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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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20131205 5th December 2013 Hi. I have a computer which was

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5th December 2013
I have a computer which was purchased some years ago, and it is working fine.
Back in July I renewed the Coverplan agreement which has been kept up for several years, with MasterCare / Knowhow / WhateverHappens Policy taken out with PC World/ Curry's
(all the same company and policy) This cover would normally expire in July 2014. The replacement value of the system is in the order of £500 to £600 or more (originally I paid £900 but this included some disposable items which would not be included in the cover) but the main system certainly was.
In October, the system went wrong and stopped working, so the system was taken into Norwich PC World for repair under the scheme and they confirmed that the monitor part was not working. PC World checked with the Whatever happens team, who at that time confirmed that the monitor (being an integral part of the system) was covered under the agreement and this was then sent to the repairers who said that they couldn't repair the monitor and that it needed to be replaced.
The response from MastreCare / Whatever happens was that they would replace the monitor with a brand new one (NB not a replacement computer system). Also in the letter (dated 23/10/2013) they said "as your original purchase is being replaced, please note that your support agreement has now been cancelled .... we have issued a pro-rata refund for any un-expired time left on that agreement for you to use towards the cost of a support agreement for your new product.
They put product replacement value £69.97 and Support agreement Refund £64.85..
As stated above the actual product replacement value is several hundred pounds, and the Support agreement Refund would be wrong to issue, and in any case has never been received, and if it had would have been returned immediately.
The contents of their letter was unacceptable for obvious reasons. Eventually PC World did replace the monitor and the computer is working fine. At no time has the computer system been replaced, only the monitor a small part of it.
Things seemed to be in agreement and worked out satisfactorily until my BarclayCard statement on 20th November showed an unexpected, unauthorised and un-notified payment to Whatever happens contrary to Direct Debit legislation for £21.61, which on investigation was for part of a new support agreement for the product.
I confirmed with Barclaycard that the amount was taken out in error, and to not pay any further installments, because the support plan was paid for in full back in July/August and September not to expire before July 2014 and then to be renewed if practical.
The main mistake by Whatever Happens seems to be cancelling the support plan which they are not supposed to do unless the replace the product as a whole ( in the region of £500 or more).
It seems that because I have stopped the wrong Barclay Card payments they have cancelled the Support Agreement, contrary to their conditions.
I have asked them to refund to Barclaycard the £21.61 taken in error, and to make sure the support agreement as paid for in July remains in place and is not cancelled..
As stated the £64.85 which they think was paid to me, I have not seen and presumably they can cancel this cheque or whatever means they think it might have been paid with.

Do you have any suggestions about how to deal with this. If they cancel the agreement in mid term, I think they should compensate me in the order of £500, but as the system was not replaced and is working, there should be no good reason to cancel.

I can send copies of any paperwork if required

I would welcome any advice
Telephone 01953 452682

Yours faithfully
Carey Moore

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How long ago did you buy please and how much did you pay roughly?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Jo

The product support plan cost £88 and was paid in three installments in July, August and September and this was automatic but correctly notified at the time. The Support agreement renewed on 19th July 2013 and due to expire on 19th July 2014


The product itself was purchased on 19th July 2002 and the support agreement has continued each year since then.


The total cost of the system then was £908.97 but this included some peripheral items which would not be included in the support agreement.

I will have to look this up separately if required. I do know that the receipt itself is completely blank where the ink has faded over the years.


I can photocopy and send a copy of the support agreement if needed





What the unauthorised payment of £21.61 on 20 November was for and why did you cancel it and then reinstate it.

Since it was only the monitor that was faulty, is there any reason you think you should have a whole new computer? Or is your point that the letter of the 23rd October said that they had replaced the whole thing?

If the latter is the case, what exactly does it say in the support agreement about cancellation once they have paid out?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I have been trying to find out why the unauthorised payment was taken and it seems that "Whatever Happens" (Whatever Happens; Mastercare; KnowHow; and Coverplan are all the same thing and part of Curry's Dixons, PC. World).

It seems possible that because they think that the £64.85 was paid to me, (which I don't think it was and I certainly didn't receive it ) that this gave them the right to apply direct debit payments from my Mastercard account without notification or reason given.

I did not re-instate this but cancelled two further payments which from information on the phone I discovered they intended to take in the following two months.

When I said "Wrong BarclayCard payments" in the above it meant the payments were wrong and should never have been requested.

No I don't think there was any reason for the computer to be replaced because it is working. Just that their letter of 23 Oct implied that they had replaced the product and cancelled the agreement because of this.

