COULD ‘RENT TO OWN’ FIRMS BECOME REGULATED IN A SIMILAR WAY TO PAY DAY COMPANIES? 

The BBC have featured this story again on their breakfast show at the time of writing this, and I believe it’s worth looking at given that they target the most vulnerable people in society who do not have access to mainstream credit. This was originally covered here by the BBC in July 2016.

There is clearly a bigger risk in providing goods to this market segment, which is reflected in some way by the higher interest rates but the costs can quickly spiral. Whilst there is a need for those on the margins of society to have access to credit, they have been mercilessly exploited and treated unfairly.

Every firm subscribes to a charter of ‘Treating Customers Fairly’, yet in reality very few firms actually practice what they preach.

This industry is unregulated at present, and cases are arising where people with mental and physical health difficulties appear to have been taken advantage of and may not even be capable of making their own decisions. That in itself could invalidate any contract in Court.

The most vulnerable and those that can least afford items we would consider as necessities are being forced in to further hardship, which is compounded by emotional stress and worry.

The Citizens Advice Bureau receive thousands of complaints every year about this sector, so it’s only a matter of time now before this becomes a regulated activity. Read about what I think will be the next big scandal here

I cover HP agreements, contracts and much more in my consumer book complete with templates based on real-life test cases that work every time.

What are your thoughts on ‘rent to own’ firms? Have you used one? If so, what was your experience?

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