Currys PC World: 'Whatever Happens Care Plan' not all that?

4 November 2014

knowhow Currys/PC World got together in perfect harmony, but there's a lot of customers of theirs who are despairingly unhappy with them, specifically, the KnowHow 'What Happens' team. They are the people who are supposed to help you with your technical difficulties, faults in your purchases and general aftercare once you've shopped with Currys/PC World.

We received a message from a reader, angry that they'd been mucked around and after a 3 hour conversation with the KnowHow/Whatever Happens team, they were left furious and frustrated:

"I had a care agreement taken out in May 2013 and seriously do not have the energy to repeat my story but let me just say that I will NEVER buy an insurance policy called "Whatever happens" from Currys PC World again... I was attended by [a Currys/PC World member of staff] and was assured I had worldwide cover in case of mishaps with my camera... the customer service at KnowHow totally sucks. I will now never buy from Currys PC World again - EVER. Dixons KnowHow sure had some bullshit stories to get out of helping me out as per insurance agreement."

And they're not the only ones. Complaints and anger at the service is rife. There's been shoddy customer service and what appears to be a company not honouring basic requirements from policies and people getting the Ombudsman involved. One disgruntled KnowHow customer accused them of being "evasive" and said that they didn't fix what had been paid for.

It seems that people are under the impression that 'Whatever Happens' is a KnowHow insurance policy, when in fact, it isn't.

The service is offered as a care plan for anyone who spends over £150 at their stores and vows to repair or replace items damaged by anything from a 'minor hiccup to a major mishap'. For a monthly fee, they promise to sort out your technical woes. However, there are numerous stories and allegations online where customers are angry that they're being told that any damage caused isn't consistent with the accidents and mishaps described. That means, the KnowHow team can wriggle out of doing anything for you.

You might think that the service covers absolutely anything, with no exclusions (indeed, Bitterwallet has spoken to a variety of KnowHow vendors and they back this idea up), but the reality is that your devices won't be covered if there's cosmetic damage, neglect, misuse and, bizarrely, insect infestation.

The kicker here is that customers need to be aware that the KnowHow 'Whatever Happens' plan is not an  insurance policy, which means it isn't regulated by the FSA, the FSCS and the Ombudsman. That means, if you want to take your complaint above the company, you will find it very difficult.

As the service is, in short, something that charges you for your already existing statutory rights, and indeed, seems to be causing widespread headaches, you might want to think again about taking the service on, especially when you can get TVs, laptops or whatever covered on your home insurance.

How To Cancel Your KnowHow 'Whatever Happens' Plan

If you've just signed up for the plan and are paying monthly, you can cancel within 14 days of purchase by calling them on 0844 561 1234. If you have bought a 2, 3 or 5 year term and aren't satisfied, you can cancel it within 45 days of purchase by calling the same number. If you haven't used the service, then ask them about a full refund as they've promised to do as such on their own website.

Or, if you'd rather write a letter, give your notice of cancellation at: Knowhow Customer Services, PO Box 1686, Sheffield, S2 5YB, England.

