Saturday, 30 August 2014

Shocking !!!

Good morning. I'm bopping away to Sounds of the Sixties on Radio 2 as I write this. Some great old hits to sing along with. Every Saturday, 8 till 10. 
Right, what's the topic for toady. A leaflet dropped through the letter box this week, that reads like a horror story, thought I would share it with you. I hate anything that aims to swindle people out of their precious cash. This is a leaflet from a shop called PerfectHome, it could be from Bright House, they are all the same. They may have a shop front in the High Street, but that is a ruse to get people through the door and get them to sign their life away to a finance company. In this case, Temple Finance Limited is trading as PerfectHome. 
Years ago when I was a child my mum saved up to buy some of our furniture, but most of it was second hand, handed down from family or passed on from friends. For our entertainment we had a small radio, then television sets started to appear in shops. Of course we pestered mum to get one, she went into a shop called Radio Rentals and rented our first TV. A few years later after we had moved house, she went to Boyds, a family electrical shop, and took out an agreement to rent a TV. I have the agreement in front of me, dated 20th June 1974. Mum paid £1.85 a week for a 19 inch mono TV. In those days it was rare for people to buy a television set, because it would have been expensive to repair. Renting seemed the better option because there would be a new one provided when the set was too old to repair. We didn't think about how much it would cost us over a long period of time. Money came into the house weekly and mum was pretty good at budgeting, she wouldn't have got it if we couldn't afford the weekly payments. 
How things have changed. Now everyone wants to own the biggest TV in the street, no matter what the cost is. The PerfectHome shop window in our High Street looks very appealing, imagine all that lovely furniture in your home. You too can have a showhouse like this, but, there's a catch, there always is. Have a look at these figures, they make shocking reading.  
This TV will cost £1,731.99 to buy from this shop. Of course they don't want you to buy it outright, that's not where they make their money, they are a finance company, they want to lend you money at shocking interest rates. They want you to sign up to an agreement to pay £14.59 a week, for 156 weeks, they don't say 3 years, and you will end up paying £2,276.04. So, you might as well throw £1,048.05 of your precious cash, down the toilet. Shocking!
Want a supadupa sound system? Throw away £1,048.05, the difference between the cash price and the weekly payments over three years, and you can have it.

Of course you've just got to have an American style fridge freezer, with a water and ice dispenser, hasn't everyone got one. Errr, nope. On credit it's £2853.24. Shocking!

A nice sofa to sit on? Jeeez, credit price over 3 years, £4,475.64. What a shocker!


We all need to lay our heads down every night, but at what cost? £20.99 per week for three years, or 40p per sleep. That's a very expensive sleep. I would be having nightmares if I slept in this bed.

Only two of you, a small sofa would be ideal, but not at this price. Take out credit on this item and it will cost you £1,613.04 to sit on your @rse.

Ha ha, look at this, a special offer. Buy today and your first weekly payment is JUST £1. WOW, gotta have that, I think not. What about all the other 155 payments, where you are struggling to make ends meet, struggling to buy decent food, can't afford to put the heating on, can't afford to put petrol in the clapped out old car to get you to work.

For God's sake people wise up, get your priorities sorted out. Stop feeding these sharks. You don't need all this fancy stuff, you don't need to get into debt just to keep up with whoever has got more than you. Life is not about showing off, hey look at me, I've got one of those, or I've got a bigger one than you. It's ok to buy second hand, to get the best for your money. It's ok to buy from car boot sales, from charity shops, to skip dive, to take hand me downs, to barter and swap, to go on Freecycle.

Phew, sorry about that, had a Nellie moment just then. She would be proud of me. Joking apart, I know a lot of people who read my blog already know about this stuff, but please pass on your wisdom to younger members of your family and warn them of the danger of taking out such extortionate rental contracts, because it will come back and bite them on the bum, with such force they won't be able to sit down for months. or even years.

Looking good outside, have a nice weekend. Toodle pip.  

39 comments:

  1. I agree with all that you say, except that often second hand is just not affordable. Charity shops and second hand shops sometimes charge £150 - £200 pounds for a sofa. They are about profit for themselves, not looking out for local people with little money. The 'bargains' go to better off people who can actually afford them while the actual poor are left with nothing. Charity shops are trendy right now but those benefiting are often the middle classes. The £9.99 item or £16.99 items in most of my local charity shops are just too expensive. Sometimes they are dearer than new shop items. They get bought by those who can afford it.There are still several that are more reasonable luckily, but not many.

    It can look a better deal and more affordable to pay £15 a week for something new. You can't have everything at some distant time in the future, there are children going hungry or not eating proper food because there is no fridge or no cooker. Saving up for a single item of £150 can take months or even years. It's a difficult dilemma for many people.

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  2. Yes, a ridiculous rate of interest, they can get away with this because some people seem to have the inability to work figures out, perhaps a consequence of the predominance of computers, particularly in schools, why bother trying to remember things when the computer knows it all?

    But these type of shops must lose a fortune to people who take on the weekly payments then can't afford to continue with them.