The Support agreement states that if the product is replaced because they are unable to repair it then they would supply a new equivalent or better to replace it. Because they did not and did not need to replace the computer they equally should not have terminated the Support Agreement


I will try to copy the Support agreement and send it, but this may take a little while.






OK. No problem.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jo, here is the support agreement. I have converted it from JPEG to Microsoft Word on the other computer (the one we are talking about).I have therefore been able to enlarge some of the text, but have not read it through to check for spelling yet. (The conversion process sometimes gets spelling wrong).



Mastercare Support Agreement


What is our commitment to you?

When you buy a Mastercare Customer Support Agreement you benefit from the expert service and advice of one of Britain's biggest teams of specialist engineers and technical advisers. Our dedicated team of specialists provide nationwide coverage together with a high-quality, efficient and speedy service.

When things go wrong, simply phone one of our customer helplines, where you can get immediate advice and help to repair many products. If we cannot help you to put the fault right over the phone, we will make sure your product is repaired quickly and professionally. Most repairs are included but there are a few exceptions, so please read this document carefully for full details.

Can you provide help and advice on using my product?

We provide a range of expert helplines where good advice is only a phone call away. Many are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, so you need never be without assistance. We can fix many simple problems over the phone.

How often can I use the service?

For the life of your Customer Support Agreement we will carry out as many repairs as your product needs, free of charge. Where appropriate, we may use fully guaranteed refurbished parts. Occasionally you may have to pay for the repair and claim the cost from us.

What if my product can't be fixed?

Though we do our best to fix your product, sometimes products are simply beyond repair or we cannot get the necessary parts. If we cannot repair your product, or it takes longer than six weeks to repair, you may request a replacement product. The replacement may occasionally be a fully refurbished product or we may offer vouchers to purchase a new product of at least the equivalent specification.

Protection from breakdown caused by mishaps

Your Customer Support Agreement will protect your product against breakdown caused by mishaps.

What if I take my product abroad?

Get a quote for repairing your product and if the repair costs the equivalent of £150 or less, or £300 or less for a laptop PC, pay for the repair and claim the cost back from Mastercare Customer Services. You will need a receipt showing the cost of the repair to do this. If the repair costs the equivalent of more than £150, or more than £300 for a laptop PC, please send details of the repair and a copy of the quote to Mastercare Customer Services. Alternatively contact us on (+44)844(NNN) NNN-NNNN.

What if I use my product for business?

All the benefits of your Customer Support Agreement apply to products that you use for business apart from cooking and laundry products, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, rear projection, Plasma and LCD TVs, and LCD projectors.

What if I upgrade my PC?

Your PC will still be protected by your Customer Support Agreement, even if you upgrade it. However, the upgrade hardware itself will not be protected unless PC World or Currys supply and fit the upgrade.

Software support

For help and advice on your PC and its equipment, whether it is hardware or software related, call our 24 hour helpline on 0844(NNN) NNN-NNNN.

How quickly will my product be fixed?


For Laptops, Desktop PCs, Monitors, Printers (not including printers under £150) If we are unable to resolve the problem over the phone, we will arrange for a courier to collect your product and return it to us for repair. Subject to availability, if you call before 10am the courier will pick your product up the next working day.

In some areas of the UK and non mainland UK (excluding the Isle of Wight) the extra distances involved mean that we will service your product promptly however our specified promises will not apply.

For TVs If we are unable to resolve your problem over the phone, we will advise on next steps. We will arrange for a courier to collect your product and return it to us for repair. Call before 10am and we will visit you at the following times: - call Monday to Wednesday and we will visit you two working days after your call; call on Thursday and we will visit on the following Monday; call Friday or Saturday and we will visit on the following Tuesday. If we are unable to solve the problem we may uplift the product to our repair centre.

For Kitchen Appliances If we cannot solve your problem over the phone we will send an engineer out to you. Call before 6pm and we will visit you at the following times: - call Monday to Wednesday and we will visit you two working days after your call; call on Thursday and we will visit on the following Monday; call on Friday or Saturday and we will visit on the following Tuesday.

For all other products For portable products, you may be asked to return your product to a store.


What is not included in my Customer Support Agreement?

Your Customer Support Agreement does not include the following:

  • Consumable items (items that are regularly replaced).

  • Built-in batteries, bulbs and vacuum cleaner belts.

  • Lamps used in projection TVs and LCD projectors

  • Cosmetic damage, where it does not affect the operation or safety of the product.

  • Repair costs that we have not approved.

