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The Wong-a-way!

More than 250K Wonga customers were charged an unjust amount while sorting out Wongas issues.

Data Breach

Customers were charged up to 55p per minute after Wonga fell victim to hackers and customers lost vital sensitive details in the data breach. The hackers made away with customers address, bank details and phone numbers.

The payday loan company further emailed the affected customers asking them to contact them with further queries. Unfortunately, at further cost to the customers. It’s not like they lost enough, right? The company not only let their customers down but added insult to injury when they set up a normal phone line and not a free phone one. Meaning customers were paying up to 55p per minute to find out bad badly Wonga had messed up.

Landline packages typically include calls to 01 and 02 numbers and mobile as well but if you are extra unlucky, the costs can be astronomical. And then of course there’s the duration of the call to consider. For those who don’t poses these powers, they could find themselves paying up to 55p per minute. Normally companies, especially large and successful ones, use an 0800 number as it is free for their customers.

More bad news

Imagine, you’ve just had all your details swiped from under your nose and now you have to pay 55p per minute to talk about that wonderful privilege! Except customers have criticised Wonga for their after care, claiming after they were put on hold, they were given less than acceptable advice.

One customer for example, was put on hold for 40 minutes after calling when he received his fateful email. To add further insult to injury when he finally got through to a representative he was told Wonga hold their security to a high standard. Not quite what he was hoping for!

So that’s 40 minutes at 55p a minute equalling a staggering £22 for a below average response and no help.

Who are Wonga?

You may know them from their TV adverts, with ‘Earl’ skateboarding across the screen or riding a jetski because Wonga loans are fantastic. They are a pay day loan company that specialise in short term loans. Although they are a UK household name, they also help people in other countries such as Spain and Africa.

Their Privacy Policy

When you pop onto their website and scroll down, you can read their Privacy policy. In their they state that they believe you, the customer, deserves the utmost respect with regards to your security and personal info. They also boast of their security measures and their compliance with industry standards. Of course their isn’t a section about hackers stealing your personal information and the procedure for that but you can go to their help centre for the FAQ’s.

Reputation

This is a low blow for Wonga having previously had issues but after the directors were changed the company started to claw back it’s reputation. Until now. Of course they aren’t the only ones to have fell victim to this, if you remember back to the Tesco bank fiasco after 2.5 million was stolen across 9,000 customers and also mobile phone company 3 suffered a similar fate.

A compromise

Wonga have apparently said they are working on a solution to provide an 0800 number to alleviate the costs for its customers. They have been working closely with the authorities and offer their sincerest apologies to all the customers who have been affected.

The question remaining is will customers receive compensation for loss of such sensitive data (including bank details) and will they offer a payment to cover the extortionate phone bill costs?

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Warning: Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk