Dixons Carphone is taking inspiration from Uber as it builds software to support its ambition to become a “home emergency service”.

  • Emrgency services platform will use connected devices to detect issues in the home
  • Users will be able to contact, review and pay tradesmen through the service
  • Insurance company tie-ups under consideration

The retailer is beta-testing a number of technological innovations as part of a proposition that will help it monetise the servicing of connected products and repairs in the home.

Dixons Carphone connected home director Steve Moore said: “Where we are going to go next is the home. This is about making lives better for ordinary people.

“We are going to launch home emergency services, think of it like Uber for services.”

Innovations being developed include a platform that aggregates services, which users can access through an app, or via a browser on their mobile or computer.

It will allow them to carry out tasks such as arranging a plumber if a leak is detected by a connected device in their home.  

Users could be alerted to a leak while on holiday or at work and can use the platform to look at reviews and ratings of plumbers and the times they are available.

Plumbers and other tradesmen could be tracked, rated, reviewed and paid through the platform.

Features may also include a means of communicating with the tradesmen, including the ability to send images of problems.

It is understood the platform will be launched under the KnowHow brand.

Expanded features

Dixons Carphone is also exploring working with insurance companies to allow users to tie their insurance policies into the platform.

Other features being developed as part of the proposition, include a dashboard that can measure energy consumption of individual electrical devices.

For instance, it would allow the user to measure the cost of the energy consumed by a fridge over a day, month or year and enable consumers to ascertain how much money they could save by buying an energy saving device.

The retailer is also launching a button that can be stuck on a fridge and when pressed people will receive a call from Dixons Carphone within ten minutes to help troubleshoot any electricals problems.

The idea is similar to the in-home customer service button launched by French electricals retailer Darty.

Darty sold 25,000 buttons in the first three months of launch. It costs €25 (£18) for the device and users are charged an additional €3 monthly fee.

There is no launch date for the home emergency services proposition, but it is more than one or two months away, according to Dixons Carphone boss Sebastian James.