  • Protection if your product is lost or stolen.

    • The cost of repairing or replacing a product which has been exposed to insect infestation (or simila
      phenomenon) or human or animal fluid/matter.

  • Any loss suffered because you cannot use the product, or any loss other than repair or replacemeni

  • Damage or breakdown that is due to lightning, flood, wind or any other severe weather condition

  • Damage or breakdown to a PC if it is caused by a computer virus.

    • The cost of repairing or replacing a product that fails because anyone neglects, abuses or misuses tt

  • Any service or benefit where the Customer Support Agreement has been suspended.

  • Image retention on a Plasma, LCD or Rear projection TV.

  • Frozen food insurance.

What if I pay by instalments?

Where we have agreed that payment for the Agreement is to be made by you by instalments:

a) If any instalment is not paid by its due date the Agreement is immediately suspended on the due date
no service will be provided. Continuous service will be reinstated if the overdue instalment is received or
before your next payment date.

b) If an overdue instalment has not been paid by your next payment date all outstanding, unpaid instalr
will become immediately due and payable without demand. If the total of the outstanding instalments i
paid within a further 7 days the Agreement will automatically terminate.

Any other important information I should know?

  • Cancellation period - if you are not completely satisfied with your Mastercare Agreement, you ca
    cancel it within 45 days of buying it. Simply call our Customer Relations Team on 0844(NNN) NNN-NNNNan*
    you have not used the Agreement we will arrange for a full refund. For Direct Debit queries call
    Customer Services on 0844(NNN) NNN-NNNN

  • You and we will not be responsible for any failure to carry out the obligations under this Agreeme
    it is caused by any circumstances outside your or our control.

  • You must do all you reasonably can to keep our costs of providing the service as low as possible am
    allow us into your home or office at all reasonable times to repair the product.

  • We recommend that you back up the data on your PC on a regular basis, as we cannot guarantee 1
    restore data in the event of your product requiring a repair.

  • Unless we have agreed differently with you in writing, the language of this Agreement and all
    communications relating to it will be in English and all aspects of the Agreement, including negotia
    and performance, are subject to English Law and the decisions of English Courts.

  • This Customer Support Agreement does not affect your legal rights, which include the right to a
    remedy for defective goods. If you buy goods which are faulty when sold you have the right to clai
    for a repair or replacement for up to six years (five in Scotland) from the date of purchase. Howevf
    after the first six months you have to show that the fault was there from the start and the longer 1
    it takes for the fault to show up the more difficult that becomes. Your Agreement gives you benef
    which are in addition to your legal rights, and you have the assurance that your product will be
    repaired free of charge if it fails at any time whilst your Agreement is current.

  • Further information about your legal rights can be obtained from you local Trading Standards
    Department, Citizens Advice Bureau or through Consumer Direct.

  • It you require literature from Mastercare in an alternative format such as Braille, audio cassette or
    print, please contact Mastercare Customer Services.

  • Data Protection - we ask for your name and address so we can give you an efficient aftersales ser
    We may pass on your name and address to companies within Dixons Retail pic and other organisat
    we have carefully chosen. If you do not want to be contacted in this way by a company outside of
    Dixons Retail pic, please write to Mastercare Customer Services.

How to find out more information

Phone us on: 0844(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>

E-mail us at: [email protected]

Write to: XXXXX PO Box 10910, The Pinnacles, Harlow, Essex, CM19 5BD

Your Support Agreement is with DSG Retail Limited, Registered office, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hemps Herts. HP2 7TG. Registered number 504877.

Complaints Procedure:

DSG Retail Limited is the administrator of the Support Agreement and aims to provide the service in accordance with the terms and conditions. In the event of a complaint, please contact our Customer Ser\ Team via any of the means listed above.

*Ca!ls charged at 6.2p per minute from a BT landline and calls from other networks may vary. Calls may recorded for monitoring and training purposes.


Thanks for the information.

I agree with you. They should not cancel the support agreement because you made a claim upon it. As far as that goes, I think you have a claim against the company subject to the points below.

You do also have a complaint to make to the financial ombudsman because this is probably a type of insurance contract. They may say it's a service contract but is worth trying anyway because it is free to do.

There seems to be a cloud over the payments that I do not quite understand? Presumably you were paying monthly so not certain why there was a problem? If you can solve the payments then they would be entitled to cancel the contract because there is no provision for late payment.

If you give me more information about exactly what went wrong with the payments and why this came from a different card then I may be able to offer more.

