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Advice please - unauthorised Currys/ Knowhow refund

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Hi all, In need of some of your excellent advice please.

 

Almost 2 years ago I purchased a cheap laptop from a Currys store through my business, at the time the salesperson asked if I wanted any sort of extended warranty - I always say no, they are a complete con of course. Fast forward to now, I have just noticed that he did in fact sign me up for this at £9.58 a month, without my permission.

 

I rang the Currys 'Knowhow' helpline and requested a refund; the lady said she could only refund 6 months' worth of payments, which I declined as I want a full refund, for obvious reasons. The total is over £200! I wrote a letter instead per her advice, but they have declined any sort of refund as I "signed up to it" and included an invoice (unsigned) from the date of purchase, where it dubiously mentions:

 

18147 WM/PREM - 9.58

 

I should have checked it, but I didn't. Naive of me to take salespeople at face value I suppose, but whatever.

 

I am somewhat embarrassed that I/my accountant didn't notice this before now - but I suppose my defence of being a business account with over 30+ transactions a day through it goes some way to explaining it.

 

Should I take them to the Small Claims Court? Or some other method like using my van to block the store entrance? :)

 

As you can imagine, I am livid, and more than willing to "invest" some money to getting it refunded, as it's a matter of principle.

Edited by spunko2010
see below

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so should the invoice or whatever have been signed by you?

 

 

ofcourse you can reclaim it

its been mis-sold.

 

 

dx


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Not sure if I should have signed it or not, it's just says 'Quotation' at the top that they appear to have printed from their internal invoicing system. All I know is, I walked in to buy a laptop, was asked if I needed their extended warranty, said no, I though that was the end of it. :)

 

I'm also taking issue with the fact it's written simply on the 'Quotation' as 18147 WM/PREM , surely this would be construed as misleading to the layman? And additionally shouldn't the salesperson have covered it in depth if I had agreed to this "service"?

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Excellent that you have already got a paper trail going, that will only add in your favour.

 

Have you worked out 'exactly' the amount they ow you?

 

I would write again informing them that you are willing to give them on final opportunity to refund you the entire amount or you will escalate the matter.

Edited by Bazooka Boo
Typing with my elbows!

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks. I've written back stating the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, namely:

 

It's considered misleading if a trader does any of the following:

 

  • omits material information that the average consumer needs, according to the context, to make an informed transactional decision
  • hides or provide material information in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner
  • fails to identify the commercial intent of the commercial practice if not already apparent from the context

And information must also be displayed clearly - obscure presentation is tantamount to an omission.

 

I'm not really sure what they call this product (or what it is). It's not an Insurance type product as that's regulated, so finding that out is my priority.

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Well if you don't know what the 'product' is, then I would say that is misleading in its entirety.

 

They asked if you wanted 'extended warranty' you said no, the employee obviously wanting their commission ticked/marked the box anyway, yet on the document it states 'Quotation' whatever that is??? Therefore, as you've not asked for it, they need to refund it.

 

If you can scan and post up the document in question so others can have a look it might be beneficial, obviously suitably redact all identifiers from it before posting up.

 

Does it say or mention 'CarePlan' anywhere??


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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They seem too large to place here, so...

 

I've written a response to the above letter, not yet posted and subject to change:

 

----

Dear Laura Clark,

 

With regards to your letter dated XXX, I am afraid I disagree with your findings about the Knowhow Careplan “Product” and again state my request for a full refund.

May I politely point out that the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 states that it's considered misleading if a trader:-

 

  • omits material information that the average consumer needs, according to the context, to make an informed transactional decision;

  • hides or provide material information in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner;

  • fails to identify the commercial intent of the commercial practice if not already apparent from the context

The Regulations also state that any information must also be displayed clearly - obscure presentation is tantamount to an omission.

