Love Island stars under fire for Klarna promotion

Aspiring romance writer with a number of short stories being published May 2020 and freelance reporter on all things UK. Guilty pleasures are soap and celebrity gossip and 80's cheese ; think A-ha and Nick Kershaw.

Maura Higgins and Eyal Booker, who are known for their respective 2019 and 2018 appearances on Love Island have come under fire for promoting ‘buy now, play later’ loan product, Klarna, on Instagram.

Eyal has previously promoted brands such as Hollister whilst Maura’s provided the service for Boohoo. Such work was widely accepted by fans but Klarna’s promise to help “buy now, pay later” has led to people questioning the reality stars’ business offering.

Helping customers to get spending funds at stores like Missguided, Topshop, Asos, and Boohoo seems like a reasonable service to provide and many stores now provide their own ‘buy now, pay later’ service. However, these credit site’s tempting offers can lead to severe credit problems and worrying amounts of debt. The Mirror recently reported an estimated 2 million Brits having damaged credit scores as a result of ‘buy now, pay later’ schemes.

Other people formerly on Love Island have been seen attending Klarna’s events including Ellie Brown, Charlie Frederick, Hayley Hughes, Rosie Williams and Laura Anderson. The show’s involvement with Klara has shone a controversial light on the show only days before its kickoff on January 12th.

The credit company has been criticised for luring in customers with a promise of convenience, but does little to advertise the consequences of unpaid debt being classed as in arrears, and then being passed to a debt collection agency. “I was quite naive, and I didn’t think these little purchases would affect me so much, usually between £20 and £80. If I had known, I would have just used my credit card,” one user told the BBC after she missed some payments and discovered her credit score had nearly halved.

Klarna have tried to defend their practice, saying that most people won’t have to undergo such ordeals, and most customers wouldn’t have anything to worry about if they pay back in time.

Love Island has brought fame and wealth to many contestants who initially applied while living a normal life. Even the contestants who don’t win end up with huge social media followings that enable them to make large amounts of money promoting brands.

Whilst followers have been fine with the promotion of clothing and other non-harmful brands, it seems the promotions have crossed a line this time.

Viewership is likely to remain high though!

UPDATE (13/01/20):

Klarna’s press office got in touch to provide the following information (additionally you can view their full UK detals here https://www.klarna.com/uk/about-us/mythbusters/):

Please find below a breakdown of our three products available in the UK.

Klarna: Detailed product information

Pay 30 days later 

  • The most popular Klarna service, customers have up to 30 days to pay for their goods after the item is shipped, with no interest or fees — ever. It’s a re-imagined invoice for the modern online shopper.
  • This means they can return the items if they’re not what they expected, without any money leaving their bank account.
  • It’s ideal for consumers who order online, particularly in fashion and footwear, and frequently order multiple items to try on. Using Klarna prevents them having to part with a large sum of money upfront, so they can try before they buy.
  • Klarna’s service enables shoppers to pay for only the items they wish to keep, and prevents waiting for a retailer to process a refund — which can often take up to 14 days.
  • To pay 30 days later, a soft credit check is performed on the shopper, and a customer’s previous credit history, age, and other factors are considered. A soft credit check does not affect a customer’s credit score.
  • If a customer does not pay after the agreed 30 days, we reach out to them over a period of several months to ask for repayment (text, email etc). But there will never be a late payment charge.

Instalments 

  • With Klarna, shoppers can split the cost of their purchase into3 equal monthly instalments, with no interest or fees.
  • Payments for this product are scheduled automatically and are managed as follows:
    • The first payment is made at point of purchase via either a debit or credit card
    • 30 days later, the second payment is taken
    • Finally, the third payment is taken on day 60
  • Eligibility for this product is determined via a soft credit search and other factors.
  • Even if a payment is missed, there will not be a late payment charge.
  • Klarna charges merchants for use of the instalments product, and we assume all of the risk on the transaction.

Financing

  • Klarna also offers a traditional regulated credit product, for the purchase of higher-ticket items in payment plans of 6-36 months up to values of 5,000 GBP.
  • Shoppers have increased purchasing power right when they need it — at the point of sale — and can slice their purchase up into manage-able parts.
  • Financing may be offered interest-free or interest-bearing depending on the merchant.
  • Financing is dependent on a full credit check, a customer’s previous credit history, an affordability assessment, their age and several other factors, including at what time they placed their order. This credit check can influence a consumer’s credit rating.
  • If a customer misses their monthly payments, late payment charges will apply for a maximum of 3 months.
  • Whilst customers may be offered a promotional interest-free period they still make monthly payments to pay off the cost of their actual purchase. On this product, Klarna never charges backdated interest to the customer.

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