If the financial ombudsman will not deal with this and you have future problems with the computer then you will have no option but to get it repaired and sue the service provider.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Jo, I just would like to send you a copy of the email I sent to them on 1st December with follow up emails on 4th and 5th (this Morning as they have not replied or acknowledged these yet.

I tried to get the 23 October letter to you as well but the conversion to Word was not good and I wasn't sure how to attach a JPEG.


Here is the letter of 1st Dec added to on 4th and 5th Dec from me to Mastercare.


20131205 Email re no acknowledgment request for ombudsman

5th December


What ever is going on?

I still have not received an acknowledgement for the email I sent on 1st December and again requested yesterday.

You promised to telephone me about refunding the £21 61 unauthorised direct debit taken without notification and contrary to Direct Debit regulations to my Barclaycard account. Barclaycard have confirmed that you can refund this directly to them to avoid any further confusion, preferably not to me. When you phone me I can confirm the account number if you do not already have this

It seems to me that you can make one mistake (i.e. cancelling the support agreement in error) and then are unable to simply rectify this mistake.

I will confirm the final paragraph of the letter which says "Please confirm that you will refund to my Mastercard account the £21.61 taken in error on 20th November without delay so that I can cancel the disputed transaction with Barclaycard. (As I said I did not receive the £64.85 or any other amounts you mention in your letter of 23 October)."


Also please confirm that the support agreement remains in operation, and hopefully I expect to renew again in July 2014.

Surely this is clear enough. The plan was renewed in July 2013 and continues until July 2014. The plan has never been cancelled by me, and if it was cancelled by you then then this is 'your' mistake not mine and you should rectify the matter.

If you can't put things right then I need to take the matter to an Ombudsman or equivalent. This simply cannot go on.

The plan should still be operational and should not under any circumstances be cancelled.


A phone call this morning suggested that you had cancelled the support agreement again and also that you had sent a cheque on 23 October for £64.85. I confirm that I have not received this as previously stated, and if I had received any form of payment it would have been returned to you straight away because this would have been part of your mistake in cancelling the support agreement in the first place as you said in your letter of 23 October.


Please tell me the address of your Ombudsman or person with some authority who can put all this right.


Carey Moore



20131204 Email to PC World re-sent to different email address

4th December 2013.

Dear Sir,

This email and the attachments were sent to you at [email protected] on 1st December. I had hoped to receive an acknowledgment by now (4th Dec). As no acknowledgement has yet been received, I am sending it again, and also to another email [email protected] given to me by your agent Jordi this morning (0800 number this time). She said you would be contacting me shortly (01953 452682) about refunding to Barclaycard Mastercard the unauthorised direct debit of £21.61 taken by you on 20th November in error from that account. Please do this without delay so that I can close the transaction dispute with Barclaycard before I have to fill in all the forms explaining the reason for the dispute to them.

Thank you

Carey Moore


----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Carey Moore <[email protected]>
To: PC World Dixons DSG <[email protected]>
Cc: Carey Moore <[email protected]>
Sent: Sunday, 1 December 2013, 21:59


20131201 Email to KnowHow PC World re Direct Debit.

Manderley, Attleborough Road, Great Ellingham. NR17 1LF.

Tel. 01953 452682


1st December 2013


Product reference agreement 66PJ4RFY Expiry 19/07/2014. (Mr. C. Moore).


Sir, I telephoned you this afternoon to point out an error in your administration in that for some reason you have charged me a payment via Mastercard on 20th November 2013.

Firstly you kept me on the phone for ages and then left me to discuss with others and never got back to me, in the end I had to terminate the call because of the possible cost of it. I will not be happy if this telephone charge is a lot. (I am afraid the survey points which followed were low).

Secondly, I should not have had any direct debit charges made to me at this time. The full payments were made in July, August and September by Mastercard.

You suggested that I had cancelled the support agreement, and I can confirm that at no time have I ever cancelled the support agreement, either in writing or verbally. The present agreement expires on 19th July 2014.

Evidently, the problem came about 16th October when the computer stopped working, and at the time I did not know the reason.

I therefore took the system into PC World initially to check and get repaired under the support agreement a day or two later.

The system was checked and it was confirmed that the Monitor was at fault. Because it was part of the original system, I was at the time told that it was covered under the support agreement, and PC. World sent it away to the technicians who responded that the 'monitor' could not be repaired and would have to be replaced under the support agreement. They have kept the monitor.

Next I received a letter from you dated 23/10/2013 Reference Agreement No. 66PJ4RFY / Claim No B8L3QWNM, which stated "We will replace your product with a brand new one" This is quite incorrect because you have never replaced my computer system (or offered to) with any sort of replacement.

