Dixons Carphone fined £29m for mis-selling insurance

FCA fines Dixons Carphone for mis-selling Geek Squad phone insurance

It also noted that despite Carphone Warehouse making sales of more than £444.7 million from Geek Squad between 2008 and 2015, 35% of the insurance policies were cancelled in the first three months.

The FCA found that The Carphone Warehouse had failed to give its staff the right training to give suitable advice to customers purchasing the product named "Geek Squad". A high proportion of these policies were cancelled early, with high cancellation rates an indicator of mis-selling.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight.

The dodgy practices came to light following whistleblower reports that prompted the FCA to probe the company between 1 December 2008 and 30 June 2015, before Dixons bought the comms retailer. "In the past few years, whistleblowers have contributed critical intelligence to the enforcement actions we have taken against firms and individuals".

Carphone Warehouse agreed to the findings and did not appeal the case, as well as setting aside £2.3m in compensation to roughly 28,000 customers who had been sold the Geek Squad policies, leading to £948,777 in refunds in 2016.

The FCA unearthed systemic "failings" that largely centred on a lack of appropriate training for sales teams on assessing if the policy was suitable or if clients were already covered by bank or home insurance.

The watchdog said sales heads were actually shown "spin selling" techniques to sell the features and were versed in "objection handling" to focus on overcoming concerns.

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When customers complained, the company failed to properly investigate and fairly consider their complaints, the watchdog added.

The watchdog explained: "This resulted in valid complaints not being upheld in circumstances where the product had been mis-sold".

The firm's boss said it was "disappointed"; it had fallen short in the past but it ios "a verfy different business today".

Dixons Carphone said in a statement that it has worked closely with the FCA throughout the investigation and accepts that its practices fell short in the past.

Carphone Warehouse, Britain's biggest mobile phone seller, merged with electricals retailer Dixons in 2014.

If you're not happy with the firm's response, you can refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

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