Trading under the I-Sleep Ltd umbrella, five companies have been wound up in the public interest for selling low quality goods or failing to supply goods that had been paid for.
Out of shop premises in Dewsbury and Huddersfield, I-Sleep Ltd sold household furniture such as beds and sofas.
Trading as I-Sleep franchises, the remaining four companies – Foxton Furniture Group Limited, Goole Furnishings Limited, Crawley Home Furnishings Limited and Ilford Home Furnishings Limited – used the same business model from 10 retail shops, mainly in the Yorkshire area.
In the course of the investigation carried out by the Insolvency Service, it was discovered that the control of the businesses had a “serious lack of transparency”.
There was no evidence the companies were being run as separate businesses, as they all used one bank account for sales receipts, used generic documentation and one person seemed to have significant control of all the companies.
A history of serious customer complaints across the I-Sleep franchises was also uncovered, alluding to a considerable disregard for customers and consumers, and disreputable trading methods.
The companies’ records demonstrated that in a six-week period the companies received 870 complaints, ranging from issues of quality to failure to supply goods despite payment in full having been received.
Other complaints concerned misrepresentation, bullying and threats towards customers; some of whom were “vulnerable” members of the public.
Another five companies related to I-Sleep have also been wound up by the court, having been formed to protect the brand but had never traded.
Alex Deane, chief investigator at The Insolvency Service, said: “Where the agency becomes aware of companies like these trading in ways that are clearly objectionable we will investigate and work across agencies to remove them from the market place.”