( The replacement value of the computer would be several hundred pounds and certainly not the £69.97 you suggest in your letter).

The only reason for you to cancel the support agreement would have been if you had replaced the computer or given vouchers for equal or better than an equivalent replacement, as per the agreement, which you certainly did not do.

I gave instructions for the support agreement to be immediately re-instated (not to cancel the existing one and start a new one).

You asked me about the £64.85 (Support Agreement Refund). No I did not see this. (If you did issue this in any way then it was issued in error and presumably you can cancel it). When I went into PC World to try to sort this out, I left without anything as I had expressed the fact that the contents of your letter were incorrect and that the support agreement should never have been cancelled.

On a second visit to PC World, we went through the whole thing again, and a phone call to your technician by PC World staff speaking to someone by the name of Darren who confirmed to me that the Support Agreement had not been cancelled after all, and that it was fully operational.

I attach a copy of my letter to PC World at that time, and dated 29th October. At that time I was unable to check the computer system as I did not have the monitor.

At PC World (Norwich) one of the head managers Matt Pepper supposedly dealt with this for me, and helped me select a suitable monitor which I collected and brought home. He did not say whether the payments from "KnowHow" as indicated in your letter of 23rd were used, but the suggestion implied was that PC World had supplied this to me as part compensation for all the trouble I had been having, and having to make several visits (36 miles each time) to Norwich to sort this out because of the KnowHow administration problems.On fitting the monitor (apart from not getting the picture width correct) it works fine and confirms that the computer itself is in good order.

I was very surprised to see the Direct debit entry on my Mastercard Statement on 20th November identified by "Product Support AG 0844(NNN) NNN-NNNN Amount £21.61" I did not know what this was for, and I had not been advised that the Direct Debit requests had been made and hence my phone call to you this afternoon. Although Matt Pepper (PC World Norwich Manager) assured me that the problems were all sorted out at the time, it is evident that they weren't.


I have contacted Barclaycard Mastercard and this is now registered as a disputed entry on my statement, and also instructions have been given to stop any further payments in December and January as you said there were other amounts to collect then.


Please confirm that you will refund to my Mastercard account the £21.61 taken in error on 20th November without delay so that I can cancel the disputed transaction with Barclaycard. (As I said I did not receive the £64.85 or any other amounts you mention in your letter of 23 October).


Also please confirm that the support agreement remains in operation, and hopefully I expect to renew again in July 2014.


Yours faithfully


Carey Moore

The silence in that response is deafening!

Write to them putting them on notice that if the computer breaks again, and you have to get it repaired elsewhere because they will not honour their contractual duty, you will have no option than to sue them for the costs.

You can end up writing letter after letter after letter with no response which is clearly unsatisfactory.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Jo,

On reading through the discussion we had about The Mastercare coverplan, I realize that you asked a couple of questions which I had not aqnswered properly, and this was your answer identified as 05 December 2013 12:45 EST.

You mentioned a cloud over the payments which you didn't understand.


No the payments are not monthly. There are a total of three payments made on 20 July 2013 for £29.34. 22nd August 2013 for £29.33. and 20th September 2013 for £29.33. Totalling £88 As indicated in the answer to your request at 11.02EST This happens each year following written notification at the same time.

The 20th November direct debit for £21..61 was quite unexpected, and should never have happened. It was taken from the same account (not a different card which you suggested).

Is it best to write to the Financial Ombudsman, or email him? and couold you supply me with his contact details / address etc Please.

Thank you


Its always better to set any complaint down on paper.

You can contact him here
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Jo C

Thank you for this. I quite agree

Thank you for answering so promptly, I had not expected to hear from you until the morning. You must work all night!!.

Is the wind outside bad where you are. I live in Norfolk, and they are having it pretty bad on the coast I understand, but not too bad inland where we live.

Best wishes


No problem and all the best.

Its pretty bad here but not as bad as the coast.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Jo,

Thank you for your reply,

Just turned the computer on.

I did complete the rating for you which remains the same. If I do it again it ' might' trigger the system and take another payment from my account automatically, and you do say that you are able to deal with follow up questions for free.

Thank you for your advice and help

Best wishes


No problem.

Yes, everything is done so there's no need for you to do anything else.

All the best.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you again Jo.

Would you like me to let you know how things go with this. The PC World Norwich manager is taking this up for me at the present time.

Best wishes


Yes, tht would be great.

Best of luck.