/ Money

Have you been cold called about ‘home appliance insurance’?

Ever received unexpected calls telling you that cover for your washing machine, oven, dishwasher or other home appliance cover is due for renewal?

We’re looking to hear from anyone who’s been cold called and offered ‘home appliance insurance’.

Maybe you’ve given away your payment details over the phone, thinking the caller was from your existing insurance company, but later found out it was someone else?

Unfortunately this is a scam that seems to be plaguing lots of you at the moment, and is particularly targeting the elderly.

While there are legitimate insurers who will cover your household appliances if they breakdown, we’ve been investigating reports that some are fraudulently taking people’s money.

Our Scam Watch reporter Faye Lipson also looked into these calls a couple of years ago, but our inbox has recently received a huge surge in reports.

Misleading and aggressive sales tactics

We’ve been told about various ways these companies are pressuring and misleading people into handing over their bank details.

Most commonly, they’ll pretend you already have a policy with them and offer to renew it for a cheaper price. Some people who do have appliance warranties are often caught out by this.

They’ll then sign you up for pricey monthly direct debits for services that probably don’t even exist.

Others just go straight in for the hard sell, often calling dozens of times a day, offering increasingly ‘better’ deals.

Most people probably don’t even need appliance breakdown cover, as many common appliance issues are covered by home contents insurance.

Shockingly, some callers even claim you owe hundreds of pounds for a policy you apparently signed up for years ago, but never paid for.

And they’ve been known to call back several times a day, threatening legal action and visits from debt collectors if you refuse to pay up.

But the threats are hollow. These companies have absolutely no right to take money from you. The calls are best ignored and reported.

Tell us your story

We want more to be done to stop these scammers being able to freely contact vulnerable people.

What to do if you’re worried you’ve given your bank details to a scammer

We’re looking to gather as many stories together as possible from people who’ve been affected to support this.

Are you regularly pestered by cold callers from these companies? Have you been persuaded to hand over your payment details? Did you get your money back?

It would be really useful to hear about your experiences for our research – just tell us what happened to you in the comments section below.

If you’d rather contact us anonymously, you can can also get in touch at scamwatch@which.co.uk.

Comments
Michael Watson says:
30 December 2020

Hi, this has recently happened to us. The number used to call was 01273655109. We were told we previously paid £219 for domestic appliance insurance that was discounted from £284. Fortunately we realised that we had never taken such an insurance and rejected the offer for a renewal with yet another discount. We have now blocked the number but fully expect a call on a different number in the future. This just makes our blood boil. The cheek of it.

Similar story for me….. total rubbish trying to con money out of me. £495 for 4 appliances for a 3 year cover. Even quoted a fictitious policy number. Claimed to be Domestic Appliance Insurance. Located in Brighton ? 01413450024. Tim Layton (Alias Mickey Mouse) DONT GET CAUGHT !

Pamela says:
11 January 2021

Similar call located in Brighton they said but different number 0333 200 1600

just had call … offering 3 year cover on my washing machine. Could not tell me when I purchased it or even what make it was. Got to the £66/year for three years and I told them not interested … she hung up immediately called from 02035824887 … even knew my wifes first name but not mine!!! that was the give away as any appliance purchases are in my name.

Kirsty Payne says:
9 January 2021

Was called yesterday by “Cover Group UK” offering (that’s putting it politely) to renew my washing machine insurance. My washing machine is 14 years old and I wouldn’t dream of wasting money on insuring it. She was very pushy, wanting me to confirm my postcode so that she could set up a direct debit – which would be £9/month this year instead of £11. I asked if I was currently insured – yes, until last Thursday – I asked how I paid for last year’s insurance – one off payment apparently. All complete Horlicks. When I asked who the underwriter of the insurance policy was, she put the phone down. What was notable about this call, as opposed to the Amazon/ Microsoft/ “you were in an accident” calls we get, was how aggressive she was.

Diane Johnson says:
12 January 2021

Had call this morning from Glasgow number 01414470651 Domestic and General- this was a cold call, I have never asked them to call or had any dealings with them.
The caller knew my name, was over familiar and then said they were from Domestic and General.
I replied that if the call was about domestic appliance insurance I was not interested- fairly innocuous and to the point. The cold caller then said ‘there is no need to be so rude’
Actually, it is the cold caller who is rude- addressing me like a friend and trying to sell me something I do not want and have never asked for.

Stephen Baker says:
14 January 2021

We were called today by a company claiming to be National Appliance Cover limited, with whom we had allegedly taken out repair and maintenance cover on our washing machine back in 2018. Apparently this cover was expiring; renewing the cover would cost £90 per year, but he was prepared to offer us a £30 discount if we paid for three years upfront – £180. Alternatively, we could cancel the agreement for a cancellation fee of £150. We did not hand over any bank details, but asked him to provide details of the cover, and when it was taken out. Our bank account shows no record of the payment he described in the timeframe he mentioned; at which point he said, “You may have paid cash in one of our pop-up shops in Currys,” which we would certainly not have done. Investigation of the company name while he was on the phone showed us that this company was registered in March 2020; further indication that we would not have bought cover from them in 2018. When we told him that we would not do business over the telephone, and asked him to send everything in the post, he hung up.

What has really concerned us about this is the fact that he knew what make and model of machine we have; and during the call, when he got the sense of us questioning his legitimacy, he quoted a ‘password’ at us. The password he quoted IS a security password we use with some of the companies we deal with… but it is always a password we use to verify OUR identity, it is never one we have asked companies to use to verify their identity to us. Nevertheless, the fact that he knew it was worrying – there has been a data breach somewhere. How much other information does he have?

Ali C says:
14 January 2021

My 80 yr old father-in-law received one of these calls just last week. Luckily I was there and told him to hang up. So sickening they are targeting elderly people.

Barry Dixey says:
14 January 2021

Household Applianc UK, Bognor Regis / London N1 appear to be linked with Household Appliance UK Ltd. conned my 95 year old Aunt out of £138. Just laughed at me (literally) when I contacted them on her behalf. When I told them that she is 95 and is confused they laughed and said “she was capable of giving me her credit card details!” Avoid them!

Barry Dixey says:
14 January 2021

Sorry should have said Household Appliance UK linked with All for One Solutions, Chichester as the same amount (£138) is on both lots of paperwork addressed to my 95 year old Aunt.

Kevin Wright says:
15 January 2021

Logging the call from “Amy” from “Domestic Appliance” insurance telephone 01273 655121. As soon as there was a delay when I picked the phone up I was sceptical seeing a number that is unknown to me. When she said the call was about insurance on kitchen appliances I knew the intentions were dodgy. We have no insurance for these items. Ended the call with not interested thanks. These scams whether claiming insurance needs renewing or Amazon have made a mistake with payment are awful. Will block number and report to Action Fraud. To me the call was deceptive and if followed through would result in fraud.