Hard-up families bagging a Black Friday deal from rent-to-own chain BrightHouse face paying twice as much for the “bargain” – and still forking out in 2021.
A 55in Hisense TV is £445.25 but the cost spread over 156 weeks at 69.9 per cent interest and with £65 delivery and installation ends up being £1,014.
Another “special” is a £226.65 Acer tablet. Spread over 104 weeks, buyers will end up shelling out £416 at 99.9 per cent interest.
The high-street chain’s website also has a Sony PlayStation 4 Slim, which is priced at £559.79 but will cost a whopping £1,170 over 130 weeks at 99 per cent interest.
BrightHouse, Britain’s biggest rent-to-own firm, sells furniture, video games, TVs and appliances on high-interest repayment plans.
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The retailer attracts custom by accepting weekly payments. But debt campaigners accuse the firm of targeting low income families who cannot get credit elsewhere.
In August, we told how BrightHouse resold used goods at interest rates of up to 99.9 per cent interest. BrightHouse said its “refreshed” items were “great value” compared to new products.
Critics fear the borrowing costs charged by BrightHouse and other rent-to-own firms are driving low income families deeper into debt.
Last year BrightHouse came under fire for its policies and tens of thousands of customers are now in line for compensation.
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The Financial Conduct Authority revealed it failed to act as a “responsible lender”. The FCA is due to say on Thursday whether it will impose a financial cap on rent-to-own firms as part of a review of high-cost lending.
Damon Gibbons, of the Centre for Responsible Credit think-tank said: “People have been ripped off by this company for many years.”
Lorraine Charlton, debt expert at Citizens Advice, advised buyers: “If you buy online, by phone, or by mail order you can cancel your contract within five days. If you paid in the shop, you have 14 days but will either have to return goods or pay for them in another way.”
BrightHouse denies exploiting people. A spokesman said: “BrightHouse offers a choice to customers who can’t buy normal household goods outright and who are excluded from mainstream credit.
“Subject to detailed affordability checks, we are proud to offer them access to Black Friday deals. We do this in a way that is affordable, flexible and responsible.”
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