/ Money

Surprise! You’ve just opened a Next credit account

Next account card and directory

You go onto the Next website to buy a shirt or a dress, and before you know it, you end up with a high-interest credit account that you didn’t ask for. Have you been signed up for an unwanted Next credit account?

If your card is declined when you’re shopping online, what would you guess will happen? It’s fair to expect you’ll be invited to choose another card or cancel the order, because that’s how the vast majority of shopping websites operate. But the Next website is different – and not in a good way.

Pay by card when buying on Next.co.uk, and if the card’s declined, Next will automatically set up a credit account for you and charge the order to that account.

Next account interest rate

At that point, you need to cancel the order or settle your account within a month of receiving your statement, you’ll also have to pay interest at 25.99% APR – more than most credit cards charge.

We think it’s irresponsible to set up a new credit account for a potentially vulnerable customer, as a failed card payment could mean that the customer doesn’t have enough funds in their bank account or that they’ve reached their credit card limit. And if you have a weak credit rating, opening such an account is likely going to damage it further.

Poor credit rating on the cards?

We want Next to change its website so that if your card is declined, you’re given the explicit option to choose another card or cancel the order, rather than having a credit account set up.

Next told us that the problem occurred in only 0.1% of internet orders it received, but said it is already working on a fix and it should be corrected shortly. We’ll be checking back to make sure that Next follows through on this promise.

It’s good that Next has recognised the problem, but it begs the question: why was this unfair and counter-intuitive system in place to begin with?

Have you encountered issues when paying for goods on the Next website? Have you been signed up for an unwanted Next credit account? Were you able to pay it off before being hit by the interest?

Comments
Steve says:
30 August 2013

I encountered this when ordering trousers. I suddenly had an account I did not want. I asked for it to be cancelled as well as the items I had ordered. My request was ignored, my order sent and received and I sent it back promptly. I again asked the account to be closed. Not only did they ignore that, they also credited my account with the refunded money for the trousers I had sent back. So they did not give me my money back. I asked Next to both refund my money and cancel the account and so far I am waiting for that to happen. I have been assured that it will but I will certainly check. This is not just a scam but a sharp practice money making enterprise which will net Next a great deal of money and leave unsuspecting clients in debt.

Steve says:
4 September 2013

Update:

Money refunded in full, account closed and an explanation that when you select produce and sign the terms and conditions it is written there that you are signing up to a credit account with Next. Funny that it did not say that anywhere else until fait accomplis.

wendy says:
31 August 2013

I would like to add my experience with Next account which much the same as others.
I bought a pair of shoes in May and assumed I had paid for them with my Barclaycard, as I usually do with online purchases.
Today I received a letter from Next saying I had missed 2 payments. I had no idea I had opened an account with Next and certainly has not communication from them previously regarding this ‘account’.
Yes, I should have checked my Barclaycard statement that I assumed I had paid with but this does not excuse Next from underhanded ‘money making’ by opening high interest credit accounts for their customers.
I now have a mark on my credit rating which previously had been unblemished.
I will not be shopping at Next again either online or in their shops.

I bought some clothes from next for my mother using her credit card. The card was declined.i then rang and placed the order over the phone.
I received an email saying the first order was arriving after the card was declined.
I now had 2 identical orders
I rang next and they said they had cancelled the first declined order
2 orders arrived
I took one order back to the shop and they said it was on an account. My mother then got a statement of account and was very worried. I rang next,paid off in full the outstanding amount and cancelled the account.it just declined the card and nowhere did it say it set up a credit account.

Charlotte says:
4 September 2013

I posted a comment before about NEXT opening a credit account I didn’t ask for and now they’ve done it again. It is my fault for browsing NEXT online. I put a couple of items in the basket but then decided it was too much hassle to deal with next so I just closed the page down, I did not go through to checkout. Next thing I knew, bingo! they sent me an email to say they were processing the order and it would be with me next day.

I immediately rang customer services who said she couldn’t cancel the order as it was being processed. I didn’t place this order, I refused delivery, and they’ve opened another account. It is getting really boring now 🙁 come on Which sort them out

Panks says:
6 September 2013

Tried to buy a pair of shorts using my platinum MBNA card with £25,000 credit limit. I was diverted into a next card account straight away. As soon as I realised I closed the web page without completing the order. . I’m concerned though they may have opened a next account I don’t want. There is no problem with my card or credit rating. This is completely unlawful and a real nuisance. Ill never buy from Next again. I agree. Please take them to task.

