The website www.laybuy.co.uk for Laybuy, a delayed payment service, seen on 9 February 2021, featured a page titled "Your Profile" with text that stated "... tell us a bit about yourself so we can do a secure credit check - it's quick and doesn't impact your credit score".
The complainant, who believed their credit score had been affected by Laybuy's credit check, challenged whether the claim "doesn't impact your credit score" was misleading.
Laybuy Holdings (UK) Ltd said that the claim "doesn't impact your credit score" had appeared erroneously on their website and had been removed before they were made aware of the complaint by the ASA. They said that they would ensure their future marketing communications were subject to improved internal processes and controls. They were working with credit report providers to reverse the impact of their credit searches on affected consumers.
The ASA understood that the service Laybuy provided allowed consumers to make deferred pay for goods or services. We considered that consumers would interpret the claim “we can do a secure credit check - it's quick and doesn't impact your credit score” to mean that before using Laybuy’s service they would be subject to a credit check, and that credit check would not result in any material change to their credit report score. The complainant provided a copy of their credit report. We noted that an entry in the report from 9 February 2021 showed that a credit check had been performed by Laybuy. We also noted that explanatory text on the entry stated “Can impact your Experian Credit Score” and that the complainant’s credit score had dropped since the check had been carried out.
While we understood that credit scores were complex and subject to a number of different factors, we noted that Laybuy had not provided evidence that their credit check would have had no consequences or impacts on the complainant’s credit score, or on other consumers’ credit scores more generally. While we welcomed Laybuy’s assurance that the claim had now been removed from their advertising, because we had not seen any evidence that Laybuy’s credit checks would not impact consumers’ credit scores at the time the claim was made, we therefore concluded that the claim “doesn't impact your credit score” was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation).
The ad must not appear again in the form complained about. We told Laybuy Holdings (UK) Ltd to ensure that their future marketing communications did not claim that the credit checks they performed would not affect consumers’ credit scores if that was not the case.