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I thought I would put some points of view across about the extended warranty - Coverplan. Extended warranties have all had their own bad press in one way or another, whether it be purchased from Dixon’s Stores Group, Comet or direct from the Manufactures. The thing is Coverplan does do exactly what it says on the tin - Covers the named item for unlimited repairs.
Before I go any further I best explain why I think I am best qualified to explain Coverplan and why I am speaking out in favour of Coverplan - I worked for Coverplan in the contact centre for 4 years taking calls from customers, store assistants and engineers, so I have heard it all - I have been sworn at, threatened, shouted at till my eardrums have nearly burst and generally verbally abused.
What is Coverplan - Coverplan is a product sold through Dixon’s Stores Group.
Reading Your Terms And Conditions - Half the complaints I have dealt with are because the customer has failed to read the terms and conditions of the legally binding contract they signed for. Pure and simple they can not be bothered cos the store assistance explained everything - OK - he’s a sales person so yes he is going to tell you, that you are covered for every eventuality, yes he is going to tell you 24 hours 7 days a week service.
If the customer had cared to read the terms and conditions given at the time of sale, they would find the 24 hour 7 days a week is on PC's laptops etc, the same day callout if you ring before 10am and live within 10 miles of a store is on brown goods i.e. TV, Hifi and VCR/DVD, any white good repairs i.e. washers, dishwashers, etc are serviced by third party engineers who the manufactures have determined as authorised to repair their products under Coverplan.
N.B These are the same engineers who will repair white goods if you do not have an extended or manufactures warranty and you have phoned the manufactures for help with repairs and will be paying for them.
A breakdown of Coverplan - The item is covered for accidental damage and unlimited repairs. Whilst the item is in the first years manufactures warranty - Coverplan covers for theft. There is a clause in the agreement that states if a repair is not completed within a consecutive 6 week period then yes we will replace it. If it can not be repaired we will replace to a similar specification item.
Accidental Damage - speaks for its self really but customers do get upset when we reject claims because they have spilled coffee or pop on the keyboard of their laptop or PC, our technicians are really good and can tell when something has been spilled or deliberately tipped, they can also tell when these items have been thrown down the stairs too. This type of damage is called malicious damage.
N.B - We do get callers who even say "if you aren’t going to give me a new pc, I’m throwing this one down the stairs then, you will have to replace it then" - wrong we wont, we will log notes on the agreement regarding the conversation. Also with the damage to the case and internal workings the technicians can evaluate how just how the PC fell.
Unlimited repairs and the six week rule - From the first call to the service centre the six weeks is counting down, if the repair has not been completed in this time, you the customer must call the service centre to check out the dates and if confirmed the service centre will close the repair and request either a replacement item or vouchers. The six weeks does not mean that you can cancel a callout and then rebook a callout so to prolong the repair to the item. If you put your name on to the waiting list for a loan TV, the repair time is suspended until you have received a loan TV. If there are any long gaps in repairs you can not instigate the rule then.
N.B - Some customers do not even know about this rule cos they haven’t read their terms and conditions and when they call to complain about the length of time the repair is taking, they go off alarming when they are advised of this rule - "why wasn’t I told this when I bought this damn cover" DER read your terms and conditions!
Theft (1st year only) - Whilst in the first year Coverplan offers theft insurance on every item. A crime reference and police report must support the claim. Some claims may be passed to the loss adjusters for further investigation, this takes the time scale of settling the claim out of Coverplan’s hands. Coverplan endeavours to settle claims with in 7 days of receiving the claim form.
If the agreement is a mobile phone agreement theft is for the full term of the insurance policy. All claims must be supported by crime reference number, police station details and IMEI number, the phone must also be blocked with the service provider.
Frozen Food Loss - Coverplan covers for frozen items loss because the freezer has failed. Food in the fridge is not covered as this is consumable and would eventually ‘go off’. If the freezer is turned off by the owner, this would not be classed as accidental and a claim would be rejected.
Calling the Contact Centre - Can be very very frustrating, We know, we hear this every day, but please have a little compassion, the person who answers your call can do nothing to change the IVR, this is in place and set by people higher the customer advisor. The call centre basically administers the terms and conditions of the agreement, agents are not technically trained and have no engineering skills.
The third party engineers - Are not part of the Dixon group, so although Coverplan have set service levels in place with these companies, the Dixon Customer advisor can not answer questions relating to these companies working procedures. (this is not a cop out either, it is the truth). We know that the contract you have is with Coverplan, we will do every thing possible to help you speak to the correct party - Once you have called the engineers, these become your point of contact through out the duration of the repair. If you have any enquiries on parts or time and dates of a revisit, your call should be made to the service centre, the service centre have all the relevant details. Once a repair has been completed, the service centre will then submit a report to Coverplan asking for payment. If the item can not be repaired for whatever reason, the service centre will again submit a report through to Coverplan claims advising why we are replacing the item or issuing vouchers. Usually the details will be on your agreement with in three days of Coverplan receiving the reports.
Hopefully this information will be of use to someone, if not I just hope you have enjoyed reading this. We do not live in a perfect world, things do go wrong, we are always the first to put pen to paper and complain, even if we are not in the right.
Please step out of the circle and look back on the situation, see if there is a different way that it can be looked at or resolved - please have a little compassion for the person on the end of the telephone. They will try to help you, but think - if some one was swearing and screaming at you for something that is out of your control - would you want to help ???
Thank you for the great information given about cover plan, has been very useful. Just one point, you mention that the sales person is going to tell you things that are not true about the cover plan. I would just like to point out that this is illegal, if this is done the product is missold. In this even the consumer is entitled to a refund of the product. Being a salesman for Orange I understand both where the sales person and the consumer are coming from. When selling Orange Care I Always informed the consumer of the terms and conditions before they signed their name on the dotted line. The point that I am trying to make is that dixons' sales people need to ensure that they tell the customers an outline of the terms and conditions after the customer has agreed to purchase the product. This would help both call centre staff and the customer. The customer is also more likely to come back and purchase from this company again.
relentless_behaviour 20.01.2005 18:59
One-sided and biased review of something that makes the company shed-loads of money because significantly less people actually make claims because it's made so damned hard. I spent just under £57 on my mobile chasing up repairs for my laptop. How am I ever meant to have confidence in this company again?
softpinkpiglet 13.01.2005 16:16
This is spot on advice. But I think that the salespeople really need to be advised on what they can and cant claim.
For example in reference to your comment on coffee spillages. The salesperson actually used the scenario of my coffee spilling on my new laptop as a situation automatically covered by coverplan.
Also the clause that says that regularly replaceable parts are not covered. OK, laptop batteries i understand have a relatively short life, but being told that the AC adapter is not covered is a bit irritating... I would expect such parts to last more than 18 months to be honest!