BBC Watchdog investigates Currys “Whatever Happens” care plan

bbc watch dog

Currys staff caught on camera mis-selling their Whatever Happens Extended Warranty care plan

Currys Whatever Happens extended warranty care plan was in the spot light when BBC One’s consumer affairs show Watchdog decided to investigate how the product is sold in the high street electrical retailer’s stores.

The show was originally broadcast on Wednesday 9 October 2013 on BBC One. It showed a team of researchers who were sent out to ten Currys PC World stores all over the UK. All of the stores were asked if there any exclusions to the “Whatever happens” cover. Apart from loss and theft, out of the ten shops they investigated only four acknowledged there were any caveats. Those that were mentioned included fire, acts of God and cosmetic damage. And only two stores mentioned anything about the neglect, misuse and abuse clause.

The report covers an example claim where the customer was up a lady painting, fell off the ladder, smashed the TV screen and spilt paint in the back of the TV. The customer initially was told that his claim was not covered for the damage. He argued that the policy was sold to him saying that it covered “whatever happens”. The claim line quoted there was clause that excluded claims for cosmetic damage, neglect, misuse and even insect infestation. Currys argued that the damage was as a result of neglect not accidental damage.

When Watchdog got involved the customer was able to get the matter resolved and the TV was replaced.

What did Currys have to say about it?

A spokes person for Dixons Retails Group (Currys/Pc World parent company) said:

We feel our ‘Whatever Happens’ agreements provide customers with the most generous and comprehensive support on the market. We resolve 99.4% of all cases in favour of our customers, which clearly justify the brand name. Of course a tiny number of cases are rejected due to neglect, abuse or misuse.

Our colleagues are fully trained to explain the products including these exemptions – which are also highlighted in the written information we provide to customers. We will of course follow up the examples you have raised, to ensure our high customer standards continue to be met.

Watch the full report

Watch on YouTube

This clip is from the from the BBC website Watchdog episode page.

Summary

The way extended warranties have been sold has been reported to be very bad for many years. If you can find an extended warranty which is good value, meets your needs and you fully understand what the policy does and does not cover then you can make an informed decision about if you should buy it or not. We recommend shopping around and researching the different places that you can buy extended warranties and not just buying it at the point of sale with out doing your homework.

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