Whilst a majority of Lending Stream customers are happy, there will always be some that are not.
Sometimes, customers are unhappy with the experience because of their own financial difficulties. Other times, the lender might be to blame. Providers of short-term loans will manage many different customers each day. Occasionally, mistakes may be made.
If customers do not feel their experience with Lending Stream has lived up to their expectations, they may want to make a formal complaint.
As a responsible lender, Lending Stream must address every complaint that is received.
How Lending Stream complaints are made
If you have been unhappy with any aspect of your borrowing experience, then you should first complain directly to Lending Stream. The Complaints Handling Procedure tells you how to go about this.
Lending Stream invites complaints by email, by phone or in written form. The phone line for complaints is open between 8 am and 8 pm from Monday through until Friday. It is not possible to submit a complaint by phone over the weekend.
Lending Stream should acknowledge receipt of a complaint within two days, according to their own procedure.
Within 14 days, you can expect to receive a written response that confirms the nature of your complaint. It should also contain a solution proposal, which you can accept or reject.
If you are happy with the solution that is offered, you can choose to accept it and close the complaint. If you are not, you can respond to enter further discussions.
Lending Stream will aim to resolve all complaints within eight weeks. If this does not happen, they should tell you why and provide a further deadline.
After eight weeks, if you are not satisfied, you can file a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman.
Complaining to the Financial Ombudsman
The Financial Ombudsman can help if you have not received a response to your complaint. Or, if the response that you’ve received does not resolve your problem.
You can send a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman for an independent and impartial investigation.
Types of complaints about Lending Stream
Negative reviews provide one of the best ways to access feedback from unhappy previous customers. You can read reviews to find out why others have been unhappy with their experience.
Lending Stream loan reviews on Trustpilot include complaints that:
- the lender takes too long to respond to email queries.
- the lender is sometimes unable to provide loans to customers that have kept up with their repayments in the past.
- that the lender contacts customers too frequently, to offer new loans or chase overdue payments.
Many complaints are not too serious and can be easily resolved.
Complaints about loan applications that have not been approved reflect positively on the lender. They show that Lending Stream checks affordability and assesses each customer’s ability to repay what they owe. If a customer cannot afford a loan, they will not be offered it.
The following are genuine 1 and 2-star reviews written by Lending Stream customers
“I used them 3 times before. Once for a small loan, the other two times for a bit more: £500 and £700. I paid early every single time .Took one month to two months. I applied for a loan and was refused, although nothing changed and I checked my credit and it has actually improved?”.
“Took out a loan six months ago. Was approved ok, but to be honest they are not the fastest lenders at paying out. However, problems occurred when trying to use their customer services. I was only trying to make a general enquiry to start with, but due to their failure to respond it turned into a compliant. Whilst this is an American company they use Asia based call centres, and I think that’s where the problem occurred. Their understanding of the English language wasn’t great.”
“Initially very good in terms of a quick application and fast payment. I have, however, a simple query related to reporting to credit reference agencies, which I am currently waiting over a month for a response for. I have chased on 4 or 5 occasions and even raised the issue separately again, to which there has also been no response. The only communication was an auto response. Sent after first raising queries and my attempts to chase have been completely ignored.”
Lending Stream refunds and compensation
Customers with serious complaints about Lending Stream can contact the Financial Ombudsman.
If the Financial Ombudsman rules in a customer’s favour, they may be entitled to compensation or to a full or partial refund.
The Financial Conduct Authority required some lenders to pay compensation. That is when it took over as the industry’s regulatory body. It looked into each lender’s trading history, to ensure that they had treated customers fairly. Lending Stream was not amongst those required to provide redress.
Lending Stream has not been required to provide any large-scale compensation payouts. Yet, individual customers may still be entitled if their formal complaint is upheld.
Lending Stream might also choose to provide financial compensation in the earlier stages. Especially if they feel that your complaint is a valid one.
Reviews of this lender are generally very positive. On Trustpilot, Lending Stream has a score of 9.4 out of 10 as of January 2017. Most customers are happy with their instalment loans, but this does not mean that every one runs smoothly.
If many complaints about Lending Stream are upheld by the Financial Ombudsman then the FCA might step in. All lenders must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. And this authorisation can be withdrawn if there are concerns about a lender’s behaviour.