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Indie Bookshop Turnaround using the Power of Twitter

17 Jan 2020

The Petersfield Bookshop is an independent bookshop based in Petersfield, Hampsire, that experienced an unlikely turnaround in just one night using the power of the internet.
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'Biggest Cash Increase Ever' to affect National Living Wage from April

15 Jan 2020

At £8.72 per hour, the National Living Wage will rise by 51p in April from its current rate of £8.21
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2019 Best Small Shops competition winner in the running for Shop of the Year 2020

14 Jan 2020

Papadeli, recognised by Indie Retail as the Best Small Shop of 2019, hasnow gone on to reach the final of Shop of the Year 2020, run by the Guild of Fine Food, in the Delicatessen & Grocer... Read more…

New Christmas film highlights the importance of shopping indie

19 Dec 2019

A new Christmas film produced by Lanther Black has encompassed all that is important about shopping independent this Christmas
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How The Arienas Collective are adapting to a changing market

18 Dec 2019

The Arienas Collective is looked at as an example of digital transformation of SMEs and how this may be affecting the future of commerce.
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Retail Week Live open for registration

17 Dec 2019

Retail Week Live is an inspirational two-day retail conference that provides leaders with the ideas, insight and networks to lead through digital transformation and win greater consumer... Read more…

New app helps convenience stores compete with supermarket giants

16 Dec 2019

Snappy Shopper has recently been introduced to the market as a new app that enables local independent shops to increase their sales through offering delivery.
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Hafod Hardware encourages people to shop local

5 Dec 2019

A christmas advert made by an independent hardware shop has become exceedingly popular across the UK within a matter of days
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How will each UK Political Party affect local shops?

3 Dec 2019

Ahead of the 2019 General Election ACS have summarised how each of the main Political Party's manifesto will affect local shops
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ACS calls on Convenience Stores to respond to 2020 Crime Survey

25 Nov 2019

IRC member ACS is calling on convenience store retailers to share their experiences of retail crime over the last 12 months in their 2020 Crime Survey.
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Buy Now Pay Later firm misleads customer and negatively affects credit score

Posted on in Business News, Cycles News

Following on from the ACT mini-series, Choosing the right finance provider, avoid the pitfalls, a recent story published on BBC news shows how a popular finance provider misled a 21-year-old student which ended in her credit score nearly halving.

Erin Phillips considers herself well organised with monthly payments set up to pay off credit card bills and her car automatically. However, when using a retail finance firm that has a popular buy now pay later option to buy clothes online, try them on, and pay 30 days later, she found herself to be improperly informed in terms of payments.

She had missed a few payments without realising that this could negatively affect her credit score, which banks and credit card companies use to decide whether or not to lend to people. Upon missing the first payment, Ms Phillips received a letter like this from the company:


The student says that the email was not very informative and that if she had known the purchases made through the retail finance firm could affect her so much then she would not have used it.

'Misleading ads'

Multiple debt charities, including Stepchange, the Money Advice Trust, the Debt Support Trust and Christians Against Poverty, are calling on buy now pay later firms to be better at explaining risks to customers' finances in their adverts.

Stuart Carmichael, chief executive of the Debt Support Trust, described some buy now pay later adverts as "misleading".

The firm that affected Erin Phillips has a popular product called "Pay later", whereby customers have 14 or 30 days to pay off shopping they've bought online, with no added interest. For customers using this service, unpaid bills can be marked on their credit score and passed to a debt collection agency. These details were not included in the company's recent advertising campaign.

'Popular with young people' 

The firm partners with many companies that are popular with young people including Asos, H&M and Topshop. It also uses Instagram influencers and Love Island contestants that again have a young following. There are concerns that young people might be encouraged to take on debt using this company just to afford some new make-up, or a dress for a night out.

According to the BBC, under-25s made up 14% of those seeking help from the charity Stepchange in 2018, with an average outstanding debt of more than £6,000.

Sarah Pennells, editor of the consumer finance website Savvy Woman says "The whole point of retailers signing up with Klarna or companies like this is that people buy more. And some of those people probably shouldn't be buying more".

The advice given by Ms Pennells is "If you're thinking of using buy now, pay later, ask yourself if you'd still buy the item if you didn't have this option".

Find out more

Read the full BBC story here, which includes information on where those struggling with debt can find advice.

It may also be worth having a recap on the ‘Avoid the pitfalls' mini-series the ACT published in April 2019 which answered the trade's questions about selecting the most suitable retail finance provider. Key topics examined were why low rates can equal lost sales, the importance of checking the finer details of your agreement and why you should identify who actually lends the money when selecting your provider.

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C 2 Zero Limited t/a ActSmart & Ride it away is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 657829.



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