When Karamjit Rai got in Scratchcards at his store, Raisway Convenience, in Osmaston, Derby, he had to pay a £400 bond to Camelot. He did well with Scratchcards and got his bond back. Then he went for the lottery terminal and, at this point, Camelot wanted a £5,000 bond for two years.
He says: “I never missed a payment but when I asked for the bond back they said one more year.”
He sent me Camelot’s email which said: “Further to your application for repayment of your bond, Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd has carried out due diligence procedures on your application and part of this process is a credit check. I regret to inform you that you have failed our criteria in regard of this credit check and, consequently, we are unable to repay the bond at this time. The credit limit assigned by Experian was below the threshold we require in order to repay a bond.
“In this case we will review your application further in one year.”
Karamjit couldn’t understand this because he was unaware of any poor credit rating.
I advised him to apply to Experian for a copy and he did so. It came back 999 out of 999, an excellent score so I then appealed to Camelot on his behalf.
Camelot quickly came back and pointed out that their check was not on Karamjit’s personal credit rating, but on his limited company status. A very different kettle of fish.
He applied again to Experian for a copy and this time the score was a lot lower, although still a ‘below- average risk’. He got four thumbs up for filing his accounts on time, no CCJs against him, an up-to-date annual return and no adverse credit account information recorded.
I went back to Camelot to ask how Karamjit could improve his score. A spokesman said: “I’ve now had a word with my colleagues in our credit control team about this. They’ve told me that we provide additional acceptance criteria to Experian, which takes into account quite a few different factors - such as existing liabilities (creditors, loans, mortgages), payment history, previous business failures, etc.
“For this reason, a standard personal business score from Experian might not be eligible for automatic acceptance when our own criteria is also taken into account. However, one of my colleagues has got in touch with Mr Rai directly to explain our decision and to offer further advice.”
Indeed, it proved quite fruitful. Camelot pointed out that Karamjit had a business loan. It happened that the 11-year old loan had been paid off that same week. Karamjit was going to get confirmation in writing from Lloyds, and Camelot has agreed to run a further credit check. By the time you read this hopefully he will have had his money back.