A local MEP will this week meet with a leading rent-to-own company to discuss constituents concerns.
Nikki Sinclaire, who is one of the elected members of European Parliament for the West Midlands, has managed to secure a meeting with Commercial Director Hamish Paton to discuss concerns that constituents have brought to Nikki’s attention.
Nikki is keen to discuss the company’s practices after a number of constituents have complained about how the company works.
The rent-to-buy store claims that it is filling a gap in the market held by individuals that, according to their Brighthouse Group website, lack access to mainstream credit or sufficient funds to obtain the goods they need. Rather than a traditional credit check from an outside agency that many customers would fail, Brighthouse run their own credit checking facility which includes making decisions based on meeting the customer instore and using a tailored scorecard based upon socio-demographic profiles of the customer base.
Brighthouse supply a number of products, from your basic white goods such as washing machines and cookers, to the higher end luxury items including 3d televisions and Nintendo 3DS consoles. With service cover and interest, customers can expect to pay nearly double the items value with their payment scheme.
Nikki said, “In times of austerity, rent-to-buy schemes are very attractive to vulnerable constituents who have nowhere else to turn. My key focus is on responsible lending. While I understand that Brighthouse is a business, my constituents are my first concern and I feel it is my duty to explore the problems they are having with this company”.
Despite the financial downturn, Brighthouse continue to be on the up with new stores seemingly popping up all over the country. Nikki’s constituency of the West Midlands currently has around 30 Brighthouse stores and there are currently 240 Brighthouse stores nationwide. With aggressive expansion planned for over 600 stores, the familiar yellow and red logo will surely be appearing in more West Midlands locations.
According to Brighthouse’s own corporate website, the brand has the potential to reach over 2 million customers in the UK. A typical Brighthouse customer lives within 3 miles of their local store, does not own a car and has a friend or family member who is also a Brighthouse customer.
Nikki will take numerous case studies to discuss with Mr Paton, as well as exploring the companies’ views on what it describes as “ethical lending”.
“Debt is a form of control as it restricts people from bettering themselves. I’m hoping this meeting with Brighthouse can make a real difference to those who are struggling with debt issues in the West Midlands”.