TOPICS:   Games

29 comments

  • Alexis
    Or you could just pay by credit card for anything over one hundred pounds, and you're covered under Section 75 from the cc company.
  • edward
    tech guys, whatever happens, careplan, its all the same bs, they have to change name every few years due to the number of complaints they have and to try and entice new customers they rebrand it as somethings else.
  • Ian
    Given what happened on 13 June 2014, why does the contact number still begin 0844 ?
  • Big M.
    Lots of things I have were covered by 'Coverplan' or 'Whatever Happens'. They always somehow got accidentally broken beyond repair just as they were getting old and I was thinking of upgrading. They always got written off and vouchers issued for a new item (which I could add to with cash if I wished). They last time it happened about a year ago someone called and quite rudely asked me what exactly happened (words to that amount) giving me lots of chance to admit to neglect or misuse. Simply said, 'accidental damage, nothing to add'. The bitch soon hung up, although it was clear they were looking for an 'out' regarding cover. This was a new one on me after 3 laptops and 2 TV's being written off over 10 years. Strange as I'd made sure the additional damage to the TV's casing (ensuring a write off) showed no sign of being hit by a hammer.
  • Jyoti P.
    Very poor Customer Service at Currys PC World, Chaul End Lane, Dunstable Road, Luton Beds LU4 8EZ I have been under a lot of stress, by making an improvement buying a new Laptop to get on with my studying. Paid £55.00 for set-up and you know it got beyond a joke. Both of Laptop exactly two weeks ago, and have already been there six times. They do not want to give my refund back and kept on saying that we need to see what is wrong. 26/10/14 - bought a brand new laptop 28/10/14 - Picked up configured laptop, and had problems - configuring windows, failure configuring windows. 30/10/14 - Took it back, they exchanged for another brand new laptop, the tech guy had a gall to say that it was all my fault because I did not shut it down properly. 01/11/14 - Picked up the new configures laptop. 06/11/14 - took laptop back because could not use windows packages which kept on saying that cannot activate as the key has been used umpteen times. Received call at about 6.40pm in the evening that my laptop is ready, and no they would not give refund as it has been repaired. 07/11/14 - spoke to trading standards who have advised me that as Currys PC World have already fixed it to try it out and if it does not work, Curry PC World should give me full refund for both the hardware and software that I bought. If in the event of Currys PC World refusing to give a full refund the under S75 Remedy Credit Card Company will be able to recover the full amount of £573.99 (as you can see it is not a small amount, and being a single woman money does not grow on trees) for me. THE MANAGER AND THEIR TEAM WERE SO ARROGANT AND CONDSENDING THAT IT WAS JUST UNBELIEVABLE - NO APOLOGIES AT ALL BUT INFACT WHEN I HANDED THIS CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF EVENTS - 6 TRIPS FROM HOME TO THE STORE LIKE A YOYO, HE SAID THAT WE WILL CHECK WHAT THE PROBLEM IS WITH THE LAPTOP, BUT CANNOT GIVE YOU THE REFUND. I DO NOT THINK THAT HE EVEN LOOKED AT MY LIST - AS FAR AS I COULD MAKE OUT THINK IT WENT IN THE BIN. NO WAY I AM GOING ANYWHERE NEAR THE CURRYS PC WORLD STORES EVER. CAPITALS BECAUSE WHAT A WASTE OF TIME AND EFFORT, STRESS, LOST TIME OFF WORK TO SORT THIS OUT, BUT THEY COULD NOT EVEN APOLOGISE. ARROGANCE WILL GET THEM SOMEWHERE!!!!!!
  • Dacid T.
    I have been waiting for an email response rom PC World customer Services for 6 Days I have sent them umpteen emails to no avail. I have tried to telephone them after 40 minutes being passed from pillar to post they agreed to cal me back. Im glad didnt hold my breath. They didnt call back. I have a HP envy desktop which was delivered with a fault, No sound, I phoned again and told them i will not have it repaired only replaced, they said they had none in stock and it would have to be repaired. The next day I put two in my basket on the website and telephoned the sales department and pretended to buy two, they confirmed they had stock, I then confronted them about my faulty PC suddenly they offered to replace it, they picked it up 2 days ago . I have not heard anything no promised quick response and nothing on my account page. I am a little worried I reallydo not trust them.The only way to get through to them quickly is to phone sales. They are trained to lie and fob you off I will not deal with the again Rubbish sevice no customer care at all . Once you have paids thats your lot, if I get a replacement before christmas ( its a gift) I will be suprised. Never buy from PC World.
  • David T.
    Still no PC from the ever evasive PC world staff the have actuall acknowledged they have it but its look like this Chritmas gift is not going to arrive . So once again, no help from PC World at all. When they say say put customers first I think they mean the ones who have still not paid. After payment you go behind the ones who have still to purchase or pay. They now have aprox 48 hrs or less to sort this out. I think they will fail. No marks to the customer care they have made no contact at all. Think twice before you use this outlet. I think I would have a better chance using a dodgy Ebay seller with a negative feedback who will not accept Paypal and is based somewhere in Easter Europe. That is if I can say that , I am as Pretty upset about this so I will, the saga will continue. Posted from my ipad.