    Also agree with Anonymous, charity shops are pricing themselves out, the bigger charities are run on corporate lines dedicated to profits.
    But some of the smaller local charities are still good value, they don't have management types to subsidise.

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  3. Great post! We have those "sharks" in the US too. I don't understand how people can fall for them. Most things people can do without...you don't have to have a 60 inch tv or an expensive couch or bed.
    Does England have groups like freecycle and craigslist? We bought our living room furniture very inexpensively off of craigslist 10 years ago, and it is still fine for us.

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    1. Hi Kathy. As the kids get older I have given a lot away of freecycle and also received a few bits that I have upcycled. It's great. But in honesty when I spread the word about the wonders of freecycle people have recoiled in disgust. I think the days of having hand me down furniture are slipping away. When we got married 20 years ago our whole house (other than our bed which was a wedding present) was other people's cast offs. We spread the word and we were grateful for everything we were offered. It didn't matter if things didn't match or was a bit old fashioned. I think people want new, and shiny and there are companies out there ready to exploit that want, they make it 'easy'. Debbie.

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  4. 59.9% APR!!!! Unbelievable! I saved up the money for my new 2 seater Ikea sofa which cost me just over £250 inc delivery. I still have it after 3 years and it will last another 10+. Every couple of weeks while I was saving for it I used to go and 'visit' it in store and sit on it. I would never dream of forking out thousands for a sofa. And for things like cookers and fridges there is always Freecycle and Freegle. I once put out a call for a freezer and got a brilliant one from a lady who even helped me put it in the back of my car.

    Linda xx

    PS Nellie would be proud of this post xx

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  5. Taking advantage of the vulnerable. Does my head in too.

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    1. Yes, they target young families who don't have much. Nasty people. Another thing I noticed, all the shops are from Birmingham in the Midlands, northwards. They have no shops in the south.

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    2. I live in a deprived area in the South (they do exist!) and our town has a rental shop, Brighthouse I think and several pawn shops. There is poverty in many areas, even pockets of affluent areas. Great post (as ever) - I save for everything and more than happy to accept unwanted furniture etc from friends or freecycle and buy second hand. Even if we could afford new, we would still look for second hand stuff, generally better quality and keeps things out of landfill.

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  6. My daughter informed me this week that I need to get a new TV because mine is too old to "stream" things like NetFlix. We don't watch a lot of TV and I've never gotten into NetFlix, but if I want to, I guess it's new TV time.

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    1. What's Netflix?
      Think I am way behind the times :-)

      Toni

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    2. I think Netflix is something you pay for, like films, I think. I don't have a tele so I don't know.

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  7. It's crazy...buy what you can pay for and make do with what you've got, if possible. We haven't had a TV since we married 21 years ago and haven't missed it! Saves the license fee too!

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  8. The Guardian published an article about BrightHouse last year. it makes for very interesting (and shocking) reading. HERE:http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/04/brighthouse-consumer-poverty-high-street

    When I left home I did without until I could afford to buy decent second hand stuff. Its amazing how little you need to live with. I didn't have a fridge, a settee or a bed for years! xxx

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  9. It's depressing. I would guess that it boils down a combination low self esteem and lack of education (those weekly payments may seem very attractive to someone on a low wage). There are plenty of people who think 'stuff' defines them - and its across the board, it's just that those in well paid jobs are more likely to have access to cheap credit, whereas those who are on very low wages resort to extortionate interest rates to fill that void in their lives. In my experience people who have interesting and varied lives are happier and less prone to keeping up with the Jones's. Debbie

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  10. save up til you can afford it and then buy it outright, really scandalous interest. At DFS they have no interest options on buying their sofa's which are a better deal...but I prefer the good ol' fashioned option!

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  11. The only thing we ever bought on monthly payments was our house! If we can't afford it we don't have it Simples eh?! But I guess that not everyone was brought up the same and maybe some folk really don't see it that way - poor souls!

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  12. I think that people want things 'now' and don't even think of the interest charges.

    Our first colour TV was hired for years; then we bought it from our local shop - and it lasted many more years. I do like some new things but most big items in our house are old, second hand or handmade ( my husband made our bed base 43 years ago and although it has had some replacement mattress' it is perfectly fine). We also have two 60's / 70's ercol studio couches. Apparently they are quite trendy now and have been re-issued! - and are probably bought on credit!

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    Replies
    1. That's fantastic to make a bed base, well done hubby.

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  13. I totally agree with all you say. I am the same age as you have been married since I was 19 and the only thing I have new is the bed. My first washing machine ( second hand) came yrs after
    being married . All the nappies etc from the children were washed in the copper and put through
    the mangle. Ive never had money to waste always lived within a tight budget, but, at least
    I could sleep at night. I don't think I would if I had been spending at the shop you are talking about. Its just unbelievable that anyone could even consider paying over 2 thousand pounds for
    something. That would furnish and carpet a house, and have change !!!!

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  14. I had to laugh at the refrigerator. The average American doesn't own one. And the two couples I do know that own one constantly have the repairman out because something is wrong with it.

