Easy Living Furniture
Rosanna and Gordon have been using garden furniture in their front room
With today’s tough economic times, it’s not unusual to hear about companies going bust, almost on a daily basis.
But where do you stand if the one you’ve ordered from starts to struggle?
Rosanna and Gordon from Newport experienced just that, after putting down hundreds of pounds as a deposit for a sofa - Easy Living Furniture called in the administrators the very next day.
As Rosanna told us, “I just couldn't believe it. I thought well, no, it can't be right, surely we would have known or they would have known and told me. I was just shell shocked, well, I went numb”.
The sofa she wanted cost £1,491 and she had put down an £890 deposit to secure it, or so she thought.
She called Easy Living Furniture and was told she could have the sofa if she paid the rest of the money right away, but when she got down there the shop was shut.
Instead they called the administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers but that’s where the confusion continued.
They were told there was no way they could get the money back, then they were told they could have the sofa for £1,500, this then became 75 per cent of the cost of the sofa, then they offered it for the cost of the original balance of £600 but it would have to be in cream, not the original brown they wanted. They refused.
But insolvency practitioner Vaughan Jones said Easy Living shouldn’t have taken the money anyway, “Once you know a company is about to enter into insolvency proceedings, then you definitely shouldn't be taking money from customers, or taking fresh goods from any general suppliers either.
“In my eyes, this is absolutely ridiculous, that a company can take people's money, knowing full well they're about to go into administration. You know when a company's going into trouble”.
So what should they have done to protect themselves? Vaughan says, “If they'd paid by credit card the company would be liable to repay them the monies under the Consumer Credit Legislation”.
The Government’s Insolvency Service operates a 24 hour telephone hotline for anyone who has concerns about a company – the number is 0845 601 3546.