I would find issue with the way that DSG Retail Ltd have acted here, namely that:

 

1- The Product should have been discussed with myself prior to being registered alongside the invoice. Indeed, my understanding is that this Product is “opt in”, rather than “opt out” – and no such discussion was ever conducted. I was never asked if I wanted it. I have no idea what this Product is, nor what it entails. The ‘Quotation’ enclosed with your letter has not proved helpful here and doesn’t appear to be a Bill of Sale – nor is it signed by myself.

 

 

2- The ‘Quotation’ is patently unclear in how it refers to this Product:-

 

187417 WMP PREM-600 MONTHLY

 

The layman will have no understanding of what this means and, in my opinion, it is unreasonable to expect otherwise. Even now, I can make no sense of this. Would you please clarify exactly by return, what is “WMP”, what is “Prem 600”?

 

 

3- The matter is made all the more polarising as I have received no correspondence from DSG Retail Ltd nor Knowhow at all in the intervening 23 months since being unknowingly-registered for this Product.

 

 

4- The payments for this Product have been entered to appear on my card statements as simply: “PRODUCT SUPPORT AG”. What is this in reference to?

Generally, the company name is normally entered here. Is this a sister company? Note that “AG” is an abbreviation of “Aktiengesellschaft” - the German equivalent of “Limited” in company law. I can find no record of a German company that has ever existed called “PRODUCT SUPPORT AG”, nor how this can be construed to the layman as being connected to DSG Retail Ltd. Note that processing payments in a misleading manner may also contravene the Terms of DSG Retail Ltd’s agreements with its payment processing company. Would you please clarify who the payment processor is so I can enquire further, and additionally, what exactly is the nature or connection to DSG Retail Ltd and “PRODUCT SUPPORT AG”?

 

Given the above, it is apparent to me that this Product has clearly been mis-sold. I again hereby request a full refund.

 

Be advised that if the matter is not resolved amicably within 30 days of the date of this letter, I will have no other option but to issue a claim in the Small Claims Court against DSG Retail Ltd for the full amount outstanding.

 

Yours sincerely

 

--------------

Edited by spunko2010
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@Bazooka Yes, it says Careplan in her letter. The first time I've heard of it. I can only assume some useless product warranty that they wiggle out of, that only the gullible opt for - I never buy that sort of thing, so I know I didn't agree to it here. The problem will be proving it I guess.

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Yes having now had sight of it I can see what they are flogging.

 

I also note that they have failed to provide you with any further option to escalate your complaint should you not be satisfied with their response.

 

You are right to demand repayment of the money you've already wasted on this useless cover.

 

I'd demand it back one more time, highlighting their failure to suitably deal with your initial complaint by resorting to their standard template response, and failing to advise you of your options to escalate the complaint further.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Its a quotation anyway, not an invoice so completely irrelevant.

 

I wouldnt give them as much as 30 days, 14 is plenty then on to court claim if they dont refund. Maybe allow a few extra days for the xmas holidays but no more.

The staff are actively encouraged to add the extended warranties as they generate around a 50% clear profit margin. (Geeky i know but i worked for them years ago)


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there is no commision paid at currys to salespeople.

 

commision was abolished by the company, pre 2008 when i started with them.

it was around the time they re branded the dixons stores as currys.digital.

 

however there are, as in almost every job these days, targets.

some sales people will go out of their way to hit the high strides early in the period and coast for the rest, using tactics such as this.

 

using phrases like, it comes with a free month of tech support.

before i left the company, it was always referenced in briefings that the likes of amazon prime, netflix, lovefilm, credit check companies sign you up to a direct debit as part of your 'free trial' and that you have to cancel it.

as most people dont bother reading T&C, the direct debit form can be gotten signed as an agreement to sign up for a free trial or something along those lines.

 

from what i understand now, the store bonus scheme is paid from the exit surveys they have done each month, the 'are you happy machine' and the store hitting its overall targets.

the more hours you work, the more bonus you get, as the criteria is that if the store hits over a certain percentage of happy customers, employees can get up to an extra £1 per hour worked for the quarter.

managers obviously earn more.

