/ 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

I was called today by a woman from “White Goods Protection” trying to sell me insurance for my washing machine as my “existing policy was about to expire.” She called from 02088846197. I told her I wasn’t interested and the line went dead. I tried to phone back to check out whether it was a real number, but just got the unobtainable signal.

David Hayes says:
18 May 2020

I was called out of the blue by someone asking if all my appliances were the same as last year as my Homeserve renewal was due. I said I don’t have appliance cover and he insisted I have had it since 2013. I argued and he got quite aggressive, he said as I hadn’t made a claim they could reduce the payment from £175 to £95, but I had signed an agreement in the past, and if I tried to stop it they would take the full amount. He was very forceful and tried to bully me into carrying on and give him my details before I hung up.

Richard says:
18 May 2020

Just been called by these guys…pretty convincing until I asked him the make of my washing machine which he got wrong…all be it a make of machine I had years ago…seemed pretty reasonable when he got it wrong!!!

These scumbags have rung us about 20+ times over the last 10 days. They mainly end the call without saying much or nothing at all. Just had one of them say he was APC calling about washing machine insurance. Challenged the young idiot and he hung up. Please do your best to get rid of this scam company

Robin Brew says:
23 June 2020

Same for me called from 01582111699 – said they were from APC and calling about washing machine insurance – I said that I never extend warranty or take out insurance on white goods and they abruptly hung up

Alison Hillman says:
27 May 2020

Called today by 02086119887 about ‘the warranty on the washing machine’. The washing machines 15 years old and has never had a warranty. My husband laughed at her and she hung up.

Long may it continue to work, Alison. 🙂

The same 2 numbers (01205021111/01204021100) have been calling about 8 times a day. I answered today finally today to tell them to stop calling. They started asking about washing machine insurance. I interrupted to say I was happy with what I had and he immediately ended the call before I had a chance to say anything about the constant calls. I think he said it was APC or it could have been WPC. Very annoying.

Martin says:
10 June 2020

As with others called today by APC about washing machine cover. As soon as I said I didn’t have washing machine cover the young guy hung up

My 70 year old landlady received her third call today from phone number 02039363444. I asked her to put in on speakerphone this time and the man identified himself as from Domestic & General and his name as Michael Boulevard. He was aggressive in trying to get her debit details to pay for a renewal on her appliance insurance.. which is with D&G but is not due for renewal. Wasn’t sure if it was a scam of or not but I hung up on him and told her to call the D&G customer number on her policies instead.

Anna Figiel says:
11 June 2020

I received a call on 28 April from “WGP” (White goods Protection) claiming the warranty on my washing machine expired that very day and asking if I want to extend it. The call had all the hallmarks of a scam, such as no details of my machine and wanting to rush me into a decision. The caller hung up when I told her I’d never heard of WGP and started asking questions.

Tom Harrison says:
12 June 2020

Home Appliance Services
Beware taking calls from this company.
Had a call from a very pushy guy who proposed selling me a reduced insurance cover on a washing machine. Told me that for £6.99 a month (reduced from £11.00 as I’m a pensioner) I would get full cover on everything – parts, repairs etc. However, when going through the basic details, the address he gave for me is one that I have not lived at for more than 20 years and do not even remember if I had a washing machine in those days so goodness knows what fact sheet he was working from.
He wanted me to give him my bank sort code and account number so he could verify with my bank I was a client….
I obviously refused to do this and when challenged he refused to accept it was confidential information and insisted I give it.
Although I became pretty aggressive with him he still continued to press for the information, they must be well trained to carry on regardless of their potential scams comments, this guy was like a automaton.

Gary Day says:
12 June 2020

Was called today from a company called ‘Domestic Appliances’ from number 01273003719 and invited to renew my policy. They had my name and address. I said I would call back and asked for a number, I was given 03330090845 to call back on. It’s about the 3rd such call I’ve received in the past 3-4 months.

Lisa says:
12 June 2020

Just been called on my landline by man who said he was from APC on 01225027709 regarding washing machine insurance, man quoted my name and address, when I told him I had no idea what he was on about, he hung up!

