Buy as You View rejects television allegations
ONE of Wales' best-known companies has defended itself in advance of a TV programme going out tonight that makes serious allegations about its sales practices.
The Consumers' Association has launched an investigation into Llantrisant-based Buy as You View after the HTV current affairs series Wales This Week passed over a dossier of material it gathered for tonight's programme.
One of the firm's former salesmen appears describing techniques he claims the company expects its sales staff to use, and which some customers complain about.
The programme also questions the firm's practice of "rolling together" a number of purchases bought at different times into one debt.
Buy as You View, founded in the 1970s, last night hit back at the allegations made in Wales This Week.
The firm, which has more than 40,000 customers across South Wales buying household goods by feeding a meter attached to their TVs, is one of the major supporters of charitable causes in the area.
The children's charity Valleys Kids is supported by the firm, as are many health and education projects.
This year the company gave more than £400,000 to good causes, making it one of the most generous in Wales.
Buy as You View is also backed by some big names. Former Rhondda MP Allan Rogers is a director of the company and the firm has long supported some of the biggest stars in Welsh rugby, including Neil Jenkins.
Rupert Moon, the former Wales and Llanelli star, is a part-time community affairs consultant for the company. He's also a presenter of the popular BBC Wales consumer programme X-Ray.
Wales This Week says it followed up complaints from customers who contacted HTV's The Ferret programme.
It claims the company's salesmen don't explain their high prices and interest charges properly.
They also say they are pressured into buying goods they don't want.
The team has also talked to former salesmen who allege they left the company because they couldn't stand the pressure they were under to achieve financial targets.
The programme also examines the company's accounts. It is one of the most profitable in Wales, making founders Bernard Jones and Gerald Coleman multi-millionaires.
This year the prestigious Sunday Times Rich List estimated the two men were each worth £35m, making them the joint 19th richest men in Wales.
A spokesman for the Consumers' Association confirmed that an investigation had been launched into the company's sales techniques.
Buy as You View spokesman Terry Bunnett said, "As a company which has been in business for over 30 years, we are surprised and disappointed by the fact that Wales This Week is seeing fit to run a programme on the basis of allegations from a very small number of customers who have not previously raised these issues with our customer service department and upon quite incredible and sickening allegations on the part of an ex-employee who has not been identified to us.
"We are appalled by the suggestion made by the ex-employee regarding the treatment of our customers. We are extremely proud of our customers, many of whom have been with us for almost 30 years.
"Customers who view the programme will be equally appalled and angered by the false accusation being made by this ex-sales employee, as these customers will know that we operate only the very highest standards of customer service for which we as a company are known in our industry.
"You may be interested to know that 70% of our business comes in via the telephone from existing customers and customer referrals.
"Clearly, we make no excuse for the fact that we are a retail sales organisation, where a healthy atmosphere of competition exists within our sales force, which currently comprises some 350 personnel within a total staff of some 700."
The programme goes out at 11pm tonight on ITV1 Wales
Article source: walesonline.co.uk
Dated: Exactly ten years ago today. Since reading this forum section I see BAYV has more serious allegations than 10 years ago.