We heard from someone who bought a washing machine with an extended warranty, only to be asked to buy another one a few months later. Has this ever happened to you?
If I’d paid money for a washing machine that came with an extended warranty, I wouldn’t want the manufacturer trying to sell me another warranty just months later. But that’s exactly what happened to a Which? member.
We’ve been contacted by John Short, who splashed out on a washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher, all made by Miele, in early 2011.
All appliances came with Miele’s two-year manufacturer guarantee as standard, but when John bought the appliance he got a free, promotional 10-year warranty for the washing machine and a five-year warranty for the tumble dryer.
But just 90 days after the purchase, John recieved standard two-year manufacturer warranty confirmations from Miele and also offered him the chance to purchase extended warranties for the washing machine and tumble dryer, again for £149 each. To make matters worse, the washing machine warranty he was offered at this point was only for five years – so £149 for a warranty that was only half as long as his original one.
Mistake or carelessness?
John wrote back to Miele, but received no reply. Instead, a little while later he received identical letters asking him if he’d like to purchase extended warranties for £149 each.
John wrote to Miele, but again no response was received. Shortly after, a third set of identical letters arrived, again inviting him to pay £149 for any extended warranty he wished to purchase ‘for peace of mind.’
It was only after John spoke to Miele directly that the manufacturer started to resolve the issue. As a courtesy, they extended the warranty on his dishwasher for free (the only appliance John had not bought an extended warranty for) and sent out new certificates for all three warranties.
But in the paperwork that followed, Miele continuously failed to get John’s details correct. The mistakes included incorrect postcodes, his name, warranty-end dates and serial numbers. The sloppy letters and certificates caused just as much frustration for John as Miele trying to sell him an extended warranty in the first place.
When we asked Miele about trying to sell warranties to people who already had extended warranties in place, it told us:
‘We have stringent controls in place to ensure that customers do not receive conflicting or misleading communication from us. There will, however, be isolated instances where our processes and communication planning fail to prevent a letter or warranty offer reaching a customer who holds a promotional guarantee.’
Has this happened to you?
If a company has tried to sell you an extended warranty you already own, assuming the company are already aware of your existing warranty, it could be a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading regulations 2008 and a form of mis-selling.
You also have a 45-day cooling off period where you have a right to cancel any extended warranty.
[UPDATED due to factual corrections on 5 August 2013]