News such as this never fails to sadden me. Not just that the rent to own household goods retailer, Brighthouse, has been instructed to pay out millions of pounds to its customers, which in itself is enough of a shocker, but that there is a need for companies like this to even exist in the first place.
A representative APR of 69.9% fixed, which in some cases could stretch even to 99.9%, is at the very best unfair and at the very worst, downright sickening. Ironically on the website, the company proudly states that these are ‘the biggest brands’ at ‘affordable weekly prices’. What planet exactly are these people on? Since when can a £358 washing machine which ends up costing over a £1000 be classed as anything other than daylight robbery?
Brighthouse has issued an apology to the customers affected but I doubt this is of any comfort. It should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. I don’t believe that there is any place in our society for companies such as this. It’s far from being a service when you prey on the most vulnerable and take blatant advantage of those who are in real financial need.
This sector is in desperate need of clearer and more robust regulation with a limit set on the most people will ever have to pay back. If a payment is missed, the costs can spiral out of control leaving many in several pounds of debt. How on earth can this be justified?
Brighthouse is now set to write to all customers affected by the ruling by the Financial Conduct Authority with their “top priority” now being to ensure all customers are “reimbursed as soon as possible.”
It’s just a shame they didn’t have the same amount of moral obligation to do what is right to start with.