22nd March 2016
A hire purchase company selling household appliances and furniture on a rent-to-own basis has been ordered to repay £939.000 to more than 59,000 customers.
Dunraven Finance Ltd, trading under the name Buy as You View (BAYV), has agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to repay customers, after the watchdog found it had not clearly set out fees and other aspects of contracts.
The FCA raised concerns about how the company treated customers in arrears and used payment meters to restrict access to the customer’s TV when payments were not received on time. The watchdog also questioned whether the company’s credit assessments of customers were adequate.
In response to this an independent Skilled Person was appointed in October 2015 to review and monitor the firm’s plans to address the concerns raised.
Jonathan Davidson a director of supervision at the FCA says: “We are pleased that BAYV is working with us to address our concerns.
“It is important that firms meet our standards, including carrying out proper creditworthiness assessment and making sure that those in difficulty are treated fairly. We will continue, when necessary, to take action against inappropriate behaviour.”
Buy as You View will either write-off debt, repay cash or offer forbearance options to customers who have been charged fees for returned direct debits
It will pay redress to 58,232 customers for fees unpaid direct debit fees. It will repay 1,610 customers who were charged an administration fee of between £30 and £45 for a ‘Fresh Start Refinance’.
It will also contact 3,877 customers who bought goods using modifying agreements between 1 April 2014 and August 2015 to assess whether they have suffered detriment as a result being sold additional goods by BAYV using modifying credit agreements, instead of using a new separate agreement for each item.
Under a modifying agreement the customer would have paid more overall than under separate agreements, but they may not have been aware of this when the goods were sold.
Customers will need to respond to the firm’s contact in order for their case to be individually assessed.
BAYV has changed the way it uses payment meters. A default notice will now be issued at least 14 days prior to restricting access to the customer’s TV.
Customers do not need to take any action, BAYV will start contacting affected customers within the next two weeks. More information is available at http://www.bayv.co.uk/help/faq.
Any customers identified as having been lent sums in excess of BAYV’s own lending criteria will receive redress at a later date.