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  15. Even if a person had the money to buy any of those items outright and not pay the interest, those are very inflated prices on the goods. Shop around, buy on sale, negotiate and get the very best price. If you are like you, Ilona then of course you wouldn't buy at all but most people want something new and if they want something new, they should never pay top dollar or finance things :-) I have things that are new, used, donated, antique, etc. It all works together for me. I have paid for everything outright so I do not have things that are too fancy, schmancy.

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  16. Wow, that was a good rant! I totally agree with you. Isn't antique furniture just old stuff that people are more than happy to pay loads for. I 've bought some decent second hand furniture myself. Certain people have looked down their noses at me, but I just smile and think " your loss matey", ha. I am retired now but even when I had more money, I still thought the same way as I do now. I hate to feel " ripped off".

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  17. My sofa is ancient I just cover it with throws and home made cushions. It's very large cosy used as a bed for visitors sometime' had it years. My washing machine is 14yesrs old still working perfectly. It no longer heats water but that's ok. My clothes only need refreshing. I'm moving soon so I hope it makes the journey. What is everyone's oldest appliance? what is the appliance you can't keep for long my are Irons i cant seem to keep them for long.

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    1. Angela, my washing machine is 24 years old and still going strong. I am single so don't do as much laundry as a family, but still. I just had new hoses put onto the back of the machine. I had trouble with one of the controls when the machine was about 15 but that is it.

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    2. That's fantastic Barbara. My sons sports gear is stinky so to get rid of pong and nasties I pour zoflora lemon in the fabric conditioner drawer along with a glug of white vinegar (love that stuff.) all fab con makes us itch, even the sensitive. I believe it clogs up the machine as well. I use white sheets on my bed I put a tablespoon of bicarb (another fave in this house) in the drum glug of white vinegar in fab con drawer with capful of zoflora lavender results brilliant white sheets. I had it serviced once and the repair chappie said there was hardly any ageing of the machine. As I say it doesn't heat water anymore I just think it's the longer wash on the sheets. Sil says I should boil wash to kill nasties but done this for years and I'm ok. People all over the world wash in cold water rivers ect and their washing is beautifully clean. I have a modern "poss stick'" I bought off tinternet it's called the breathable washer use that in the bath in a bucket good workout. Sorry for long reply.

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    3. Just to add I use washing powder as well as the bicarb vinegar and zoflora check out the do it on a dime vlog on y** T*** she shows you the method called brilliant white sheets she has a blog as well I hope it's ok to mention other blogs llona

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    4. Yes, go ahead Angela. Glad of the info.

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  18. The figures for the TV are worse than you say.
    From £20.59 a week so at least £3212.04 over 3 years.

    I wonder if anyone has ever paid cash for anything from these type of stores?

    Toni

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  19. My sofa is 30 years old this year. I bought it new and must confess that I put it on three separate credit cards because I had very little credit just starting out in my career. I paid it off quickly. About eight years ago I had it professionally reupholstered.

    Old furniture is so much better made than what you would buy new today. I have a bedroom chair that belonged to a friend and I plan to have it reupholstered sometime this year or next.

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  20. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I once read a quote which I always recite to me kids.
    Too many people buy things they don't want, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like"

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    1. That is so true. There was a supper club for want of a better word when I was working based on the come dine with me show here in the uk. I declined to join in . My friend stopped going she couldn't stand the Bragg fest and a chance to snoop around the hosts house. She said all their houses looked the same like a posh doctors waiting room. Same leather sofas lamps ect

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  21. Life is based around credit thesedays, the banks try to steer people towards borrowing rather than saving.
    Most big ticket items are sold based on x£'s per week or month.
    My son bought his first car last year using his savings but many of his friends have got theirs on payments along with the insurance. They're now sucked into a lifetime of credit which will get worse because they'll want to change cars before the first one is paid for.
    Dave.

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  22. Hi IIona not related to this post, but I have just been on mse and seen all the photos you posted on the zero waste thread, amazing!

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    1. Hi. Thank you. All the photo's are on my blog. I thought they were appropriate to that thread. I often post on MSE forum.

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  23. Everything is gizmo now, all the kids have to have the latest phone and tablet. I feel sorry for the poor people who kids get bullied for not having the "in" stuff. I've seen those shops too, disgraceful.

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  24. I used to do a bit of driving on the brighthouse contract, it seems they re-possess a fair bit of stuff and refurbish it. I was in one of their depots once, as two chaps were wheeling a fridge along a red liquid was pouring out, when they opened the door it was still full of food.
    My dad was an electrician in the 1970's and the firm he worked for had around a thousand tv's rented out in the bolton area.
    Could you imagine what the kids would say if you had a 19" black and white tv now?
    Dave.

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  25. I couldn't agree more. The trouble is that the people who need to hear you probably aren't reading your blog. They are probably buying more expensive stuff they don't need and hoping to somehow find the means to pay for it.

    Some people are wising up with the recession, but obviously not enought if those kinds of shops are still thriving.

    Jane

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