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Customer's fears as BHS stalls over delivery of £2k furniture

By Claire McNeilly

Published 27/04/2016

Fearful BHS customers who paid upfront for goods from the collapsing department store are still entitled to receive them, according to a business watchdog
Fearful BHS customers who paid upfront for goods from the collapsing department store are still entitled to receive them, according to a business watchdog

Fearful BHS customers who paid upfront for goods from the collapsing department store are still entitled to receive them, according to a business watchdog.

But one Northern Ireland consumer has claimed the company is holding expensive prepaid items back from delivery.

BHS went into administration on Monday, although it is still trading.

News that the UK department store group - which has four Northern Ireland shops - is on the brink of collapse has sparked concern among people with vouchers, orders pending or items to return.

One man contacted the Nolan Show on Radio Ulster yesterday to express his concerns over £1,800 worth of bedroom furniture he had bought on April 10 at the BHS Holywood Exchange branch, just outside Belfast.

"I bought two beds and some dressing units," he said.

"I got a phone call from the courier service to say that they have the goods and were trying to organise a delivery date which was going to be today.

"But within half an hour we received another call from the courier service to say they would not be delivering the goods, that BHS had instructed them to withhold all goods until further notice. The goods are paid for in full so they're my property now and I don't know why I can't get my hands on them."

Belfast-based consumer lawyer Fiona Donnelly advised the customer to check his contract.

She added: "These items appear to belong to him as he bought them some time ago - unless there is something specific contained in the small print."

A Northern Ireland Trading Standards spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph that consumers who have fully paid for goods are entitled to them.

"Stock which has been allocated to customers, and can be identified as being assigned to that customer, should be passed to the customer in question, if the goods have been paid for."

After bringing in administrators two days ago to sell all or part of the firm, BHS posted a note at tills saying it will accept gift vouchers purchased in the last two years, but only at 50% of face value. Consumer group Which? advised customers with vouchers to spend them "as quickly as possible".

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