Thank goodness I opened my husband’s copy of which? this morning. When I read the article about next I knew immediately that this had happened to me last month without me realising. My card was declined by my bank after I had made a number of on line purchases as the activity was unusual for me. I was surprised to find that the order had gone through and when the delivery arrived with information about my credit account I was baffled and threw the paperwork in the bin! I have just looked at my online account and sure enough I still owed the money. Thankfully I have now paid in time before any interest was added but who knows how long it would have taken before I realised what had happened if I hadn’t read the article.

Patricia Scott says:
17 September 2013

On 17th August ordered from the Next catalogue – for which I had paid £2.00 in store – 1 duvet set as my grandson is into pirates and I thought the set would suit him down to the ground and also an additional pillowcase.
I wanted to collect instore to save £3.99 postage, but could find no opportunity to do so. and when I went to my basket to pay, did not even get a chance to enter a card on which to pay the full amount. The screen just disappeared!
I shortly afterwards received an e-mail confirming my order – so it went through. The separate pillow slip was unavailable at present but would arrive within 2 weeks.
The duvet set arrived very quickly, so did 2 store catalogues left on my doorstep in my absence, shortly afterwards a Credit Agreement also arrived which also stated that had also agreed to receive my statements on line NO I DID NOT – I was livid and proceeded to ring the 0844 number at 5p per minute to complain, only to be informed that they could do nothing about it until my order had been completed but I could pay on line, which I refused to do saying that they could send me a paper statement. I also informed them of the bad write-up they had received in Which? this month.
14th September still heard nothing, so went to my nearest Home store (20 miles away) to explain to a Manager there what had happened – eventually after some time and lengthy phone call, I cancelled the outstanding article, and paid for the item received on a debit card. To their credit they did remove the postage. However I was livid that my credit rating had been checked, although having no problems I had just applied for a card from my new bank, and did not want that affected.
Somehow I am not sure if I have heard the end of this, but will certainly not shop on line with Next again.

I have had same experience. In August I ordered some items online, with delivery. Paid for them. Delivery taken. I then ordered another item for delivery and collection in store. Paid for it. Collected. This week I have ordered some further items, thought it odd that I did not enter card details, but thought they must have been saved from last time. I then log in online after ordering to check payment details and the items are sitting there, in a credit account. The summary screen made no sense in terms of credit, payments etc so I called them this morning to say I have basically now got a credit account I knew nothing about and no idea what I have an haven’t paid for.The call handler apologised for this being set up without my knowledge and said it can easily be closed and converted to a ‘pay as you go’ account. I was told something must have gone wrong on one of the other orders hence the account set up. This is simply not true as they have been paid for and delivery taken. It turned out the items I ordered this week were on credit when I actually wanted to just pay for them. I was told to send an email if I wish to complain about it and to wait for my next statement which will show the breakdowns of the figures. I am not happy about this and think it is underhand to rope people in – if I had not checked this order, I would probably never have realised I had a credit account!

The trouser size I wanted was not available in the shop. The assistant suggested I order on line and get a discount.

I went to the online NEXT and found the delivery charge outweighed the discount so I did not order.

Next day I recieved a NEXT catalogue and also found I was being charged for it on an account I had not agreed to set up!!!

It took a couple of visits to the shop to get them to take back the catalogue and remove the charge. I think their behaviour on-line should be investigated. Not everyone has the time to check on unwanted junk mail sent to their home. I almost binned it before checking the site.

and I didn’t think to check what they did with the bogus account they set up. So when they give a small percentage re this problem, how many are not reported or even known about by the victims?

Darrel Cartwright says:
26 September 2013

Thank you Which?, for picking up the fiasco that is Next’s website/on line offering.

I bought from Next on-line a couple of months ago, but did not have problems with my JLP Mastercard – ie nothing was declined. However, somehow Next still created a credit account for me which is something I would never have accepted had I known about it beforehand. I settle my credit cards in full so I definitely don’t want to entertain a Next credit account!

It was not until I received email to “remind” me that the “balance of the account” was outstanding that I knew to look into what had happened. I requested a call-back from the Next website and an efficient operator returned my call very quickly.

She had to dig into several screens to see not only that a credit account had been opened, but also that in the creation of this account I’d been charged twice for the item I’d ordered. She processed a refund for the item, and also for a small amount of interest that had arisen too. The matter was resolved, or so I thought.

Today I’ve received a statement with the balance as it was before my call to Next. ie the item I’d bought was charged twice, and interest was still accruing.

I’ve just requested another call back to be told that the system hadn’t accepted the updated the changes the last operator put through, but that it would be processed today instead.

The person I spoke with promised to write to confirm that he had brought the account to zero and had closed the account as I’d promised.

I’m livid that I’ve had to waste time addressing this twice. I’ll update this comment if I don’t hear from Next shortly. I will not be buying through the Next website again until some significant service improvements are made.

