The news that the Homeform Group will not pay out on any customer warranties or guarantees has prompted the national trade association for the kitchen bathroom and bedroom industry, the Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association, (KBSA) to warn consumers that it is still vital to buy from retailers that offer financial protection.
Homeform collapsed last July leaving consumers with £5.6 m of lost deposits when Moben and Dolphin (owned by Homeform) ceased to trade. Sharps, also owned by Homeform was bought out of administration by the management.
The KBSA is urging consumers to heed their advice and seek out retailers who can offer the reassurance of Association membership, financial protection and TrustMark status.
“We saw a lot of household names fail last year and sadly there are probably more to come as the recession continues. The economic climate remains volatile and we would urge all homeowners to stop and think twice about the importance of dealing with a reputable retailer who can offer peace of mind and deposit protection.” says KBSA CEO Graham Ball.
All KBSA members are dedicated to upholding the association’s high standards of design, supply, installation and customer service throughout the interiors industry. All members are carefully vetted prior to admission and they must have been trading for at least two years in order to be considered for membership.
Many KBSA members have also been approved to trade as Trustmark accredited retailers via membership of the KBSA. This Government backed programme is part of its ‘anti-cowboy’ legislation and helps consumers find reliable and trustworthy professional tradesmen to carry out repairs and improvements to the inside and outside of their homes.
The KBSA offers the following guidelines on investing in a home makeover:
- Visit a company that has a showroom so you can inspect the quality of the product and the standard of installation.
- Choose a retail member with a track record of good installations and ask to speak to some past customer and even visit them in their homes if possible.
- Be careful about paying in full for your kitchen in advance. You should not pay a deposit of more than 25% and it is likely that you will be required to make an interim payment, ask for a written payment schedule which includes the timings of any interim payment and final retention.
- Make sure you have a written quotation that covers every aspect of the job, including fitting, flooring and any structural alterations you may have discussed.
- Don’t sign anything unless you are prepared to honour your side of the contract. Some terms and conditions have expensive cancellation clauses. If in doubt contact the KBSA.
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