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Forgive me, but if they took payments from you each month, wouldn't you need to give them your bank details?

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Forgive me, but if they took payments from you each month, wouldn't you need to give them your bank details?

 

Yes, unless of course they have your card details then then they would be using the CPA.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Yes, they have the card details as I paid for the laptop with my card.

 

Had an email reply from someone after sending it to the CEO/MD's email address.

Should I go to Small Claims Court now or try one last time? :)

 

 

I really don't mind throwing the kitchen sink at this even if it costs me more than the amount owed,

their arrogance is extremely irritating; are there any other methods in addition to Small Claims Court I can look into,

eg. Trading Standards, ASA?

 

here's the email:

Thank you for your e-mail addressed for the attention of our Chief Executive Officer Sebastian James. As part of the Customer Support Team, your correspondence has been passed to me to investigate and respond.

It is concerning to learn that you have cause to contact us regarding your KNOWHOW Support agreement. I can see that our PC World Business team have written to out on the XXXX.
As we were not in the store at the point of purchase we would not be privy to any conversation that took place. However, it has been established that the support agreement was shown on the quotation provided to yourself. As the quotation was accepted we would not be able to consider a refund.

Again I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss the matter further.

I have no recollection of accepting this quotation, as they state. I remember going in, being asked if I wanted this warranty and I said no,

I remember the salesperson nodding in acceptance and moving on.

 

The 'quotation' appears to be a print out from an internal system that wouldn't stand up in court;

it's not an invoice and it's unsigned, so what evidence is there I "accepted" it (scanned it and uploaded it above) exactly?

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Well, IMO I'd fire off a LBA to them, giving them a further 7 days in which to reconsider their decision before you seek legal advice with a view of taking action against them in order to recover the charges they have levied on your account that you had no knowledge of and did not agree to.

 

Lodge a formal complaint with TS too.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks. Do I report it to TS nearest the store I bought it from, or where their head office is (Hemel Hempstead)

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Report it to your local TS, they will then fire it off to the correct TS.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks, done now.

 

Just had a reply by email actually from Knowhow/Currys.

I am sorry that we have been unable to resolve this matter to your satisfaction. We have now exhausted our internal complaints process and this is our final position.

 

What we cannot agree on and why

 

We are unable to comply with your request to provide a refund of your Support Agreement. A
quotation provided to yourself showed all products and services (A copy of this quotation have been provided by our PC World Business customer services team). As the quotation was accepted we would not be able to consider a refund.

 

Our final position

 

Our final Position will be to refuse a refund, due to the reasons outlined above.

 

Taking your complaint further

 

We are obliged to inform you that you have the right to refer your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. You have up to twelve months to do this.

 

Please find below the contact details for a certified ADR provider.

 

Ombudsman Services

Website
www.ombudsman-service.org

 

Address:

 

Ombudsman Services

The Brew House

Widerspool

Greenall’s Avenue

Warrington

WA4 6HL

 

We need to advise you that ADR is voluntary and it is not a procedure to which we subscribe. Therefore any ADR decision would not be binding.

 

Can I use MCOL yet? :)

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No you need to exhaust ALL complaints processes first, so ADR next...


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Thanks. I've written back stating the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations,...

 

Does that protection apply to a business-to-business purchase?

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No you need to exhaust ALL complaints processes first, so ADR next...

 

Not necessary for a small claim. Especially where the vendor states "..ADR is voluntary and it is not a procedure to which we subscribe.". LBA, then sue. Note my post above though - check that you are entitled to retail consumer protections.

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Hi,apologies if i've missed this somewhere in a post

 

 

but have you checked with currys if they have a signed direct debit mandate from you?

 

 

All there Careplan transactions that are monthly generate one

and the form should be stored in the stores daily paperwork.

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