The rent-to-own rip-off
Rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse has been told to pay out £14.8m in compensation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA told BrightHouse to compensate 249,000 customers who had cancelled agreements after one down-payment had not been refunded.
The retailer will also make payments to those who signed up to lending agreements that may not have been affordable.
Rent-to-own shops let customers pay for household items such as washing machines and fridges on a weekly basis.
However, its business model means it can sell a £494.50 fridge for £1,092 by splitting the payments over 156 weeks.
The FCA said BrightHouse had not acted as a “responsible lender”
Many who use rent-to-own retailers only do so because there are few other alternatives to purchasing essential household goods like cookers.
Hamish Paton, chief executive of BrightHouse, said: “We sincerely apologise to those customers who were affected. Our top priority is to ensure that they are reimbursed as soon as possible.”
If you are struggling to afford white goods, use the Grant Search to see what help is available.
If you have experienced a rent-to-own retailer, or lived without basic household goods, share your experience with Turn2us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.