  • Stephen F.
    I have three cover polices with you which I cancelled on the 27/11/2014 by email. Policy No's [numbers removed]. I have checked my bank statements to find you are still collecting payments.The Direct Debits Were cancelled.Can you please Explain and make sure further payments are cancelled.Thank you.
  • colin
    As an x employee, i was under pressure to sell care plans to customers and to be truthful I just could not do it. They used every dirty trick in the book to get customers to sign up for care plans. They would tell customers that they would let them have it free for the first month. They told me that most customers were too lazy and gullible to cancel the direct debits. I have even seen it where they would put it on and not tell the customer that it was a monthly charge. I got finished because I was told I was too honest for currys. Says it all really.
  • Terry
    From my experience, even that people have had the machines successfully fixed by this company, the pressure to sell it is high and not selling enough could possibly lead to been put on performance management and could/may place you into hardship, taking this into account, are you going to try and sell as much as possible? The customer may walk out happy, but if you lose your job, due to not reaching your target to make them happy, that's no benefit to you. I think it is a good idea to cover equipment, if it's going to be expensive to fix it, or you need access to that equipment all the time (business use), I just feel that it is a good idea to shop around for appropriate cover and you should never feel pressured to buy the service.
  • Jordan B.
    I quit my job at knowhow laptop repairs centre in newark. place is nasty. making us bypass customers passwords by using a program called konboot becouse password wasnot given. they made us do illigal hacking just to get a repair rushed out. they replace plastic parts of a laptop but not fix the problrm it comes in for. im glad i left
  • Sally S.
    My pc went into the store 31/12 14 and has been back and foreward 5 times It is now 23rd Feb NOT FIXED My son-in-law finaly spoke to a teck guy for approx 2 hours he did try but had to keep putting us on hold while he spoke to somebody , it finaly worked ,Why could the so called experts not fix it when it was in the workshop
  • lee t.
    i took out a care plan on 3 new computers back in 2007 the policy states that i can get an on site repair if it goes wrong ? it states that if i want i can take it to the local pc world for a repair in store it states that i can have a loan machine if it needs to be repaired and waiting on parts ? well i got none of these options they tell me that thats the old policy ive been paying this for years now that the computer has gone wrong all they have done is taken it in store to go for a repair they have sent back the machine wiped clean of all its data and files ect and i went to power it up sounded like it was surging on power tried the card reader and nothing same fault as before i got a detailed letter with all the new parts fitted ? funny how its still got the old card reader in it which didnt work ive been to seek the advice of a solicitor as there policy does not seem to be worth the paper its written on in fact a member of there staff told me that in person i shall be writing to the BBC watchdog aswell NOT HAPPY
  • Raaj
    I purchased a TV from Currys in December 2012 50" Panasonic Plasma for almost £1000.00. I took the cover-plan out (almost £8.00 per month)at the same time. My TV had been playing up for a couple os weeks so last week (26th March 2015) I called the Knowhow team as the TV had pixels missing and the picture was fading in and out. So anyway they came and picked it up on the 26th March and the guy who came to collect the TV was rude to my wife not professional, had large piercing on his face and ears, however the shocking thing was he took my 50" plasma TV of the wall without wrapping it in any protective material like bubble wrap or anything, just picked it up and walk out! I was at work at the time and my wife had let him in had she was shocked not just about the way he looked but when she asked him if he was going to cover the TV he told her "we don't do that". This is rock bottom leave of customer service. For all we know he could have damaged it further walking out to the van, as we live in an apartment block he would have had to go down a flight of stairs or try and get it in the small lift. When I found out what had happened I called the Knowhow team that evening and the person I spoke to seamed quite shocked at what I had told them. The JOKE was that they where more concerned about the physical appearance of the guy who came to collect the TV than the TV it self. Basically after a number of calls I have had no real answer to why my product that I had paid almost a thousand pounds for had been treated in