Problems with Zopa

March 28, 2007

I recently tried to register with Zopa, the social lending service. It’s a website that lets you lend money to other users. The rate of return is better than most savings accounts, and the interest on borrowing is better than most loans, so everyone wins. Unless they spend all day unsuccessfully trying to register.

I was supposed to be writing an article on the site, so I wanted to register and give the service a proper trial. I managed to open an account easily enough, but couldn’t seem to log in. Everytime I put in my username and password it followed up by asking me what the last school I attended was. I don’t recall entering this during the registration, and after three attempts I was locked out of my account.

I emailed customer service, and after a few tries I was told to go their secure email site. Here I was given a URL to release the lock, but it had expired. I emailed again, and got another expired link.

Eventually I got back in, and had to go through a security process to prove my identity. I entered all the required details, and was told that I couldn’t be found. A few more emails to customer service and I was told that all I needed to do was send a copy of my passport, signed on the back by a responsible member of society, along with a recent bank statement, and I could then be registered.

As well as all this, I also spoke to their PR people to get some quotes for the article. I recieved a few short answers, in an odd mix of caps and lower case letters, without grammar, some of which didn’t make sense as sentences.

The problem is that the service sounds like a wonderful idea. I could transfer in money through PayPal, and make a good rate of interest, whilst helping someone else out and cutting the banks out of the deal. I really wish I had been able to get it working.

Update (29/03/07): Zopa called this morning, and said that they would reset the security questions. Checked later, and they hadn’t been changed.

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