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5 Nov 2019

Currys PC World must make extended warranty sales clearer, regulator warns

It has to improve how it sells extended warranties after regulator finds mis-selling risks

Currys PC World has been told that it must make extended warranty terms clearer to shoppers after a regulator investigation found its sales practices could be misleading.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) carried out a mystery-shopping exercise that raised concerns Currys PC World may be mis-selling extended warranties.

In a letter to Dixons Carphone, which owns Currys PC World, the CMA said it fears some customers are being given the wrong information before they buy.

It found that more than a fifth of store staff incorrectly told shoppers that extended warranties cover cosmetic damage.

The CMA also found that a fifth of staff were unable to provide shoppers with a quote, which is a legal requirement before selling these kinds of warranties.

Currys PC World promises action

Which? consumer rights expert Adam French said: 'This is a welcome move and we look forward to seeing Currys PC World swiftly implementing these changes.

'It must ensure customers are armed with the correct information when making a decision about extended warranties.

'We would also urge customers to read the terms and conditions before buying an extended warranty as their right to return, repair or replace an item may already be covered under the Consumer Rights Act.'

Currys PC World has promised to address the issues raised by the end of November 2019.

It agreed to carry out more staff training, improve its advice leaflets on extended warranties and provide more information at till points.

It also says it will carry out its own internal mystery-shopping and customer surveys to monitor how effective these measures are.

Shoppers must be informed before they buy

Extended warranties cover repairs for any product faults that come up after the manufacturer's warranty runs out.

They cover an appliance for a set period of time, such as a year, and cost an additional fee.

Retailers offering these kinds of warranties for electrical products must give shoppers certain information before they sell them.

Retailers and other warranty sellers must:

  • make it clear the warranty is optional
  • make it clear that the warranty doesn't need to be bought at the same time as the product it covers
  • let you know that you can buy extended warranties elsewhere
  • give you a quote, and let you know that quote price is valid for 30 days if it's more than £20
  • let you know that you can cancel the warranty within 45 days
  • let you know you can cancel the warranty after 45 days and get a partial refund, even if a claim has been made.

Earlier this year, Which? found that one in four shoppers have felt under pressure by store staff to buy an extended warranty.

You have a right to cancel an extended warranty if you later decide you don't want it.

Read more about warranties and what they entitle you to.