Payday loan troll doesn't know right from Wonga...

22 November 2012

Oh Wonga. You  probably thought you had improved your public image recently, what with your founder telling us how important you are for social mobility and how you don’t lend money to just anyone, not to mention your new elderly puppets being far more user-friendly than overweight sweaty Cockneys. However, new revelations reveal that, while the company is undoubtedly still a model of good and responsible behaviour, its employees are spiteful, underhand trolls.

image from the Guardian, yesterday...

A Guardian investigation revealed that a Twitter troll who had been bombarding Labour MP Stella Creasy with insults such as "mental", "nuts", and a "self-serving egomaniac" just happened to be a Wonga employee, who was tweeting from Wonga’s London premises. Dr Creasy has, of course, been openly critical of the payday loans market. Furthermore, the same IP address has been ‘editing’  Wonga’s Wikipedia entry, to remove “substantial portions from the criticism section” as well as deleting such subjective and defamatory accurate terms such as “high-interest” from the description of their service.

The twitter account in question, @DanielSargant1 was coincidentally deleted immediately after the Guardian started asking questions, but Wonga have since admitted the account was one of their junior employees:

"We can confirm one of our junior employees may have made unauthorised comments on a blog, and elsewhere on the web, while not identifying themselves correctly. This is an issue that Wonga takes extremely seriously, as we are committed to openness and transparency. We are now carrying out a full investigation and, if the employee is found to be responsible, they will face serious disciplinary action."

Interestingly, the IP address used for both Twitter and Wikipedia corresponds to the one used by ‘OpenWonga’ blog editor Luke Manning, who has written a blog about the whole sorry experience here. This also appears to be, some 20 hours after the story broke, the first chance Wonga got to actually apologise to Stella Creasy. Creasy has now asked Wonga, as a gesture of goodwill, to promote an event she is organising in her Walthamstow constituency on Saturday 24 November to help families struggling financially. She is yet to hear from the company.

While the Guardian’s sources suggest ‘Daniel Sargant’ is not, in fact, Luke Manning, the fact that he is willing to amend Wikipedia doesn’t seem to fit with the mission statement for OpenWonga:

“And that’s the whole point of OpenWonga really. It’s a bold move for any private company to make; a chance for Wonga to be as transparent as possible and let people make informed decisions based on facts rather than assumptions.”

But remember folks, Wonga want to “listen, learn, discuss and improve”, and the best way to do that is for them to manipulate public information  and to publicly insult people who disagree with them. Let’s all go down to Wonga!

TOPICS:   Social Media   Loans


  • M4RKM
    I'm not a fan of payday loans, but simple maths seems to fail people. Legally, they have to advertise an APR, which as we all know is annual, but for a monthly loan, it is highly skewed. Mark Hilary obviously fails this, because no one has been charged 4214% over a month.
  • Ian
    If you take 12 months to pay off a payday loan, you deserve the 4214% APR that's coming to you. The product is intended as a short term loan. You're not supposed to take 12 months to pay it back, in the same way you're not supposed to borrow DVDs from Blockbuster for 12 months. If you do, you pay for it. You're not using the service as it was intended, so you are responsible for the consequences. I'm sick of idiots bashing them on Twitter, to be honest. If you don't agree with their policies, which you are informed of IN FULL before you take out the loan, then don't use them, and they won't do you any harm. The same people probably think if you borrow £10 you pay 4214 times that amount back.
  • Grazyna
    4214 /12=351.16666666666666666666666666667 So it normal for you to pay back 3,5 more than you borrow? 350=1000? feckin troll
  • M4RKM
    Grazyna - erm, you borrow £100, you pay back £136.72. That isn't 3.5 times more than you borrow, because that would be £350 repayment on a £100 loan. Obviously APRs confuse you, much as they are misleading when looking at a MONTHLY short term product.
  • foxes
    I think it would be more transparent to say "% of loan which will be interest to pay back, assuming you pay it off in full when you're supposed to". Same applies for mortgages, where the APR might look low, say 6% but if you pay it in 25 years you will pay almost 100% of the loan in interest.
  • Mark H.
    'Interestingly, the IP address used for both Twitter and Wikipedia corresponds to the one used by ‘OpenWonga’ blog editor Luke Manning' The whole office will have the same external IP address. It's how dat shit works.
  • Haggis
    Hmm 'Junior Employee.' Since when does a 'junior employee' give enough of a shit about a company that they work for to take to the internet to defend it? Blatantly a high up manager. And it's blatantly happened before.
  • Joe
    @foxes: The problem for that is it falls down for products which have variable lengths and amounts of borrowing, such as payday loans, overdrafts, credit cards... And complain about Wonga all you like, they do make it perfectly clear before you take a loan exactly how much you'll have to pay back, to the penny. Other than that they're robbing cunts.
  • The d.
    Looks like Ian is doing sock puppet work for wonga ....
  • Terry
    Personally i detest all of the payday loan companies. I know people have all the information needed to make an informed decision, but desperate people do desperate thing. Imagine this: Your car payment is due, you need your car to get to work, you can't get a credit card, no one has the money to loan to you, and if you miss another payment you will lose your car. What do you do? Most banks won't give you the time of day, and you can't put it on your credit card.
  • Michael S.
    "Interestingly, the IP address used for both Twitter and Wikipedia corresponds to the one used by ‘OpenWonga’ blog editor Luke Manning, who has written a blog about the whole sorry experience here. " Well, it would, wouldn't it? Most companies, and indeed domestic users, access the Internet from behind a firewall which uses a single IP address. It is very likely that anybody working for Wonga, from the janitor up to the MD, and posting from behind their firewall is going to have the same IP address.
  • Richard
    @ Terry You realise at the point at which you bought the car that, since you can't get a credit card, you probably aren't in an ideal financial position and you probably shouldn't be buying a new car, let alone buying it on finance. You decide not to buy a car on finance and to buy a cheaper one that you can afford, if its absolutely necessary, or alternatively you get the bus or you walk to work. Then you start spending what you earn and maybe even try to put some money away each month so that at some point in the future you do find yourself in the financial position to be able to buy new things. I'm not saying no-one should take out credit but i'm saying if you think there is a chance at any point that you're not gonna be able to repay that credit and you've already been rejected for other forms of credit then you probably need to stop thinking your entitled to things that you can't afford just because a few years ago credit was easier to get and everyone was doing it.
  • LancerVancer
    @ Richard I’m not saying no-one should take out credit but i’m saying if you think there is a chance at any point that you’re not gonna be able to repay that credit "Lets buy our own house". "What if i lose my job in 18 years and can't pay off the mortgage?" Bit of a stupid point really isn't it? Nobody would take out any credit you cretin. Legalize the herb and we will all be better off.
  • Tom
    @LancerVancer Perhaps the more responsible mortgage borrowers consider redundancy cover aswell?

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