/ Shopping

Next website still confusing shoppers

Next account card and directory

Shopping online with Next can still lead to credit problems, despite changing its site after our previous investigation, where we revealed it automatically set up credit accounts if your card was declined…

While Next does seem to have corrected this and now lets you choose another card or cancel the order like other online shops, we’re still getting reports of unwanted credit accounts being opened in other circumstances. Like Kay, who told us in January:

‘I was 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.’

Next’s confusing website

We think Next’s website is still too confusing. After you confirm your address and delivery method, the first words on the next page are ‘Order complete’. If you want to pay by card, you have to click on the inconspicuous ‘Pay now?’ button further down the page – otherwise a credit account will be opened and the order charged to that account.

Paying on a credit account could lead to you paying interest at 25.99% APR – more than most credit cards charge – if you don’t cancel the order or settle your account within a month of receiving the statement.

We’ve asked Next to fix this so that a credit account is only opened when the customer has actively chosen this option.

Next did not accept that the ‘Pay now?’ button was inconspicuous, but said it would be changing its website so that after confirming their address and delivery details, customers will see two very clear options saying ‘Pay now?’ or ‘Add to your account’ before they see the ‘Order complete’ message. We will monitor Next’s website to ensure these changes are made.

Have you had these issues with Next?

Comments
Member

Next are a business remember. While I do not by any means agree with what they do. I do understand why the web designers have made the site that way.

Next make alot more money when people set-up accounts so that is what there trying to get us to-do. It’s very cheeky and morally wrong, but I can understand why they have done it that way.

Member

Last year I bought a bed base from Next website, paid in full by credit card at the time of order (which is confirmed on the order confirmation email) but they still set up a credit account for me, without asking.

First i heard of it was when i received the paperwork through the post. I immediately told them to cancel it as I had not asked for a credit account. This credit account now appears on my credit report – the dates on there are incorrect too (purchase was made 1/3/13, but according to credit report my credit account with them started on 14/1/13 and it appears to have not been fully closed until 19/7/13, despite telling them to cancel the credit account around April).

Member

You have to wonder about the commercial acumen of some companies. If I were in Next’s position and Which? told me the website was too confusing, the last thing I would do would be to dispute it. There was a time in retail when the customer was always right [even when they were wrong].

Member
Steve Quinn says:
21 February 2014

Next know exactly what they are doing here. It is sharp practice and they make money from people by fooling them into buying by credit. This should be stamped on by the FSA. I personally will never shop there again because of this nonsense and would advise others to stay well clear.

Member

I completely agree, and will never shop with them again because of my experience.

Member

I agree with Steve. Next were told-off by Which? and made a change that wasn’t good enough. When they were told-off again, they disagreed with it and sought to defend themselves. This exposes their exploitative conduct for all to see. They could easily have said “Yes, we can do better than that” and quietly gone away and made an acceptable change to their website. Now they have incurred bad publicity, come out of it with a bad reputation, and lost customers into the bargain.

Member

I would like to see an end to underhand tactics, whether they lead to opening an account, receiving marketing information or having contact details passed to other companies. The default should be to opt-out.

Pursuing companies such as Next will deal with individual problems, but we need to prevent that happening in the first place.

We need all companies to conduct their business in a responsible way that respects consumers, or face fines.

Member

Quite agree, It seems “ethical commerce” has become a contradiction in terms.