Money roundup video: Rent-to-own investigation demanded

The Independent’s Personal Finance Editor Simon Read talks over the latest Money news

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The Independent Online

This week rent-to-own investigation demanded; why don’t we complain enough?; and rip-off streamlined savings accounts.

Investigation called today into rent-to-own retailers

MPs have highlighted the dodgy practices by high street retailers that flog sofas and fridges at high interest rates and demand intervention by the City Watchdog.

Stores such as BrightHouse, PerfectHome and Buy as you View have been accused by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Debt and Personal Finance of forcing people to take out expensive warranties and insurance when buying fridges or sofas through high street stores.

MPs have also accused the stores of possibly mis-selling insurance and services people don’t need.

They are demanding the introduction of "health warnings" to ensure customers are aware of the total cost of agreements and the risks of repossession.

Read the full story here.

We don't complain enough

The Chief Ombudsman says less than half of problems with companies are turned into complaints.

Instead we choose to suffer in silence.

The actual number of complaints made about products and services has almost doubled in the last 12 months to reach 66 million. But, shockingly, consumers have encountered a further 71 million problems – and chosen not to pursue them.

Why are so many issues simply ignored? Lewis Shand Smith, the Chief Ombudsman, said. "The vast majority tell us that they think complaining is too much hassle – but it shouldn't be," he said. "People think it's going to take a lot of time and they're going to have to put a lot of effort into complaining – but that's not so.”

Read the full story here.

Rip-off streamlined savings accounts

Banks and building societies are reducing the number of confusing accounts but putting us into lower-paying accounts.

Since 2013, 13 providers have simplified parts of their savings ranges and 711 accounts have been reduced to just 114.

But, as you'd expect with banks, a little bit of good news comes with a healthy dollop of bad. As part of the process of cutting down the number of confusing accounts, banks have moved many people on to lower interest rates.

"Thousands of existing savings accounts have been reduced in recent years and now, under the guise of simplification, more accounts are being moved over to lower-paying versions," warned Susan Hannums of

Read the full story here.

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