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UK high street retailers make more profit from warranties than PCs

Survey lifts lid on scam

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High-street retailers selling expensive warranties on home computers to the general public are generating more profit from the warranty than the PC sale. The most recent expose, a survey published in Computeractive magazine, reinforces earlier findings by Which? magazine and others, and the magazine's editor Jim Lennox warned that many extended warranties don’t offer good value for money. The main culprits are big-names, most notably, Dixons, Curry’s and PC World, all charging £299 for a three-year warranty, while rival Comet charges £289. The costs vary enormously, ranging from £84 to £300, but many warranties have spurious value anyway. Some offer telephone helplines at a stinging 60 pence per minute, and most don’t cover accidental damage, which is the most common cause of computer failure. Computeractive said that most PC faults occur within the first year of ownership when the systems are still under manufacturer’ guarantee, and manufacturers offer better value than the chains, with Dell UK leading the pack at £120. ®

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