DSG Group - A little help there

  ajm 17:17 24 Mar 2003

A friend of mine bought a digital camcoder about year ago from Currys( Why do all my friends by from DSG, I dont know) and he also bouhgt the Coverplan extended warranty. He went to holiday and the camera was damaged. when he returned back to the UK, he contacted Coverplan and the camera was collected for repair. A few days later, he got a call from a Mastercare engineer who said that the camera was damaged with intent and therefore they shall not repair it. After making calls for a few days tyeing to resolve the problem, he was getting nowhere. He decided to write to John Clare, CEO of DSG expalining the situatuion and asked DSG to fullfill itt obligations within 14 days of them receiving the letter. The letter was posted special delivery and signed by someone at HEMEL Hempstead. Over 14 days has passed and no one from DSG has done anything nor has there been any reply forthcoming. What can my friend now do.

  JAC828 17:39 24 Mar 2003

I'd advise him to speak to Trading Standards and get them to send him written confirmation of their advice. Then contact Curry's head office customer service (number on their website). If they refuse to take action log a complaint with them. Make a note of the complaint number and send them a letter stating that you will be taking them to the small claims court based on the advice from Trading Standards. Amazing how quickly these things are often resolved when legal action is threatened!

  ajm 17:45 24 Mar 2003

JAC828. In his letter to John Clare, my friend did mention this. The lette ( quite long) is here

I am writing to you to bring to your attention the complete lack of service that I am experiencing with Coverplan with regards to a claim for my Camcorder.

My Sony DCR-PC9 was purchased on 07/09/2002 and I took out the Coverplan insurance to give me complete peace of mind. This was assured by the salesperson that should there be a fault or accident with the camera it shall be repaired or replaced without any problems.

In all good faith I purchased the insurance and feel that I have been naive and mislead. I feel very disappointed and angry that Coverplan will not pay up on my claim.

The following gives as outline of what has happened:

• In early February, my camera was being used and dropped from a friend’s 15th storey apartment balcony by my little son and as a result of that the camera got damaged extensively.

• I contacted Coverplan and explained what had happened and they said that the camera shall be collected and taken to Coverplan for repairs. The camera was duly taken and a Job Number 015373-1 was assigned for the repair of the camera on 12/02/2003

• A few days later on the 18th February 2003, I received a call from a Coverplan Engineer who insulted me by implying that the camera was damaged maliciously by me and that I tampered with the camera after it got damaged. All I did was taking out the tape that was inside the camera when it accidentally slipped. The Engineer furthermore implied that the camera WILL NOT BE REPAIRED AS IT WAS NOT CAUSED BY ACCIDENTAL DAMAGE. I demand you to prove that the damaged was done maliciously.

• Further calls to Coverplan on 20th and 21st February 2003 were made to ask what was being done to my Camera. These called yielded no results as a incompetence on the part Coverplan of not logging all calls relevant to my above Coverplan Reference Number.

• On the 20th February 2003, additional calls were made by PC World Staff to Coverplan to enquire about the status of the camera. Carl from Team 9 in the Coverplan department promised that the customer will be contacted by the end of the business day. By 7pm there was no call from Coverplan. In essence, there are very few or non-existence procedures in place to resolve customer service issues effectively by Mastercare or Coverplan.
In summary, it is apparent that
• Flippant comments are made by Coverplan Customer Service Advisors.
• There is a complete lack of interest from members of Dixon’s Stores Group
• Failure to carry out promises made to customers.
• Failure to update your computer systems.
• “Good luck” is required to sort out problems with Mastercare and Coverplan
• Customers are accused of lying.

