MFI collapse ruins family's Christmas

Couple left without kitchen after home improvement giant fails

ROY CORNWALL took great delight in ripping out his old kitchen.

The 36-year-old from Oxgangs thought nothing could go wrong as he eagerly awaited the arrival of his new units from MFI.

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Mr Cornwall, and his partner Lynne McLean, had taken out a 3400 bank loan to pay for the work, and had even invited relatives to come and celebrate Christmas with them in their revamped home.

But then came the news – the day after their new units were due to be delivered – that the home improvement giant had gone into administration, leaving the couple with no kitchen and no money.

Mr Cornwall, who ironically runs a small home improvement business, said today he was just thankful he had left the sink and the cooker when he ripped out the old units.

"It is really just horrible, because we took out a loan that we could hardly afford, and to think we will get nothing for it just terrifies me," admitted Mr Cornwall.

"The worst part is that we have no kitchen at the moment – everything I ripped out is sitting in our garden waiting to go to the tip, but it's too badly damaged to re-fit now."

Mr Cornwall and Ms McLean, 32 – who have children James, nine, and Jemma, six – wanted to replace the kitchen in their Oxgangs Avenue home ever since they moved into the house three years ago.

When they spotted the sleek, fully-fitted kitchen at MFI, which came complete with a Bosch dishwasher and a Hotpoint fridge freezer, they were so impressed they agreed to take out a bank-loan to cover the cost.

Mr Cornwall said they were now waiting anxiously find out if they will get the money refunded. "I have heard from other customers that a lot of kitchens are sitting in their depot all ready to go, and it is so frustrating to think that we might never get it," he said.

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"We have spent hours on the phone trying to get some answers, but it is impossible to get through, and whenever we can speak to an operator they just say they don't know what is happening.

"We wanted to have Christmas with the family this year, get the relatives round and just have a nice relaxing time with our dream kitchen, but now we don't know what will happen."

MCR, the company appointed as administrators to MFI, has said it is its intention to pay back all cash, cheque or debit card customers whose orders are not fulfilled, and said it was currently reviewing whether this would be possible.

A spokeswoman for the company admitted the customer helplines had been very busy, and said it was impossible to say what would happen with outstanding orders at this stage. MCR expects to update all customers on December 15.

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