The Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman (FHIO) operate a Payment Protection Scheme. This scheme is designed to give additional protection to consumers who have paid 100% in advance of a home improvement installation (e.g. the supply and fitting of a kitchen or bathroom).
For businesses who sign up to the Payment Protection scheme, FHIO holds an amount of money in a protected account which can be drawn upon, if needed, to pay an award of compensation to a consumer following a legitimate complaint being upheld in their favour.
This scheme provides additional security for consumers and helps to highlight responsible businesses.
The following businesses are members of FHIO’s Payment Protection Scheme:
- John Lewis of Hungerford
- Wren Kitchens
For more information about the payment protection scheme please click here.
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It is considered that if a business charges 100% up front, it may remove the consumer's right of 'set off', this being their right to withhold part of the price subject to the amount being proportionate to the fault. This avoids unnecessary legal proceedings - first one party going to court to force the other to pay a sum of money, and then the other going back to court to recover what he should not have had to pay in the first place. The payment protection scheme provides a solution to redress the balance of interests between the business and the consumer before completion of the works and reintroduces an approved 'set off' provision.
If you are a business and take 100% paymnet in advance of an installation, you can offer your customers additional protection by joining FHIO. Click here, to [apply for membership] and select yes to join the payment protection scheme where prompted.
If you have shopped with a business who subscribes to the FHIO’s Payment Protection Scheme, you must first [raise your complaint] with us. If the business does not subscribe to the Payment Protection Scheme, all is not lost. If they are a member of FHIO, we are still able to investigate your dispute and should we find in your favour, make a binding decision against the business.