In my current line of business I have established that I am not the only customer to receive such an incompetent service. Adverse publicity or reputation risk appears to be of little or no concern to Dixon’s Store Group
Given the circumstances, I feel I have no alternative but to take this matter to the highest possible level to gain a satisfactory resolution.
I am requesting that Coverplan / Mastercare either repair the Sony DCR-PC9 to my complete satisfaction or issue me with vouchers of value to by the equivalent Sony Camera to my original one in terms of size and features within the next 14 days, otherwise I will have no choice but to take this matter further legally.
I hope that you shall intervene so that this matter may be speedily and satisfactorily resolved without the need to take it further.
I await your urgent response.

  davidg_richmond 17:47 24 Mar 2003

sorry to hear he's having trouble,

Coverplan are based in Sheffield - your friend's letter is probably being referred to them as they make the decisions regarding repair/replacement. Their address is

Dixons Coverplan Customer Services
PO Box 1686, Sheffield, S2 5YB
Tel: 0870 600 1550

i can only suggest sending a follow up letter to them and include all the details from the first.

what damage is there to the camcorder?

  ajm 17:53 24 Mar 2003

There is extensive damage to the camcorder. it fell from a 14th or 15th floor apartment. Also to be fair, i have not spoken to my friend in the last week as i have been extrememly busy. it could also be possible that something may have been done about it and he has not told me. I am just assuming that he has not heard anything.

  Stuartli 19:10 24 Mar 2003

If it's been dropped from such a height I'm surprised you can recognise it as a digital camcorder...:-)

Why not try your house contents cover? Usually items damaged or lost away from the home are covered, although some items do have to be listed when taking out the policy.

  davidg_richmond 20:29 24 Mar 2003

as accidental damage is a benefit of Coverplan, and lots of high-value and quickly-evolving products are covered, it is a failsafe that Coverplan check each repair for malicious damage. they probably know from experience that, in some cases, such badly damaged equipment is the result of intent. however, i know of equipment repaired or replaced such as digital cameras that have been dropped by kids into toilet bowls, mobile phones in watery mud, coffee on laptop keyboards etc.

i'm sure if your friend persists and makes it absolutely clear that the damage was entirely accidental (especially since it is only 6 months since purchase and digi-camcorders have not moved on much) he will have a replacement or repair (the latter unlikely from the extent of the damage).

i am sure that there is surely no possible reason for wanting to maliciously damage a new camcorder.

  Forum Editor 23:23 24 Mar 2003

that your friend didn't maliciously damage his own property, but...........

in admitting that his "little son" was using the camera and dropped it from a 15th floor balcony he may well have jeopardised his chances of his claim being met. The fact that he allowed a child to handle the camera - particularly at such a height - might well be considered negligence on his part, in which case his extended warranty would not apply.

I'm not saying he was negligent you understand, but an insurer might well do so.

  ajm 23:33 24 Mar 2003

I see your point. What actually happened was that the camera was on a tripod in the balcony and his son walked over and tripped. Maybe the wording implies that the camcorder was being used by his son.

  Forum Editor 00:12 25 Mar 2003

it says it:-

".......my camera was being used and dropped from a friend’s 15th storey apartment balcony by my little son"

That's the part that indicates negligence on his part, and it may well be the factor that has prevented the claim from being settled. It's important to realise that extended warranties are in effect insurance policies, and insurers will limit their liability if they think that a claimant hasn't acted to mitigate it.

It's in the interests of the insurance industry for claims to be settled quickly and without fuss - that creates consumer confidence, and people are more likely to pay for insurance services. On the other they (insurers) have a natural tendency to caution in cases where they feel that the insured person hasn't acted to mitigate their potential liability. This may or may not apply in this case.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:59 25 Mar 2003

The law concerning accidental damage to insured goods is quite clear......goods will be covered if they are damaged by causes that are outside of the owners' responsibility. Allowing a small son to play with an expensive and delicate camera counts as stupidity which is rarely covered by policies. DSG are well within their rights.

'Why do all my friends by from DSG, I dont know'....might be because they have good prices on some items and instant delivery ;-))).


ps.. the tone of your friends' letter will not have won him any help...be confrontational only if you expect it back. It was not DSGs fault that his 'little son' has got butter fingers but it is his fault that he let him play with it. Self responsibility is the key phrase here.

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