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Just when you thought washing machines couldn't get any cheaper, they do!

This week AO has announced that they will introduce washing machine rental for £2 a week, starting with a partnership with two Housing Associations in England and Scotland, and rolling out further next year if successful.

Details are scant as yet but that's cheap, very cheap.

The press info we've seen says that the £2 weekly cost of the Candy Grand’O Vita GVS148D3W 8Kg washing machine comes with no hidden extra costs and no up-front payment and that includes delivery, full insurance, repairs and recycling of any old appliances and no credit checks.

The rental can also be cancelled at any time and the washing machine will be collected free of charge. After a period of five years, the washing machine can be replaced with a new machine, and the old one taken back to AO for refurbishment or to be recycled.

All of which strikes us as being too good to be true but we can't find what the catch is as yet.

But still, it's £104 a year and the machine mentioned retails for under £300 so, over five years that's a tidy profit for AO.

Commenting on the move, AO’s CEO John Roberts said: ‘It’s a straightforward £2 per week payment, with no up-front charges and no catches. Customers know exactly what they are paying for their washing machine from the start. It’s a totally different approach to the current rental offers out there, and I believe that we’re doing better.

‘Our advantage is that we own most of the supply chain. This keeps our costs low, meaning we can save customers hundreds of pounds a year when it comes to renting electrical essentials. Of course, rental has appeal for a broad range of customers, not just those on lower incomes. It’s early days for us but I’m optimistic about the potential.’

Whilst this scheme may be limited and, discounted in some way, it does indicate the direction of travel for AO who seem to have been struggling in some ways the past few years.

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George Barry Higgs
AO.com
What a fantastic scheme! I have bought all my white goods from Appliances on line, now AO.com, since it was founded, and remains in Bolton. I have not yet, in more that 20 years, found any company to match its service, customer friendliness and, the most important, prices.
The ability for less well off families to rent a fully insured, dependable white goods machine for £2 per week, replaced after 5 years, is a brilliant idea . I just hope it works out (doubtless the manufacturers will have to agree extended terms too, but to their long term advantage) and it will not be long before others follow John's lead. I will be buying AOL shares.

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