RGradeless says:
15 June 2020

The caller said he was from Appliance Plan UK and that my washing machine insurance was up for renewal. I don’t have any appliance insurance. When asked about the address of his company he was very unwilling to give it. In the end he said it was 106 Boundary Road London EB17 2NQ. There is no postcode in the UK which begins EB. I checked with the caller that the postcode was correct. I said I would check the address in Google at which point he terminated the call. The number he phoned from is unrecognised.

I ask these scammers if they have a website. They never have an answer and usually hang up.

Tim K says:
17 June 2020

Just been phoned by 01273 003722 claiming that they wanted to discuss my washing machine warranty. I asked them who they worked for and the lady said Hotpoint. I asked her to tell me what washing machine I had. As she couldn’t I said “this is a scam” and hung up. Block this number if you can.

PHILIP BAILEY says:
17 June 2020

Yes. Cold caller saying that the insurance on our new washing machine was expiring, and he was sub-contracted to provide a continuation. He would arrange a full service and guarantee annually.
As it happened we had indeed bought a new washing machine “recently” (not sure how long, but 2 years sounded right, so maker’s guarantee could be expiring). Previously we had had an annual service by Electrofix, so I was prepared to consider this in similar vein.
When I asked why he had not sent a letter in the post, he explained that that was more expensive and they were conducting their business by phone now.
I was busy at the time, and asked him to ring me back in half an hour, which he did. In the meantime I had checked my purchase details and found that the 2-year insurance still had 6 months to run — it had not expired. Up till then I had forgotten my golden rule that I never conduct any business on the strength of a phone call. I now became very wary and explained that I wanted to see the paperwork, and that I never engaged with business by phone: he was very annoyed, having spent more than half an hour with me on the phone overall. We finished the phone call.
However, I am sure it was an attempted scam and he nearly had me fooled. I actually had my credit card in my hand ready to give details!

Hannah says:
18 June 2020

Just had a call from ‘Home Appliances Insurance Company’ telling me the warranty on my washing machine had expired and that I could sign up to pay 4.99 for the first month and have unlimited call outs etc to have it repaired if it broke down. I’m absolutely disgusted that companies like this target people. I asked where she obtained my number and this ‘info’ about my washing machine and she then said the washing machine company. She then tried to prove she was real by telling me that I had a Bosch washing machine. Once I called her out for selling a scam she then apologised! WOW! We need to shut these companies down. Frightening to think if they called someone elderly.

sandra Taylor says:
19 June 2020

Had a call yesterday 01202096235 said he was from Logic, but didnt catch the last bit. He told me my insurance was expiring and I told him we didn’t have insurance on our fridge freezer or washing machine. We have had calls before from when we insured our washing machine about 9 years ago and we let it expire as we renewed our machine about 2 years ago. However he was adamant and kept telling me my password which I had used years ago. He was very rude and aggressive when I kept telling him he was wrong and that he wasnt the first to ring . I finished with I don’t want insurance

sarahpurvis says:
22 June 2020

I have just been called from 01344111696 and asked if I want to extend my 5 year washing machine insurance but I said I didn’t take out insurance. He said the Bosch group automatically give a 5 year free insurance. He wanted £60 for another years cover. I was suspicious because I remember getting my machine in Jan so it wouldn’t run out in June! So asked for details to be sent by email but he said he couldn’t do that due to time constraints with there only being 1 person in the office but I could hear several people in the office! I agreed he could call back but only so I could help catch them but I’m not sure how do do that???

Ruth Hahn says:
23 June 2020

my 92 year old mother was called yesterday 3 times by someone claiming to be from appliance insurance. (She already has a monthly dd with an appliance insurance company on a multiplan scheme running for years) this guy told her her washing machine insurance has run out on Friday (he called Monday) and offered her a deal of either £99 per year or £66 per year for 3 years. He then asked for the expiry date of her card and her name at which point I took over the phone call. He was very convincing!!! I asked for paperwork to be sent out and why had her policy suddenly changed to a one off payment-he replied with this was the sales office-we’d get the paperwork once payment was taken and that renewals were no longer sent out in the post due to current circumstances (ie. pandemic). Phoned her real insurance company this morning-definitely a wellcrafted scam.