/ 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
Iwona says:
28 December 2013

I bought 1 item for £26 from nextin December 2013 and paid in full with a debit card not credit card. I used an old account number I had for years and not really ever used. It was NOT a credit account and never received statements thus but it was something that is auto generated when you buy on line and collect from a next store.
I was shocked and distressed to receive from next a letter saying that a credit account had been set up for me.
I rang their provided telephone number 0844 844 8034 and spoke to a overseas operator ! who passed me from post to pillar and i knew the call was costing me over 5p every minute. I was kept hanging on for over 30 minutes until they finally said no one in to assist me.
She refused to take my landline number and she insisted I rang back
I rang a local store and tricked a cashier to call me back as again the local store uses these expensive 0844 telephone numbers.
I did receive a call back but from HQ who I was told were not in until next ! week
I wanted my husband to speak and sort things out on my behalf as English is my second language and after providing lots of security information including my D.O.B which I not know how they got it in the first place i was told by their customers services that I would also have to now give them all my husbands personnel details including his D.O.B. My husband and I said we had passed their security and did not want to provide even more D.O.B,s etc but Next said they would hang up and not deal with things then any further ! I had to provide them with my husbands D.O.B as being 1.1.1066, they then accepted this and spoke to my husband.
Customers services said to my husband, that when i had aid for the £26 item with a debit card they had automatically set up a credit account and this was because of the length of time I had taken to complete the order on line.

Eventually my husband spoke to Helen from complaints on 0844 8448315 who took notes and said she would write to us explaining things. We guess that it will be the same letter that other people who have experienced this despicable behaviour from NEXT. PS: the customers complaints telephone number is _ wait for it a PREMIUM COST CALL as well. They ar emaking money even from complaints.

Our family will not shop at NEXT ever again

pat davaies says:
28 December 2013

It is very pleasing to hear and announce that next is to be featured in one of TV,s bad traders programmes sometimes near the end of Feb 2014.

Hope the many hundreds of EX customers of Next watch also the soon to be ex customers of next

I was fooled by this company (Next) early December. I have send the story to BBC watchdog today. If you want to send your story on same, please use the link

https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mg74/contact

[Comment edited. Thanks, Mods]

Christine says:
31 December 2013

Glad to see that Next will be featured on a consumer programme. This appears to be due to the actions of complainants. Which? invited us to contribute to this forum but I’m wondering what else they have done since the original article appeared in their magazine.

After all the hassle I’ve had with Next, I opened my front door to find an unsolicited catalogue in the porch followed a week later by an invoice for it! Unbelievable!

Lorraine says:
3 January 2014

I have just received the Spring 2014 Next Directory by courier. I am baffled because I hadn’t ordered a copy. There is a phone number on the directory to arrange to return it. I rang the number and the Advisor said I can’t return the directory, so I should keep it. She said I wouldn’t be charged for it and up to now my account is showing zero. Then the Advisor said I could return the directory in-store because they don’t arrange for couriers to collect it. I then phoned my local branch (Colton Leeds) and my call was diverted to Customer Services. This Advisor told me that I couldn’t return the directory instore and passed me onto another Advisor. She told me that a courier could be arranged and they will collect the directory tomorrow (4th January). I have always shopped at Next but I am wary of the Customer Service helpline as I have been passed around and had to make three phone calls charged at 5p per minute, to return a directory I didn’t ask for. Hopefully the courier will arrive to collect the directory.

I wa checking my credit report the other day and was shocked to find that Next had set up an account and given me £600 credit without my knowledge! I am really annoyed as having credit accounts open affects a person’s credit rating. Like the others I recently purchased something online and paid for it by debit card and not by credit card. How an earth are they allowed to do this?

Nina says:
6 February 2014

The same thing happened to me today, only there is absolutely NO possibility my card could have been declined-I’d just been paid!

I won’t ever shop at Next again, absolute crooks.

My wife wanted to buy a Christmas present from Next on the web. When she came to pay she could find no way to use a credit or debit card; the only way seemed to be to open an account with Next. She did so to get the present, which turned out to be unsuitable. She returned it via a shop and cancelled the account. No money changed hands. When we emailed Next they were apologetic and said there was a credit card facility on the website but were making it more obvious at the payment stage. Did anyone else find this problem? It seemed a sneaky way to get more business.

M Cole says:
20 February 2014

I have always felt that Next needs to promote all pay options clearly alongside their own credit account. When I complained about their website I was passed between departments and ultimately nobody actually picked up the third call. I have also repeatedly asked not to be sent their enormous catalogue which I would be automatically charged for. They asked me to send it back using an envelope which never arrived. I was then assured I could keep it at no
cost to myself. I don’t want it but even the recycling people refused to take it! What a waste of paper. I don’t order online with them any more.

