Currys PC World has been slammed for forcing its customers into paying ‘rip-off’ set up fees for new laptops.
Consumer group Which? said that 108 customers had paid up to £40 in set up costs after being led to believe that they were compulsory. Which? said it had raised the issue around the Knowhow service with the firm ‘multiple times’ since 2015, but continued to hear complaints.
Currys PC World has now publicly said it was ‘urgently re-briefing’ its stores and apologised for the situation. A Currys PC World spokeswoman said: "We are sorry to hear that some customers have been charged for a Knowhow Laptop Set-up service on their new machine when they did not request it.
"While setting up machines in advance enables customers who want the service to benefit from it straight away, it is not something everyone needs. We are urgently re-briefing our stores now to remind them that, in the small number of cases where only pre-set up models are available, customers should not be charged for the service when they buy their laptop."
Under UK consumer contract law all retailers should advertise the full price of a product bought online. Alex Neill, Which? director of home and product services, said: "This issue has been going on for more than three years without resolution and we are disappointed people are continuing to report feeling pressurised into parting with their cash. We want Currys to make cast-iron guarantees that it will put an end to this practice and that customers who've been caught out will be reimbursed."
The scandal comes as parent company Dixons Carphone’s charismatic CEO Seb James readies himself to step down after six years in the job. With Alex Baldock already lined up to replace James in April, the outgoing CEO is set to join Walgreens Boots Alliance.