Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Amigo Loans

My complaint to the ASA:

The AMIGO advert makes claims that their lending model is like banking of old when a bank manager would take a personal guarantee when a lending proposition doesn't stand on its own merits.
The simple fact is that banks DID NOT used to do this: lenders who did were castigated and even fired. I worked for Lloyds Bank from 1973 to 1996 and spent the last dozen years as a lending Trainer, finishing up as the Lending strand manager for Thames Valley and East Region. (1/8 of the bank).
At no time did Lloyds (or any other) bank lend money based only on the availability of a personal guarantee or any other form of security. Before credit scoring took over, every lending proposition had to stand on its own two feet before any security was contemplated. Ask the Chartered Institute of Bankers. The availability of security may have made a banker feel happier and secured lending would be cheaper than unsecured lending. At the time, maybe 3% rather than 5% over base rate. Amigo are charging something like 700% APR (~698% OBR) and this also bears no resemblance to banking of old.

Please can we stop them using false nostalgia to justify their horrible practice of preying on the vulnerable. Thanks.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

B(roken) T(elecom) and how not to advertise.

(Originally posted by me on Facebook, this article has been expanded)

Saturday, 22 June

I am getting sick and tired of BT. Not because of their dreadful customer service or anything like that but because of their TV adverts.
You may have seen the current BT TV ad., where the boy is Skyping his girlfriend and her signal keeps dropping out. "You need one of these bad boys" he says, pointing at his BT router. I suspect she just needs ANY new one, possibly. Or a new laptop. Or a CAT5 cable. Or to be nearer her wireless base station. (Dual-band is of no advantage when only ONE device is connecting.)

Last week I asked @BT_UK and @BTCare on Twitter why their advert claimed "the only hub with dual-band technology". (This was a blatant lie as routers with dual-band have been widely available for quite a while. See below.)

They didn't respond for five days and so I complained to the ASA.

They have re-voiced the advert.

And made it worse.

BT now claims to supply the most reliable wireless hub in the UK. If other routers have the same dual-band technology (and my single-band Belkin is perfectly reliable) how can they make this claim? As far as I can tell, it is another lie, particularly if 10% of bandwidth is given up to the public, how can it be be better than a dedicated one???

If you happen to spot their advert making false claims (honest? truthful?) please complain to them and consider referring them to the Advertising Standards Authority. Thanks. They have until about ten tonight before I do, if their excuse for lying is as sucky as their last one. (They seem to think they are competing only with routers supplied by Virgin - who now supply dual-band too) and ignore every other supply channel.)

Of course, calling a wireless adsl router with a built-in switch a 'hub' only demonstrates they don't understand even how to name the very technology they are selling.

BT = Broken Telecoms.


When I searched here, there were 20 matches for dual-band routers which work with BT Broadband.


Sunday, 23 June

I have heard nothing from BT this weekend, even though they claim to monitor Twitter every day. Perhaps they blocked me. If so, that was silly. Here is my complaint to the ASA:

"I have already lodged a complaint about BT's recent TV commercials because they claimed to have 'the only broadband [router] with dual-band technology'. This was a lie. Ref: A##-######

"They have changed the voiceover of their ad to say 'the most reliable [router] in the UK'. This is also a lie. They have not answered my question for evidence or explanation of this claim and I can't find any independent reviews which support this assertion. There is nothing unique about their router - apart from its branding - and my old Belkin box is perfectly reliable. I fail to understand how anything could be MORE reliable than something which is 100% reliable.

"Perhaps it would be better if the idiots they have making adverts run the scripts by me next time so they are LDH&T. It would save a lot of our time. 'You probably won't find a more reliable router' is possibly acceptable because THEY ARE ALL pretty much THE SAME.

"Longer term, can we also ask them to stop describing a router as a hub? A hub is a specific piece of technology which is not a switch, an ADSL modem, or wireless, all of which is included in what they call a 'hub'. A hub is actually old technology which is still around and preceded a switch and does (almost) only that job. BT's name 'HomeHub' was okay because they 'invented' the word as far as I know. They seem to have dropped 'Home' and are now abusing the accepted technological definition of 'Hub', misleading and confusing people.

"I don't know who passes their campaigns as okay, but s/he needs a slap and a little educating about technology."

And one last thought. As TV Adverts run 24/7 shouldn't the advertisers and ASA both be contactable 24/7? If complaints are only handled on weekdays perhaps all advertising should take a break over weekends when you can make whatever outrageous claims you like.

Good grief.