Helen* took out multiple payday loans from an online payday lender. When the company changed its business practices from e-transfers to distributing loans via credit cards, she was required to pay a $10 fee to receive the card. Something didn’t seem right. Helen had been watching the news and heard a BC-based company was ordered to refund consumers for charging additional fees on cash cards. She went to Consumer Protection BC’s website and started looking at payday lending rules. Based on what she found, Helen decided to reach out directly. “I wanted to see if it was a legitimate charge or not,” she says. “My situation was so similar; it just couldn’t be legal.”
After filing a complaint with Consumer Protection BC, which reviewed her case, Helen received a cheque for over $1,300 – a reimbursement for interest charged on the non-compliant loans as well as the $10 credit card loading fee. “The Enforcement Inspector was great; my case was very well handled,” says Helen. “I was surprised, and delighted. I honestly thought I would only get $10 back.”
Helen encourages other consumers to know the rules and contact Consumer Protection BC right away if they know that a company is taking advantage of people by breaking the BC’s consumer protection laws.
*Name changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved
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This is a real story of a consumer who came to us for help. Consumer Protection BC is responsible for enforcing BC’s payday lending laws which includes the maximum allowable cost of borrowing, disclosure of certain information, prohibiting certain unfair lending practices and more. Payday loans are small, short-term loans of $1,500 or less that must be repaid within 62 days (when the borrower receives their pay cheque or other income).
We hope this blog post can assist you in making an informed decision. For more information about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to payday lending, please visit the Consumer Help section of our website. If you are interested in reading more consumer stories, please read our 2015 Annual Report.