Vape businesses Not Blowing Smoke (1) and E-liquids UK (2) contacted Planet of the Vapes to tell us of issues being experienced by customers attempting to check out with vape or CBD products in their baskets and the businesses having their accounts locked.
Klarna set up payment systems for electronic cigarettes, e-liquids, and CBD products in 2019. Not Blowing Smoke told us that it was “the very first UK company to pass their compliance process and swiftly offered this as a payment solution for our customers,” following PayPal issues.
Planet of the Vapes readers will recall the problems faced by a huge number of businesses which had accounts frozen and had to fight to gain access to their money as PayPal decided it didn’t want to be involved in the vaping sector.
Some individual members of the Planet of the Vapes forum also found their accounts had been closed by PayPal for reasons people assumed were linked to the wholesale closure of business accounts.
Not Blowing Smoke and E-liquids UK took pride in offering Klarna as an immediate solution as it offers a ‘spread the payment’ option giving the customers interest-free credit on their vape purchases.
Not Blowing Smoke said it, “noticed that Klarna has stopped onboarding new clients over the last few months. Worse, like with the PayPal problem, Klarna has taken to freezing the accounts of their existing vape and CBD customers, locking funds and making them inaccessible.”
Not Blowing Smoke is reporting that it has had over £6000 frozen by Klarna.
“The bank Klarna uses for payments wouldn’t release the payments due to ‘compliance’.
Klarna eventually released our funds back to us, but the process took close to two months and had to be completed through a secondary bank.”
Many vape companies continue to offer Klarna as a checkout option on their websites, but Not Blowing Smoke says that many customers are experiencing issues when attempting to navigate the payment process.
“From what we can tell, customers will no longer be able to use it as an option at checkout.”
Klarna has declined to respond to questions from Planet of the Vapes and Not Blowing Smoke says, “they wouldn’t even provide us with a written letter confirming our contract was terminated.”
Not Blowing Smoke has moved swiftly to offer LayBuy (3) as an alternative. Anthony Bentinck, the vape company’s Managing Director, said there is huge interest in buy now-pay later options and LayBuy’s “Buy now and pay over 6 weekly interest-free instalments” will ensure he can keep his customers happy.