Currys PC World has apologised to customers who have they were pressured into paying up to £40 extra for ‘set up’ fees when buying a new laptop.
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.”
Despite ordering online or going to a store after seeing an advertised price, many customers reported being told that the only laptops available were those with pre-loaded operating systems, which meant they were obliged to pay more for their computers. Under UK consumer contract law all retailers must advertise the full price of any product bought online, but since 2015 more than a hundred customers have complained to Which? about the Currys PC World sales tactic of forcing them to pay the extra £40 fee.
Which? said the complaints it had received against Currys PC World suggested a breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations under “bait advertising”, which basically state that retailers cannot lure customers into their stores with ‘special prices’ if they know they won’t be able to honour them. In the case of Currys PC World, Which? said 108 customers had reported being given no choice but to pay the extra amount when they collected their laptop.
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.
Currys PC World said it was “urgently re-briefing” its stores.
Customers affected by this should email Currys PC World at email@example.com.