that manner. And to add insult to injury my TV was meant to be due back to day and guess what the van turns up with NO TV on it! What a JOKE!!! The guy said he had no idea where it was and why it had not been placed in the van. So I called the Knowhow team and spoke to probably the most useless person since I had been calling (total of 8 calls) and all she had to say was it was a systems error and the TV is not meant to be due back till the 31st. The online tracker shows its due today, I had a text message from them this morning saying it was due to arrive before 1pm today and one of their team members called me on Sunday afternoon to tell me that it had all been fixed and it will be delivered on Tuesday. Further more NO-ONE had the courtesy to call me to tell me of this so called error. If they cannot even do this what confidence do I have that my TV has been fixed! This has to be the biggest shambles I have witnessed and I have been paying £8.00 per month for almost 3 years for this circus act. This is the worst customer service I have ever had from any company. To be honest I just want my money back for what I paid on the TV and the service plan. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THE SERVICE PLAN! You are better off putting it on your home contents insurance. STAY AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE - ITS A BIG JOKE UPDATE… So I got my TV back finally but wait, the drama still continues. The chap who came to deliver the TV brings it into the house and what I still cannot get my head around is that it’s heavy 50” plasma and they’ve got one delivery guy struggling to get it in the house, I can only imagine how he got it up to my apartment. Anyway once in my apartment I tell him that it needs to go back on the wall and his response was “sorry mate I’m not allowed to do that”. I turns out that he was just a driver and they are not allowed to do anything technical. Also the TV came wrapped in bubble-wrap which he did say he could remove, however in the process he went to put the TV flat on the floor screen side down, as anyone with a plasma TV knows you never put it down flat! I quickly stopped him as he had no idea there was no labeling on the TV stating which way the TV was meant to be nor had he been given any instructions. I honesty I don’t blame him for anything it seems that the poor chap was just a driver doing his job, it is the RUBBISH customer service that Curry’s KnowHow team provides. Anyway moving on I had a call from one of the managers a day or two before from on the managers (Ribina)she seemed to be understanding about the whole thing and as a consolation she promised me if the TV was not upto scratch or if I had any problems she would organize to replace it. So I left it at that and was just glad I had my TV back and with the help of my wife we managed to get the TV back on the wall. So a week had gone by since I got it back I started to notice that there was a faint line appearing on the left side of the screen and as a few days passed it has seemed to have got larger. You can guess how I was feeling after everything that has happened and knowing I would have to sit through round 2 of the ordeal I was fed up, should I just deal with the TV as it is. As the manager had said what she did about replacing it I made the dreaded phone call and after being on hold for almost 20 minutes I got through to an adviser. I went on to explain everything that had happened and told him what the manager said even gave him the reference number she gave me so there would not be any questioning on validation on my story, he puts me on hold for a further 10-15 minutes and comes back on the line and goes on to tell me that we can not replace the TV as we didn’t report the problem within 7 days. So the only thing they could do was rebook it in for someone to come and collect the TV and have it looked at. At this point I was thinking that the circus is back in town and I should avoid this but the guy on the other end of the phone reassured me in his patronizing tone that it would all be fine and he booked my TV in for collection and this time around I told him that my TV is on the wall and also I wanted a loan TV as I was not offered one the first time around even though I pay for that facility. He tells me that they don’t have any at the moment but as soon as one shows up on the system someone would call me and arrange a time. So a few days later I get a call from a lady saying that they have got a loan TV for me and she would arrange for someone to collect and drop off on the 23rd of April between 9am and 1pm. And I did tell her the TV is on the wall. So Thursday I get a call from the driver who said that they are about 30 minutes away BUT GUESS WHAT? THEY ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE THE TV OFF THE WALL! He then goes on to say they have not got the loan TV. SURPRISE, SURPRISE. WHAT A F*%K1NG JOKE! I was at work so I just told them to go back called my wife who had taken the morning off from work told her had believe me she was more pissed-off then me. To all of you looking to buy anything from Currys and take out the care plan all I have to say is DON’T! its not worth the paper its printed on. Every time you call someone at KnowHow they listen to your problem and promise to help bit never do. Wish I could give ZERO stars. They should change their name to DontKnowHow.
