Borrowers’ legitimate doubts were also raised by a “free” loan for new customers. Bet Credit and Wincredit argued in advertising spots with financial support up to $ 2,000 for a period of 30 or 61 days completely free. As it turned out, there was little truth in it. One of the conditions for this to happen was timely repayment of the liability. Otherwise, the borrower was to pay solid interest and a commission – up to ¼ of the loan amount. The auditors estimated that if the loan were actually free, the consumer would only be required to pay interest for each day of delay. However, in this situation, he had to pay the conditionally suspended salary of the lender. Therefore, the delay was associated with a greater cost than suggested in the advertisement.
Another exception to the norm by Wincredit was the breach of the loan agreement regarding interest. Pursuant to it, the institution was entitled to charge it on outstanding amounts. In practice, however, they were calculated on the basis of the entire loan amount, as a result of which the borrowers paid higher interest than they should have. Even with small liabilities without any legal basis, several dozen or even several hundred zlotys a month disappeared from their portfolio.
A quarter to the transfer
Another understatement that could affect the choice of this offer by consumers was to ensure both companies that the money will reach each of the borrowers in just 15 minutes. In a world where time plays a huge role and customers who use the offer of institutions from the financial sector usually need cash “yesterday”, instant transfer is one of the strongest assets. Unfortunately, Bet Credit and Wincredit misled customers. It turned out that, admittedly, companies were able to transfer funds up to 15 minutes, but only to consumers who have bills in specific banks. So some people were waiting for money, but in reality they could only receive it after posting it on the next business day. In addition, Wincredit did not specify in its advertising materials that the quarter was calculated not from the moment the potential borrower submitted the application for financial assistance, but from the positive decision.
Lender name is missing
The last reason for UOKiK’s imposition of a fine was that Bet Credit brokered loans by another financial sector entity, but concealed this fact in advertisements and all kinds of advertisements. This caused a lot of misinformation. The consumer was not entirely sure who they borrow money from.
A lesson for others and change
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection showed that there is no consent in Poland for breaking the law and dishonesty towards clients, especially in the loan industry. For years, the legislator has changed the rules in such a way as to limit the scale of fraud on the part of lenders. Consumers are sometimes not fully aware and aware of the rules prevailing on the market. Most debtors who decide to make a commitment have a proverbial knife on their throats and most often act under the influence of emotions. The penalty for Wincredit and Bet Credit was a sign that consumers are not in a lost position when faced with large institutions.