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High Court dismisses NCR bid to overturn Lewis Group ruling

The credit regulator lodged an appeal last year after the tribunal cleared the furniture retailer.

The High Court dismissed an appeal by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) against a ruling that had cleared Lewis Group of breaching credit rules with fees it charges customers, the retailer said on Monday.

The credit regulator lodged an appeal last year after the tribunal cleared the furniture retailer, which sells mostly to customers on lower incomes using in-store credit.

The tribunal’s ruling meant Lewis Group effectively avoided a fine that could have totalled up to 10% of annual sales.

“The High Court handed down judgment in Lewis’ favour with regard to the appeal by the NCR. The matter was dismissed with costs against the NCR,” said Lewis in a statement.

The credit regulator in 2016 referred Lewis to the National Consumer Tribunal, accusing it of contravening credit rules when charging customers for warranties and club membership fees that entitled them to special deals. 

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Lesson – don’t buy things you can’t afford on credit.

This ruling makes me feel like I am kissing my stepsister. I have experienced the predatory practices of Lewis when they repossessed the furniture they sold to farm-workers. On the other hand I am a fervent supporter of the free market and I believe that individuals should take responsibility for their actions. So, when all is said and done I support the decision of the High Court. I can solve this social dilemma by lending the money to my workers to buy furniture from Lewis without charging them any interest. This proves the point – the free market will find it’s own solutions to exploitative behavior without interference from government.

As a Free marketeer myself I agree, just give that invisible hand some time and it will do its work.

Sensei:

Not sure it will still work, but what I used to do for employees being hounded:
Work out a fair settlement excluding fees and extortionist interest, then write a cheque for ¾ of that. A Cheque is a contract. So on the face of it you write : In full and final settlement of all debts of Jane Doe ID number 123 account number 789. Mail it to retailer.

If they bank it they accept the contract. Most mail rooms process cheques…

I worked in the legal department of a major retailer in the ninetees and the business model was always. WE SELL FINANCIAL SERVICES NOT FURNITURE!

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