Why a £358 washing machine costs £1,092
In an exclusive report for the Victoria Derbyshire programme, former Labour leader Ed Miliband investigates rent-to-own companies and says he wants them to be regulated like pay day loan firms.
The companies allow shoppers to pay for items such as TVs, games consoles, fridges and washing machines in weekly instalments, spread over years with interest.
But consumers can end up paying up to three times more for the products and some people may not understand what they are signing up for.
The biggest company in the rent-to-own sector is called BrightHouse. They chose not to take part in this report but sent the following statement: "We note that this feature is presented by an avowed critic, who consistently misrepresents our business.
BrightHouse serves those lower-income families who are excluded from mainstream credit. Rent-to-own is a very different proposition to other forms of retail. Our customers appreciate the ability to have quality products in their homes, without the risk of unexpected bills and, with the flexibility to return the product at any time and for any reason, owing nothing further.
We undertake extensive affordability assessments before lending and seek to support all those customers who find themselves in difficulty."