Harassing payday loan firm banned

A UK based payday loan firm has been recently banned and given a massive fine for selling loans to fraudsters using other people’s names, over seven thousand of them, and then harassing the victims and demanding that they pay the money back.

The company in question is MCO Capital Ltd and they received a massive £544,000 fine from the Office of Fair Trading and they have also had their consumer credit licence revoked for failing to verify the 7000 loan applicants and also ignoring all warnings from the office of fair trading for harassing the victims.

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OFT Office of fair trading

It has been said that the MCO had an extremely bad system for vetting the loan applications which made it very easy for fraudsters to steal a victim’s identity and make a successful application for a loan. This resulted in fraudulent loans amounting well within the millions being made fraudulently which the company then harassed the victims for. They failed to follow the money laundry regulations which made it a requirement for loan lenders to verify and make the correct identity checks for all their applications.

It was also discovered the MCO Capital made contact with the victims, who did not even know they had these loans in their name, demanding payment in no uncertain terms. When the office of fair trading found out about this they demanded MCO to stop this practice, a request that they seemed to ignore. In the judgment it was stated that MCO did not possess the skill and knowledge to run a consumer credit business. They failed to implement standard practices and procedures which made them vulnerable to fraud. It was also said that the method that MCO used to contact the fraud victims to collect their so called debt caused great concern to the victims and the inconvenience to many thousands of people.

The financial fine that has been placed on MCO sends out a very strong message to other loan providers that these practices are unacceptable.

If a consumer finds that they are being pursued by a lender for a debt that does not belong to them, they should put it in writing to the lender or the debt collection agency and make it clear why the debt does not belong to you.

This is one of many complaints against the payday industry and it is hoped that there will be a cap on charges implemented sooner rather than later. Often fees of £20 can be paid on every £100 loan taken out and this can spiral if payments are delayed.

Possible Microsoft Fire Sale says analysts

It is thought that Microsoft could start selling of its surface tablet at a very cheap price although analysts say it could cause major problems with their original manufacture partners.

It is thought that this could be similar to the HP touchpad fire sale about a year ago were HP sold off their touchpad at less than £100 a pop.

It now asks the question why Microsoft would do such a crazy idea like this – possibly hoping that it will help fluctuate sales and create the need to buy buzz.

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This however remains an unlikely strategy for Microsoft to follow according to industry analysts who have taken a keen interest in Microsoft’s strategy lately.

Analysts say that if Microsoft adopt a lowball £199 price point that they might as well be giving away their new laptop and throwing money down the drain. If Microsoft decides to lowball the surface to drive forward their software sales the surface could potentially be a massive loss leader and it would seriously damage Microsoft’s product partners and of course disrupt their long term partnerships with them.

Product partners have spent an enormous amount of money getting their products to be compatible with the Windows 8 and if Microsoft mess with their partners to much they could risk losing them one by one. Their current partners include the likes of Samsung, Dell and Lenovo.

The products made by these partners are expected to well above this low ball figure than has been mentioned. They are expected to compare with the Apple Ipad price point starting at about £300.

This leaves Microsoft between a rock and hard place as such. Do they drop their price point of the surface tablet to around £150 thus driving major sales although creating a loss leader as such and damaging sales of their product partners causing long term damage to business relations or do they keep a higher product price point and go into direct competition with their product partners but profiting from them using their Windows OS.

The other main issue is if they undercut their product partners this could directly play into googles hands and you could see some of them adopting the chrome operating system onto these systems to effectively stick their fingers up at Microsoft.

Either way, neither would be much of a surprise to analysts.