Rent-to-own store BrightHouse has announced that it will pay £14.8 million in compensation to some 249,000 customers. This is as part of work it’s been doing with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The reason that BrightHouse is paying out compensation is because the FCA says the rent-to-own retailer didn’t act as a ‘responsible lender’. Some customers had agreements that weren’t affordable for them, so they might not have been able to afford payments. And other customers are due compensation for agreements they cancelled but didn’t get a refund for.

Were you a BrightHouse customer? Are you wondering if you can get compensation? We’ll take you through what you need to know.

If you’re a Harrington Brooks customer

If you’re a BrightHouse customer and you have a debt solution with Harrington Brooks, we’d like to stress that this announcement doesn’t affect your plan. There’s no need to get in touch with us or with BrightHouse – they’ll contact you if you’re due compensation.

We won’t be able to offer you any further advice on this if you call us, so it’s best just to wait for further news from BrightHouse.

You should continue to make payments towards your debt solution as normal, as well as keeping up your regular expenditure payments. If you currently make any payments towards BrightHouse as part of your regular expenditure, please continue with these payments.

Even if you have a debt to BrightHouse included in your plan for a product you previously owned or a debt collection agency is managing a debt on their behalf, continue with your regular payments. This will ensure that you stay on plan and continue repaying this and your other debts.

If you do get a compensation letter from BrightHouse and you think this is likely to affect your plan, you can get in touch with us when this happens. We’ll then be able to look at making any necessary changes to your plan on a case by case basis.

What is BrightHouse doing?

As we explained above, BrightHouse is paying out some £14.8 million compensation. This will go to 249,000 customers who fall into two groups.

The first group are those who signed up for an agreement between April 2010 and April 2017 and cancelled within the first 14 days. They should have got a refund for initial payments but BrightHouse found that some customers might not have got this. BrightHouse says these customers will get an average of £27.

The second group due compensation are those who might not have been able to afford their payments. This is because for some people who signed up between April 2014 and September 2016, BrightHouse has found its affordability assessments might not have been robust enough. For these customers, BrightHouse will pay an average of £147 – this includes any interest and fees.

If customers didn’t return the product they took out a lending arrangement for, they’ll now own this.

You can read more about this on the BrightHouse website.

Can you get compensation?

If you fall into one of the groups we described, it’s likely that you’re due compensation from BrightHouse. The good news is that you don’t need to do anything to get the redress.

BrightHouse has said it will send out a letter to all customers who are due compensation. If you’re included in this, you should get this by the end of the year.

If you don’t hear from BrightHouse or you have any queries, you can call its freephone number on 0800 526 069 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, or between 8am to 5.30pm on Saturday.