How many have been left ‘in the lurch’?

Following the news that Betta Living has gone into administration, Rugby Fitted Kitchens boss Trevor Scott wonders how many customers have been left out of pocket with unfulfilled orders

One of the questions I would like answered is just how many orders and how much money they took in deposits the week or so leading up to this decision? Because the directors – and certainly the owner and chairman – must have known that the business was going down.

Was most of this taken by credit card? Card companies credit your account within around three days of the transaction, so anything taken up until last Wednesday Betta Living would have received, and done what with?

This brings back memories of MFI, and the couple of million or so they took in the last week before they ceased trading.

Leaving consumers in the lurch and significantly out of pocket this close to Christmas would be devastating for them. Although I note, with a wry smile, that Wren has jumped in to offer to supply these poor people – a move I consider less to do with charitable good deeding and more akin to ambulance chasing.

But even so, it will take months for credit card providers to refund consumers, so this kind of offer won’t be of much help to them this side of the New Year.

Another question I would pose is – does this mean the writing is finally on the wall for the direct (home) selling of kitchens and other high-ticket home improvements?

In a smartphone, internet connected, savvy UK, where genuine price comparing is only a click away, are British consumers finally waking up and realising that ‘Up to 70% off’ discounts are pure baloney?

Perhaps Betta Living has been giving away some real discount to win orders of late and that has terminally hurt their bottom line? Who knows?

Maybe the collapse of the pound and the sharp increase in prices we have all been affected by had hurt them beyond redemption and recovery?

It’s anyone’s guess at this stage.

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