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BrightHouse Complaints

BrightHouse is a trading name used by Caversham Finance Ltd., which in turn is owned by a private equity firm known as Vision Capital.

It is a national retail chain selling domestic and electronic appliances, home furniture and other such products, primarily to low income families or households with bad credit. Its products are sold on a “rent to own” basis and are available both from its 250 retail outlets and from its online shop. The business model operated by BrightHouse means that households on low incomes can purchase high quality branded products that would usually be outside of their reach.

Importantly, there is also an option to return goods should the purchase prove not to be viable.

Currently BrightHouse employs over 2,600 staff and its business is expanding at a rapid rate, with some 30 new stores scheduled to open at the time of writing. Because of the nature of its business and its target audience the company’s fortunes may not be adversely affected by the recession.

The company prides itself on what it describes as its “Vision and Values”.

Its aim is to provide customers with high quality goods and services who may otherwise have found it difficult to acquire them. It proudly claims adherence to “core values” which inform the way it works and has won awards for recycling, environmental best practice and innovation.

BrightHouse has also been involved in a good deal of charitable work. In 2009 it partnered the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and in 2010 provided financial support for several young athletes through its work with SportsAid.

However BrightHouse has also in fact been the subject of many customer complaints. In May 2009 the BBC investigative programme Newsbeat accused the company of mistreating customers who fell behind on repayments, claiming that collection agents called at their homes and falsely claimed that they had a legal right to confiscate goods without court authority. The charity Credit Action called upon the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate a series of BrightHouse complaints.

Its lending practices and its terms and conditions have also been pilloried on grounds of overcharging on the initial purchase and also applying excessive rates of interest. One allegation was that its base prices were actually higher than those of prestige mainstream retailers such as Harrods.

The company continues to expand and to provide a service but many potential customers are wary in the light of the publicity that the BrightHouse complaints have attracted.

 
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