Wendy - Devon says:
26 September 2013

I commented on this link earlier on but to update.
I cancelled my account on line through their complaints procedure, received an email confirming that the account was cancelled.

I have just received another statement for the account that I have been assured is now closed!

Olive47 says:
26 September 2013

SO FED UP of asking Next to close this account that I never asked for , wanted or needed in the first place. Five times by email or by phone I have insisted that this account be closed forthwith but it remains open. What the hell is wrong with them!

Richard says:
8 October 2013

Tried to order some furniture on 1/10/13. Filled in all the details and then got to the final screen that told me a credit account was going to be set up. There was no option to decline this and complete the order. As a result I did not order the furniture. This feature is unacceptable and looks like very sharp business practise. On principle I will go elsewhere to shop as I don’t like such behaviour.

Emily says:
27 October 2013

I was trying to buy some clothing staples to update my wardrobe from the NEXT website in September. I’d systematically trawled through the different sections of the website to browse through everything from tops to bags and finally got to the checkout page when the website suddenly crashed. Rather frustratingly I went through and clicked on my choices again. I’d never used the NEXT website before and was rather shocked and confused when my order was placed without me having to put in my credit card details as I was expecting.

I had an even bigger shock when 2 of everything arrived and lots of blurb about how I’d opened up a NEXT directory account without my knowledge. I then had to spend a lot of money returning the duplicates (I returned them to my nearest store which was about 22 miles away, that’s a 44mile round trip!) I phoned the Next customer helpline and spoke to Colin to settle the balance on the clothes I’d kept and to close my account. He said he’d close the account but because some items hadn’t yet been delivered, I had to do another trip to return this and phone the helpline again to ensure they closed my account.

I like the clothes I received from NEXT, I think they are good quality but I will NEVER shop with NEXT online again for fear that I might inadvertantly open a NEXT directory account. I was very disappointed and quite stressed as this happened in the weeks before my wedding and honeymoon!

I ordered something from Next which was charged to my credit card.
When it arrived the zip was faulty. I returned within 8 days. The credit was put on a Next account I had never opened and not back on my card. I am now going to have to call them to demand a refund back onto my card.

How can they open an account without my permission?

NEVER ORDER FROM NEXT!

Anil says:
1 December 2013

I had this problem today. More shocked to know it happened to others before so often. This is a totally a fraud.
I called the customer service and asked to cancel order immediately. I have sent email to complaint department asking them explain why they have this practice in place and think it is acceptable. I have asked them to reply within 24 hours otherwise I am filing complaint Next to “Financial Ombudsman Service” and also to BBC watchdog.

Why on earth they think they can fool customers and make money? I will never ever buy anything from Next as for me these guys are complete fraud and should not be trusted at all.

Janet says:
9 December 2013

Yep – I’ve experienced exactly the same scenario today. Thought I wad ordering and paying in full for an item to collect from store. Did not request to open any type of credit account . Customer Services said they would convert the account to a cash account. Complaint made via their website citing the above facts and that it was an irresponsible tactic in the current financial climate to practically ‘force ‘ a credit account onto a customer .

brightonman says:
14 December 2013

Thanks for picking this up. Is there a body that can take Next to task over this as it’s a disgrace. I just tried a simple transaction to collect an order in-store. The website told me my card was declined but that evidently was not true (as confirmed by the card issuer Amex). They used the payment to put a Next store card account into credit. Their customer service team say the money can now not be refunded for several days even though Amex tell me they could reverse the payment immediately.

Next claimed that there is an option to pay without submitting information for a store card but that is simply not true. I have been through the process three times to check. On Checkout you have to sign in or register. After you have registered all your details, you are taken to a page where the credit check is mentioned. There is no longer any option on that page to buy the goods without signing up for the store card. On the following page, you supposedly can ‘pay now’ but then, in my case, the card was “declined”, although Amex say it was approved and you get lumbered with the store card credit.

Is this even legal?

Matthew says:
19 December 2013

Had the same issue that others have mentioned. We ordered a pair of children’s trousers, thinking we had paid by debit card only to find a month or so later we get a red letter stating that the account hadn’t been paid. Obviously I paid because I had received the goods and thought nothing more would come of it.
Checking my credit rating, I discover NEXT had put a mark on my name for a non-payment of credit agreement. Three months later I get a bill for a catalogue from NEXT that I never requested.
I called NEXT cancelled my credit account and informed them I had no intention of making the payment they requested and that I was reporting this issue to the Financial Ombudsman.
The Financial Ombudsman said they had never heard of this issue and would write to NEXT on my behalf to request they clear my credit rating
I don’t think I will be ordering from them in the near future