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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?

Update 26/04/2021

Which? News: Combating the ‘appliance cover’ con

Home appliance insurance call warning

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
Ivan Lake says:
1 May 2021

In my experience domestic appliances are most likely to breakdown shortly after installation and are covered by the maker’s guarantee. After that period they will fail eventually but are likely to be so old that parts are no longer available. So I believe there is no point in taking out insurance.
Regularly we receive calls about insurance renewal. Usually I hang up immediately. Sometimes I ask for a few details, eg the make of the appliance. They hang up very quickly!

I received a call this week saying the warranty on my washer had now expired and needing renewing for £99.
I said to her that she knew that this was not true and that you are trying to scam me.
Of course she hung up then.
The number was 01767329203.

I had a call a couple of days ago on my mobile.

The chap said that the insurance – which I don’t have – on my washing machine was about to expire. I asked him. ‘What is the make of my machine?’ He replied. ‘Bosch’, to which I replied. ‘No it isn’t.’ And rang off.

Ronnie Cherian says:
2 May 2021

I had a call regarding my washing machine and the offer was too good to be true, but still foolishly handed over my cc details and bought the policy.Maybe instinct but I called back and insisted they refund which they did. I might have been one of the lucky ones but have been monitoring my cc every day for any unusual transactions. they can be so convincing. Ronnie

Jack Dorne says:
3 May 2021

Suggest you cancel your credit card immediately They have your details to use at a later date. a refund is easy for them they can take it back plus more anytime in the future. I don’t want to scare you but be extra careful Cancel NOW.

I agree Jack. It’s better safe than sorry.

Peter says:
2 May 2021

I had a call last week on my landline telling me that the warranty on my washing machine had expired. Obviously an attempted scam as I didn’t have such a policy. I just told them to “go away” and put the phone down. I used to be more civil with these callers, but not any more.
Most of the scam calls I get these days are automated, so to my annoyance I cannot swear at them. They always seem to use spoof numbers – there have been days when I have had the same automated call (about Amazon Prime) several times the same day, and each time a different number comes up. Note that any automated call which does not address you by name (and that is virtually 100% of automated calls) is bound to be a scam.

DR D J PIPER says:
3 May 2021

I had a number of calls about the cover for my washing machine – a Hot Point. They had my name and address (obtainable from the Electoral register I presume). The sticking point is I don’t have a washing machine. The first time I engaged and said that either their records were wrong or they were trying to scam me. They insisted they weren’t. The next day what sounded like the same gentleman phoned back with the same story. I told him to hang on while I got my paperwork and then just walked away from the ‘phone leaving him hanging on the line. I’ve had similar calls about twice since and both times I’ve told them I’m just getting the paperwork and left them hanging on the ‘phone. It’s now stopped – but presumably will be replaced with a similar scam. I’ve also blocked the numbers on my ‘phone.

Tigi says:
3 May 2021

My elderly father gets called by these companies and they set up DD’s for payments that he has no idea about
I will name and shame.
They are
J&L Home Assist, Bournemouth
digital Satellite and Aerial services, Kent

Tony Cooke says:
3 May 2021

I have just received a scam message from “Domestic& General regarding my washing machine.
Over the years I have had a considerable number of these calls all of which I ignore but they are very annnoying

Tony Cooke

Mary Dorey says:
3 May 2021

Yes, I have just been targeted by 01224015056 to renew insurance on a washing machine when as an 86 year old I use a communal washing machine in a residential home so I recognised it was a scam.

I record scam calls on foolscap, with the phone number if not withheld, in case they will be of use to crime agencies in the future. On 21 January 2021, 01273101486 rang me to say my washing machine cover had expired. I told the caller that he was a scammer and to get a proper job. He said he was offended but did not deny he was as accused. When I reported this online to ”Who Called Me”, others had recorded this number as a scam. I believe the call originated in Brighton.

More likely originated in India or Africa if the English names in foreign accents are anything to go by.

Philip Maguire says:
4 May 2021

Phil maguire – I have been contacted by someone claiming to be from Domestic&General enquiring about my insurance cover on appliances I already have with them, and asking if there are any more appliances that require cover. The person tried to sell me a cover on a washing machine, can’t be sure if they are genuine or not? He didn’t go through security checks., I cut the call. Don’t give your bank details or any other info.

Alan January says:
5 May 2021

If you Google the number that cold called you, very often you can see where its coming from, this could help if you report it.

I live in Cornwall, and one particular coldcaller/ scammers i found out, have premises in Plymouth !

I get a lot of these phone calls., saying my insurance for a washing ,machine has now run out. I have one very easy way to get rid of them, which is true, I say I do not have a washing machine, I take my laundry to a launderette for a service wash each week, I pick it up later in the afternoon. Before in have finished my sentence the phone at the other end goes down.

Chris Hey says:
5 May 2021

I have had numerous calls supposedly from Domestic & General about insurance running out on my kitchen appliances. I just tell the caller that all my stuff is covered by the household insurance and hang up

Barrie Hole says:
5 May 2021

I had a call from 020 8218 4929 about the warranty on my washing machine. I realised it was a scam as I’ve had calls from that number before offering other services. I asked him which machine he meant and named two makers I’ve never owned – he walked right into it. Called him a lying git and hung up.

Peta says:
5 May 2021

Just received a call a few minutes ago from a guy called Matthew working for KAC on 02031334528. He knew my name. When he said it was about the cover for my washing machine I told him not to waste his or my time & ended the call, which I always do when cold called. I have never had insurance cover on my 10 year old machine other than what came with the machine when bought.

Over the last twelve months we have received many calls regarding either home entertainment or appliances. We did have an account with Domestic and General which was cancelled several years ago. We kept getting cold calls asking us for renewal and they kept being told that the account was closed. But the calls kept coming. I then phone D & G directly to complain. They said the account was closed and that they would look into the phone numbers used. We kept a list. Since then, about five months ago, no further calls.
The second “batch” of calls, regarding home appliances, came from a company called CH Care, I checked their website for a number to call, it looked suspicious so I did not pursue it. Then came calls from a company called Cover Team Direct. Again tried to obtain a phone number from their website. When I tried phoning it a recorded message said, “Number terminated”.
Both sets of numbers reported to BT and Action Fraud and since then we have not received any further calls.

Moral of the story – don’t take out extended warranties on household goods. The approach in my family has always been that it makes more sense to put the money you would have spent on extended cover aside to pay for a new machine in the future. Added benefit – when these individuals get in contact, you can just hang up.

Curmudgeon says:
6 May 2021

When we received a cold call saying . “We need to warn you that your maintenance contract on your washing about to expire ” I replied “what machine is that then ?”. They line suddenly went dead , they just rang off.

Like others I have just been phoned on the landline by Matt from KAC about washing machine insurance. He knew my address but got my name slightly wrong and hung up when I said that I did not have a washing machine
The number was 02031522884, so a new one