  • Simon
    Staff at Currys told me that "whatever Happens" means that before the end of 5 years cover I ought to tip the TV over so that it breaks and automatically get a new TV. Lies, all lies.
  • Bruce
    first month free is true , but plan does not cancels all others months are charge. Dont forgot to cancel after 1 month.
  • Andy
    Maybe I got lucky but Currys send me a voucher for 3k for a 6 month old Sony 65 inch TV which my 18 month year old got behind and pushed over - smashed the panel. First policy I have taken out like this - the salesman talked us into it as saw this sort of thing all the time. Problem I've got is that the tv i bought has just been discontinued and the new version which looks the same but has Android O/S built into the TV is 1k more expensive as I bought my TV towards the end of it's life so I just have a voucher I can't use yet as I want the same TV...would be good if they couldn't fix it to replace with same or similar model. But just happy I have a voucher to the full value - phew!
  • Colum d.
    I have always got good service from pc world I must say. However My screen has frozen so I will report later as to how I fair. Hopefully it's not to hard to fix. Went yesterday but no technician at work doesn't work on a Monday so will go again today. Surely a firm as big as Pc world should have one on every day.
  • Jackie
    Bought an American fridge freezer and took out the whatever happens care plan with it. One of the freezer drawers has perished so I phoned them up and asked for a replacement 5 months ago. I have had a solicitor look over the policy and it clearly states that if a replacement or repair cannot be made within 21 days the item will be replaced ... Yeah right! The rude guy at the end of the phone during one conversation told me this does not apply to small items. It's a huge Mo Fo American fridge freezer. How can he warrant calling it a small item?!? So far they have sent 4 wrong drawers despite me giving them the exact measurements (one arrived in a million pieces so obviously wasn't packed or handled well). So on my solicitors advice I gave them 21 days to replace my drawer or I would be seeking a new fridge freezer like for like with working undamaged drawers. The 21 days have well passed and still no sign of the drawer so I took my paperwork into our local store and spoke to a manager. All he did was dial the same number on the policy that I had previously phoned numerous times before and put me through to the same rude guy only this time he gave a different reason for not replacing the drawer. They appear to have had numerous complaints about exactly the same thing and the management have made a decision not to replace the whole fridge freezer because it is mechanically working. It does NOT say this on the policy, far from it. I pointed this out to Mr Rude Guy but he wasn't budging and said if i'm so unhappy source a new drawer myself! What exactly have I been paying for all these months? Obviously not an insurance policy in the event of anything needing repairing!!!! One very unhappy customer who will be taking my complaint all the way!
  • Pattie
    1.Bought a laptop 5 years ago from pc world 2. Let them persuade me to take up knowhow insurance 3. A year later i cancelled it because i thought waste of money 4. A week later (!) HD mysterioysly malfunctioned 5. Took laptop back 6. Paid 80£ for new HD 7. Did NOT take insurance again 8. YouTubed whenever I had a laptop problem. I am a total novice but I even managed to replace a broken screen; ha! YT is great for that!!! 9. Today, 4 years after I cancelled the insurance, I received a letter from KnowHow: "Your card was declined blah blah...you owe us 7.50£ blah blah...." How can this be? I did not even set up a direct debit with them! My advice: dont insure your laptop. There is always someone you know or they know who can fix the problem. And if there isnt there are a lot of wonderful people on the net who can help!
  • Hengxu H.
    If you buy something from this store, you will be automatically buy the extension warrenty which is not needed. Even though you canceled this service, make sure that you have checked your bank statement very carefully. By google the key words “product support AG CD 1212” (the charging item in the bank statement), you can see lots of people who bought items from PCworld/Curry have been trapped in this tricks. Here is my story: In june 2013, i just migrated into uk from china six months, i did not speak English well at that time, ASUS laptop was my first perchase in PC WORLD, maybe the last. when i bought it, the shop assistant introduced me knowhow to protect my laptop (actually they bundled the extension warrenty with the laptop, when I authorized the payment for laptop, the warrenty automatically issued, that's where the key point of the scam is), i did not fully understand him, i thought it was qualification certificate and free after purchase service. when i understood what it is, i asked the assistant to cancel this service(i really can hardly understand english in phone). after several minutes telephone which number is in a card he give me, he told me that it was canceled. then, i thought it was canceled. however, tonight when I checked my bank statement, I found a mysterious charging monthly, which is named as "product support AG CD 1212", which is much more looks like a payment from a post machine. After google it, i noticed that i was still charged till today for two and half years(10.5 £/month) by PC world know how plan (or wahtever happens)! I bought the laptop in pc world on 7th june 2013, today it is 12th nov. 2015. i can not believe that PCWORLD cheated me, a foreigner who can not speak and hear english well for such long time!
