender via customer reviews
Customer reviews can give you a good indication of what to expect in terms of the level of customer service, speed and ease of application process, and overall experience. However, when using customer reviews to assess the customer service quality of a lender, bear these two things in mind:
- Although a customer may have left a positive review, this does not mean that they received a “fair” service.
- Customer reviews need to be unbiased and verified as legitimate.
Also, how recent are the reviews and has the lender responded? Old reviews may not necessarily be reflective of the lender’s current level of service, while responses to both positive and negative customer reviews in a timely and considerate manner will help you to understand the lender’s treatment of customers. Lenders who respond to and acknowledge negative reviews highlight that they are 1) not ignoring the issue, 2) trying to make things right and improve their level of service, and 3) showing other readers that they are not neglectful and will take the time to address customer concerns.
At Uncle Buck, we pride ourselves on our superior level of customer service. For us, the customer is at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to treating our customers fairly. We ensure that we provide customers with the information they need to make responsible borrowing decisions and we work together with them to ensure they have a pleasant experience. As one of the oldest and most established lenders, we have a strong appreciation of what good customer service can do for our customers.
Of course, customer service is just one of the things you should consider when weighing up lenders – to find out what else you should consider, download our free eBook.