MoneySuperMarket and Loansupermarket.net are NOT the same – but we can help!

Here at MoneySuperMarket, we’ve been receiving an increasing number of phone calls (up to 50 a day) from people complaining they’ve visited our loans channel and had money deducted from their bank accounts without their permission.

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The first point to make is that the website they’re complaining about has nothing to do with us!

The site concerned is called Loansupermarket.net. We, of course, are MoneySuperMarket.com.

There’s no connection between us whatsoever.

But we want to help you by explaining the situation in full, so please find our Q&A below…

Q. Why does searching for ‘Loansupermarket’ bring me to MoneySuperMarket?

A. Many aggrieved callers are coming to MoneySuperMarket because when you Google the term ‘Loansupermarket’, we rank near the top of the page. This is because the name is similar to MoneySuperMarket and we have a channel dedicated to loans. But we are in no way linked to Loansupermarket.net.

Q. So what is Loansupermarket.net?

A. Loansupermarket.net is a so-called ‘loan brokerage’ which means it will search for a loan on your behalf.  But to receive this ‘service’ you will first have to become a member – and for this you will be charged a fee.

The website doesn’t specify what this fee is, although one of the representatives we finally reached on the phone at Loansupermarket.net claimed it was £44.88.

The callers we’ve been talking to however, have had anything from £30 to £70 deducted from their bank accounts. And many haven’t even been found a loan.

Q. Can I get my fee back?

A. Loansupermarket.net says that if it doesn’t find you a loan, you can get this membership fee refunded.  This is from its website:

“… all you need to do is contact us by telephone or email to confirm to tell us (sic) you wish to cancel your membership – we will then send you a cancellation form for you to complete and return to us, once we have received the form your application will be cancelled and your refund made within 30 days. Please remember if you have been a member for more than 14 days the refund will be minus our £5.00 administration fee.”

However, if you call the number stated on the website, you are very unlikely to get through. In our experience it’s either engaged or you will be met with a recorded message telling you to contact MyQuid.net (which is part of the same company) on a different number.

Again, when we tried this number, it also was constantly engaged.  Unless you have any luck on email, this makes it nearly impossible to get the refund to which the site claims you are entitled.

Q. Is Loansupermarket.net regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?

A. We contacted the FCA to check this out. They said that Loansupermarket.net fell under the payday lending sector. Payday lenders were previously regulated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) but since April 1 this year, they fall under the remit of the FCA.  However, to become fully regulated by the FCA takes time and, like many other companies, Loansupermarket.net is currently in a state of ‘interim permission’. However, because Loansupermarket.net falls under the remit of ‘consumer credit’, responsibility still falls to the FCA is within this interim period.

Q. How is MoneySuperMarket trying to help?

A MoneySuperMarket’s aim is to ‘help every household make the most of their money’ – so it pains us to see people losing their hard-earned cash unnecessarily. Our own loans channel is entirely free to use and offers the very best deals on the market.

So what have we done about it?

We started by conducting our own enquiries. But when we got through to Loansupermarket.net, the representative (who would not give his full name or job title) only reiterated that customers wanting a refund should go through the process stated on the website. He would not accept this process wasn’t working, nor did he respond to a list of questions he promised he would answer by email.

So we have put together this article, alerted the FCA, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Action Fraud – the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime. 

Q. So what should you do now?

If you have had no luck contacting Loansupermarket.net by email or telephone to start the fee refund process, you can make an official complaint. You will have to complain to the company itself in the first instance, again, via email or telephone – you can find more about the process here.

Make a note of the date you made this complaint and, if you don’t hear back within eight weeks (or you are not satisfied with the response you do get), you can escalate it to the Financial Ombudsman Service which can be contacted on 0300 123 9123. The FOS will then investigate your complaint and could claim compensation on your behalf.

Action Fraud, mentioned above, has also asked that you call them direct on 0300 123 2040 and report your experience.

0300 numbers will be charged at standard landline rates and counted as free minutes if you have a ‘free or inclusive’ minutes package.

And here at MoneySuperMarket, we are also happy to continue to take your calls. We won’t be able to offer you a refund but we are happy to listen and explain what you can do over the telephone.

Finally, you can share your views with us and others who have had dealings with Loansupermarket.net on Twitter. Tweet @moneysupermarket using the hashtag, #wrongloan

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