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CUSTOMER: John McDonald of Crowborough
DATE: 25 June 2003

My complaint concerns the time and service received in securing a replacement tumble drier under an extended warranty agreement. The entire process to receive a voucher for a replacement machine took about 5 months and cost me about £50 in total, being forced to buy a rotary drier and make endless telephone calls. The warranty documents state that if a customer lives within 10 miles of a store, which we do, they will undetake to repair the machine within a couple of working days. Dixon's did not keep to this, the whole repair and replacement service was shoddy, and they refused a request for compensation. We were even charged a delivery charge for the replacement machine, which was refunded when I complained, and they sent a voucher for the unused warranty period which could only be redeemed against a further warranty purchase. Needless to say I didn't bother. All in all the warranty service was extremely poor and I won't be buying another!

Attached is a sample of correspondence to Dixon's Customer Services.

Dear Masterplan Coverplan Customer Services,
I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about the poor quality of
service received from White Knight in respect of a tumble drier aplliance
number WHK767C.
Although I have not kept dates and times we have been attempting to have
this appliance repaired by White Knight for over three months now and indeed
their engineers have now visited on over five occasions although the original
fault with the appliance still remains. The heat on the tumble drier consistently
cuts out.

In order to access the White Knight service department it is necessary to
go through about three different telephone menus from the information provided
and they are extremely poor at answering the telephone.
When I or my wife speaks to an assistant they seem to have a great deal of problems locating
the details of their computer system, despite being provided with the post code
and coverplan reference. This leads to very prolonged telephone calls.
They have little flexibility in being able to address a problem quickly or to
provide an approximate visit time. Indeed on one occasion I waited in all
day, having taken time off work, and White Knight failed to attend. I
telephoned late afternoon and after finally tracking down the appropriate
computer reference number White Knight did in fact adopt a mea culpa attitude
and apologised for not booking the visit properly.

Since then White Knight engineers have called a further three times and failed
to complete the problem. One engineer made a temporary fix and said we would
probably need a new 'heater and stat' if it when wrong again. A day later it
duly obliged. We ordered these new parts via White Knight, or
at least we thought we had, but the next engineer turned up without them and duly told
us that he hadn't got the required parts. These were then reordered, or so we
thought, and the next engineer turned up with just one part and said we
needed a new heater. Subsequent to this we have telephone today, 16th April, to be
told that the job is detailed as having been completed, and the telephone
assistant at White Knight was extremely unhelpful. This situation is still
currently unresolved.

I would ask that Currys investigate this situation, ascertain as to why White
Knight seem to be incapable of resolving what seems to be a fairly modest
repair, and ask them to instigate measures to ensure much more efficient
communication between their on-site engineers and their office. I hope very
much to receive a satisfactory resolution to this matter within seven days in
the form of either an appropriate repair resulting in a fully working
appliance or a new appliance, or I will be taking further steps in this regard
because Currys and White Knight are in breach of the service agreement.

Yours sincerely,

Subject: RE: ED / 2146267634 / 04

Dear xxxxx,

I have been patiently waiting now for some 15 days having been told that a
replacement voucher will be issued in 10-14 days. Please can you let me
know what is going on? Also will you be offering any compensation for the very
considerable inconvenience caused by these delays, the inconvenience of
waiting-in for mechanics who fail to solve the problem, and the expense of
purchasing a rotary hanging drier for the garden.
I'm beginning to wonder if there is any sensible benefit in purchasing
these sort of extended warranties because of the delay in processing.
Please can you let me have a reply urgently because my house looks like a
Chinese laundry, my wife is giving me grief and my quality of life is
consequently suffering. Many thanks,

Dear Customer Services,

I have now just spoken to Coverplan Customer Services at the number below.
It appears that Connect had not yet sent the 'write-off' papers
in order to process the replacement vouchers. This appears to
me to be extremely incompetent, although I have to say that its pretty much
par for the course.

In fact it doesn't say much for the Customer Service function offered by
Coverplan that there has been no flagging or reminder system that prompted
them to take action prior to this. I'm told Connect have left a message on my
answerphone which has presumably been prompted by this morning's e-mail. I
haven't yet been able to access the message, but it had better be of an
abjectly grovelling nature. I think therefore that this has resulted in a
lost 15 days of inactivity since previously told this replacement system was being

Given that Dixon's has featured heavily in the press concerning the value for
money aspects of extended warranties I would have expected the service to be
offered in response to these to be of impeccable quality. Unfortunately in my
case that appears not to be so.

I now feel compelled to take my complaint to consumer groups who may have an

Yours sincerely,
John McDonald

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