  • Ian M.
    I have got a comment Knowhow - no good American Fridge Freezer gone wrong since 17th Dec. Chucked £200 worth of food away. Knowhow - no good have been 4 times 5th time on Friday to fix my fridge freezer. Stated the policy of repair within 21 days or ask for a replacement. Well I asked but they rejected and told me what do you expect its over 9 years old. After which I said I have been paying the policy for 9 years too. Put in a complaint, again the policy is not worth the paper its written on. They are liars, cant even say the technicians know what they are doing as Friday will be the 5th visit. I am also going to write to watchdog. as I said earlier KNOWHOW - NO GOOD
  • Linda
    Interesting comment from Colin above re not even telling customers about the ongoing care plan costs. I've just received a letter regarding a Whatever Happens Club agreement for a product purchased back in 2013. Did I know that I'd been paying £5.50/month since then - certainly not and can't recall signing for it either since I'm always reluctant to do so. I believe I've been duped also and if there hadn't been a problem with my card payment then I probably still wouldn't have realised without any existing paperwork.
  • Donna M.
    My HP desktop is still with the Tech Guy " Experts" since 10 December 2015 REALLY. Previous problems with bad service put me right off Currys, however this birthday present from my fella who insisted buying from them means he is out of pocket and I am borrowing a laptop. Steer clear, better by online and pay a local geek to fix the gadgets when they go wrong.
  • mr c.
    i work on sales at currys,managers target and push us lowely sales guys to sell careplan. i hate selling it but we are bollocked if we dont. dont blame us poor sales guys, blame the managers and the bigwigs at currys. we are just trying to earn a living.
  • katie
    do not use there insurance/care plan as when there is a problem and they over take your money the managers will not talk to you and will not help you sort this out.. this is the worse service ever i would not recomment getting there insurance go else where to get cover.
  • AKD
    I bought a 3 mobile PAYG mifi device in a Currys store the other day and am still shocked - I mean really jaw-droppingly - at the appalling lack of hygiene displayed by the staff. It was a real WTF? moment. The mifi device was a sales bargain, £10 cheaper than elsewhere, and I was on my way to Argos to get a higher priced one at the time but on seeing this one in Currys, the only one on display there, I had to have it as it was so much cheaper. Whilst buying it one of the other staff turned to the girl who was serving me and asked her what was wrong. She informed him that she was really suffering badly from a developing cold. Then - get this - while handling the goods I was purchasing she rubs her palm up right the way up her runny nose, smearing all the snot on the inside of her right hand, and immediately proceeds to bag my goods and give me my change with the very same virus-ridden paw!!!!! Normally I would have perhaps caused a deserved scene but I was kind of stunned - and a tenner less is still quite a significant bargain to me. I quietly accepted it and left the shop whereupon I went all Howard Hughes with my antiseptic wet-wipes outside. Also she took home address details from me, claiming it was for the pay and go 'license'. I wouldn't mind this other than that if I lose it/ sell it on/ give it away/ or it gets stolen then what responsibility does place upon me as a named owner in terms of any future anonymous users? PS. I am using the mifi right now, it's a wonderful piece of miniature technology, no complaints there, but Jesus, don't these people know how germs spread?
  • Sarah
    For the last four years I've been paying for whatever happens. Last year I had spilt something on my mac and stopped working. I gave it in for repair and since then I've been having issues with the Mac. I'm sick and tired of going to curry to get it fixed. I'm my opinion it is a waste of money and better of looking for another care plan.
  • Cas
    I requested a replacement as this was the 4th time my Laptop had gone wrong. This time the screen had gone. Came back repaired ! Told me to get a replacement it has to be the same thing that goes wrong 3 times before they will replace it !!!! Never heard such rubbish in all my life !!!! Told me to check the terms and conditions. They state after 3rdmrepair you can ask for a replacement, no mention of it needing to be the same problem 3 times !!!!! Will be back there I. The morning, they can damn well replace it !

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