In a recent study, search engine researchers performed internet searches for some popular loan related terms including; Payday Loans, Cash Advances, Payday Cash Advances and Best Online Loan. The subsequent search results showed that although several web sites consistently came in at the top of the search engine results, when their respective Better Business Bureau records were investigated many of them had multiple consumer complaints and very low reliability ratings. Further investigation showed a number of customer reviews complaining about the lack of service and miscommunication of loan terms by the lenders.
Over 60% of today’s payday loans are issued over the internet via direct deposit into the borrowers checking account with no credit check, no faxing and no face-to-face interaction required in order to get the loan. Many of these online payday loans offer instant approvals over the internet and are issued in an hour or less by the online loan provider.
A loan that is issued with this kind of speed obviously has its advantages for the consumer, however a consumer typically uses these lenders when they are in need of emergency cash and consequently they don’t do very much research on the source of the loan. Instead relying upon the major search engines to do the work for them and simply picking the online lender who comes up at the top of the search engine and assuming that they are a reliable source of fast cash loans.
During the research, there were 6 web sites that repeatedly showed up in the top 10 search results under multiple related search terms and of the 6, all received either a grade of D- or an F from the Better Business Bureau. At least two of these companies had 40 registered complaints or more and in one case, of 14 total complaints filed with the BBB the company has failed to respond at all to 13 of those consumer complaints.
Reasons for consumers complaints varied, but the research showed that many were of a similar nature in categories such as; deceptive selling practices, failure to provide service, Unable to contact and various other complaints.
Unfortunately, the major search engines don’t seem to have a method of filtering out results from companies with multiple consumer complaints, instead relying on computer algorithms that can be manipulated by search engine specialists who understand how these search results are calculated. It’s no surprise that all of the web sites listed above employ entire departments of these web experts to make sure that they continue to show up at the top of the search engines.