Deathwatch exclusive - Servis warranties all washed up
In the current media environment, any company going into administration means a topical headline and plenty of gory detail. Yet when one of the UK's top brands for domestic appliances hit the wall last year, there was barely a whisper.
Servis UK Ltd, widely known across the UK for its washing machines and other white goods, went into administration on October 16th. According to ERTonline, the 80 year-old company is part of the Antonio Merloni white goods group, which had filed for bankruptcy protection in Italy.
Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers stated Servis UK Ltd was "limited to supplying spare parts and dealing with repairs for the Antonio Merloni Branch". Judging by its website, Servis is still trading while in administration - there's no mention of administration on the company website. Of course, companies are still allowed to trade while in such a state, so there's nothing too worrying about that. What might be a concern, is that Servis are still advertising their five-year guarantee:
All Servis appliances come with a full 12 month parts and labour guarantee and an additional 4 year parts warranty... which reflects the confidence in our range of products.
The after-sales service is provided by our own national team of service engineers who are fully trained and only use Servis replacement parts guaranteeing the long life and performance of your Servis product.
Marvellous news. Except when you ring Servis Cares Call Centre on 08705 16829 and enquire about a repair to a Servis product older than 12 months, you'll hear a recorded message telling you Servis UK is in administration. Oh. Your call is then forwarded on to Domestic & General who "can offer a repair product which includes one year's warranty". We called Domestic & General, who told us a Servis warranty for a product older than 12 months is now void, and that the one year repair product mentioned in the recorded message would cost us £15.90 a month, for 10 months.
Contrary to their own website, Servis are seemingly not fulfilling their own warranty obligations right now, and instead customers are being passed off to a third party. Keep an eye out (the right one, obviously) before you purchase your white goods.