Retail News

Hundreds of small businesses mis-sold plasma screens

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI, addresses the crowd.

Over 200 independent retailers and small businesses, which believe they been mis-sold plasma screens, attended a meeting demanding a solution last week.

The meeting was organised by Retail NI, which is assisting members in finding a solution. Political representatives from the five main parties also attended the meeting at the Crowne Plaza Belfast.

“Hundreds of local independent retailers have been impacted by what they believe to be a business scam involving the installation of plasma screen televisions at their stores via a company called Viewble Media,” said Alan Collingwood, a Retail NI member and operator of a business impacted by the alleged scam.

“Retailers signed up to this scheme on the understanding that the money they would be paying out each month under the terms of a finance agreement for the televisions would be reimbursed to them from Viewble Media, which would sell advertising on these screens.

“However Viewable Media has gone into administration, which in effect means that the retailers are paying a substantial amount each month to the finance company, Grenke, but are now not receiving any income from Viewble Media.

“Many of our retailers have over two years left of their finance agreement and are understandably very frustrated and believe they were mis-sold this product.”

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI, said: “This is a huge problem for a big section of our membership who are already struggling with high business costs such as rates and energy. We have been in contact with the Financial Ombudsman and would urge our MLAs to support our members in finding a solution.

“Our members are clearly not getting what they signed up for and need to be released from their finance agreements for these redundant plasma screens. I am disappointed that Grenke, the finance company, will not even meet with Retail NI to discuss possible solutions and would urge them to engage with us.”

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