Lorraine says:
20 February 2014

Reply to M Cole:

I completely understand your frustration with the Next catalogue, I too had one sent to me without my permission but after three phone calls I eventually spoke to an Advisor who was helpful and agreed that the catalogue could be collected by a Next courier. She arranged for the courier within 24 hours and the Courier took the catalogue and kindly gave me a receipt incase Next charged me for it (they did but then refunded the money). Try calling the number stated on the catalogue, I know it’s a pain but if you persist hopefully a courier will collect it. I too was advised to keep it or pass it onto a neighbour! Good luck. Lorraine

Jenny says:
21 February 2014

I made a purchase on the Next website last November and thought I had paid for it using a credit card. I received a letter in January saying that my payment was overdue, along with some rather distressing legalese comments that made me worried that they might take action against me. I had no intention of opening a Next account, and I still have no idea how I agreed to do so.
In the past I have also found that after ordering online, I was sent and charged for a massive Next catalogue. I phoned their customer service and had the charge deducted, but it does make me angry that Next seems to rely on dirty tricks to get you to spend more money with them.

Judith Phillips says:
3 March 2014

The same happened to me. I bought some items on the Next website and paid in full with my credit card. A couple of months later I bought some more items and the what i thought was the payment went through straightaway on what i thougt were my stored credit card details ( like Wallis and M&S do). I thought no more about it till I got an email stating that payment on my account was overdue. I had no idea I had an account! How can they set up a credit account in my name without my consent? I never signed any forms, had any credit checks or agreed to anything with NEXT.

Hi all, we’ve just written a follow up on this story, after getting Next to change some of its website: https://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/next-website-credit-account-online-order/

I ordered a shirt online as an Xmas present for a nephew and paid in full with a debit card. However I was completely unaware that they had setup an account for me until I received a statement a few weeks later. I ignored it (as I had already paid), but then got a reminder. So I wrote to them and demanded the account was cancelled. They did this, but I should not have had to take these steps and I had never agreed to the opening of an account.

My wife had exactly re same thing happen with h&M

Can you all check if this has happened with other websites too?

Martin Robertson says:
23 February 2014

Shopping online in the Next sale, I was annoyed to find it impossible to simply pay for items without being subject to a credit search. I queried this via Twitter and was simply told it is possible to pay with card – the credit search issue wasn’t acknowledged, despite the website stating a credit search will be performed.
Because I was shortly to be applying for a mortgage, I did not want credit searches appearing on my credit files, so abandoned my basket of £150+ goods.

Luke Muscat says:
23 February 2014

I recently purchased some goods online from NEXT. I am normally a diligent shopper and I do not take up store cards. After proceeding through the websites various pages and receiving a complete order notification I presumed my goods were paid for in full. Upon checking my mail several months later I came across several late payment notifications from a NEXT credit account. I am a first time buyer looking to get a mortgage and the last thing I need is missed payment charges on a credit agreement that I never knew that I had. NEXT should be ashamed operating in this way. I contacted NEXT to complain and cleared the debt immediately however their credit team refused to remove the missed payments from my credit report. Does anyone who is a bit more in the know think this would constitute grounds of mis-selling?

Janette Nye says:
23 February 2014

I too done the same thing, thinking goods I had ordered were already paid for until receiving a statement. I was annoyed at this as I too do not want to have credit. I did pay the amount owed, but was certainly unhappy with Next. Another shopping website who does this is Premier Man. I bought some clothes for my Hubby, gave them card details and thought ok. But like Next I received a statement showing a balance with additional late payment charges. I rang the company to complain and said they had mislead me as I thought items had been paid for. Following an argument with them and telling them I would not pay the late charges they eventually backed down and waived the charges. what is so infuriating is they still send me a catalogue!!

Caroline says:
24 February 2014

I have just read your article and now I understand, when I made a recent online order I thought it odd that I did not have to pay there and then. I did not see any sign of Pay Now!
I have received a statement and it had a ‘service charge’ on it and I had wondered what that was, I now know, it relates to a credit account I did not know I had and certainly do not need!
I am disappointed with Next and it puts me off using them again!

Ms Griffiths says:
24 February 2014

Having read the comments, this happened to me too.
I bought a skirt online as a one off purchase and entered my postal details, and I was unable to pay for it there and then. I contacted Next online and found that an account has been set up for me which I didn’t want- I only wanted to buy the skirt and not open an account.

A Mackay says:
26 February 2014

I was fooled by is scam too. I now simply refuse to give Next my custom. Surely putting off customers like this is cutting off their nose to spite their face? Then again, there are too many gullible people who won’t notice or care.

Tony Marshall says:
28 February 2014

In January I went on line to find a pair of slippers and the Next website offered some that suited. When I came to pay I was automatically sent to setting up an account, the alternative of paying straight away coming with dire warnings about losing rights to return goods if faulty, etc. So I was blackmailed into setting up an account. After receiving the goods and finding they were fine, I paid off the account in full, but I still get regular unwanted e-mails about the state of my account. I can find no way of cancelling the account, which I shall certainly never use again, because I have no intention of ever shopping with Next in future.