Warranty deals are feared 'dishonest'

More than half of consumers believe sales staff 'are not being wholly honest' when selling extended warranties for electrical goods, according to an ICM poll commissioned by Retail Week.

In the poll, 57 per cent of respondents said they agreed with the statement, indicating that companies such as Dixons and Comet still have a long way to go to convince sceptics of the value of warranties.

An ICM spokesman said: 'This negative public perception will dictate how customers behave in stores. If retailers want to make a case (to customers for extended warranties), a bit of positive PR is needed.'

He said that despite the fact that 68 per cent of customers who bought warranties agreed that they offered 'peace of mind', 52 per cent of extended warranty buyers saw them as 'a rip-off'.

A Dixons Group spokesman said the retailer makes every effort to provide full information to customers on the subject. 'We believe that people should be given all the necessary information to make a decision whether to buy an extended warranty,' he added.

John Lewis Department Stores corporate affairs director Nigel Brotherton said that JLP staff were not paid on commission so do not have any financial interest in selling extended warranties.

- ICM poll details: page 5.