Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Cold call from Home Appliance Guard

As you might expect, I'm registered with the Telephone Preference Service, and have been for years. This should mean that I don't get cold sales calls. It's a free service. Once you're registered "telemarketers are legally bound not to call you".

Karl called, from "Home Appliance Guard". He explained that my Panasonic TV, at 87, Hallburn Gardens, Windsor, is now out of guarantee, and would I like to purchase an ongoing contract?

As we all know, these appliance insurance policies are a really stupid idea (from the point of view of the consumer), and a really great idea from the point of view of the insurer. It's worth insuring your house, because if that collapses, you have a real big financial problem. But if your toaster, or your TV stops working, you can get a new one really cheaply. It's not worth insuring cheap stuff. We all know that, don't we?

I guess not, otherwise people like Karl wouldn't be selling them in the expectation of making sales.

So I asked to talk to his supervisor, Kirk Litchfield, and I explained to him about the Telephone Preference Service and that he really isn't allowed to call me like this. He said that they'd bought the data from a market research company (and this is where the whole scheme falters, because it *is* legal to make market research calls, and for some reason, companies feel that because someone else made a market research call, they're entitled to make a sales call).

So I pointed out that he had completely the wrong address for me, and asked him to find out the source of their data. I explained to him that it was still their obligation to conform to the TPS. He said he'd talk to their Data Director, but couldn't make promises because Data Director has just had a baby. I checked their phone number, it's 08433 771405. Their web site gives 0800 652 6789.

So I tracked back. "Home Appliance Guard" is owned by "Tobell Insurance services" (Karl told me that, in the legally-required disclosure that he had to make to me), and that's confirmed by Google, so I googled Tobell and went to their web site.

Or rather, I didn't. Their web site is down. Never mind, Google was able to give me their phone number (020 7220 9050) and I spoke to their Mr Luke Maynard, and explained the situation. And that the authorities can take a dim view of violations. And I pointed out that they had the wrong address. And I put the cherry on top by telling him that his web site is down.

And I've made a complaint to the TPS about them.


  1. Wow, seems like you're a very busy person and have a lot on your plate!

  2. Have you got nothing else to do wow

  3. Well done drsolly - earlier today it appears that my 84 year old mother has been fleeced by this company to the tune of £120 as a result of a cold call for boiler cover that I had already arranged elsewhere. My efforts to dissuade her from telephone hard sell failed because she had already lodged her bank details with this company for other appliances that have since been cancelled. They were so pleasant and knowledgable on the phone apparently !! I can't tell you how angry I am !!

  4. Well done for challenging them. I am seriously ill following an accident yet they repeatedly call my mobile and disturb me. I have asked , even begged them to stop and they ignore me. As for the nasty comment 'have you nothing better to do' I can only assume this person likes to be rudely interrupted every day, or hasn't the gumption to take them on as you did. Wish more people were as aggressive in complaining as you are. have registered a complaint against them twice now so all I can do for now is hope, although thanks to your work I have other numbers I can complain to them on and see if that helps. THANKYOU for being so tenacious.

  5. My father has just received a call from them, he's recently had a stroke and gets very confused! The caller wouldn't let him get a word in edgeways until I interrupted as he was about to give his bank details. These people are vile ��

  6. I too get many cold calls from that company. The really annoying thing is that they call me from a supposedly local number (same code as the town where I live) I've told them that I'm registered with the TPS and they say "So sorry to have troubled you, we will remove you from our database" which they never do otherwise they wouldn't keep calling me five times a day. Now I don't answer the phone when it rings unless it's a number I know and one which displays the callers name. The gov need to crack down more on these so called companies. Sooner the better!

    1. BT now have a feature called "Call Protect" which allows you to block the last number to call you at the exchange. Home appliance guard were using a local number to me which is now blocked. BT say that if enough subscribers block a number, it will be blocked for all their subscribers.

    2. Thanks for that, but most of my numbers are with BT Business, and they haven't implemented Call Protect for that.

  7. Wow,you have given me an insight too. The trickery is now they call using an 079 mobile number. Then if you want to complain , cancel, etc h out have to call an 0800 652 6789 number. This is how I knew it's them, pests...

  8. They called my and said my policy needed renewing, I thought it was already on DD they said they don't keen details so gave me details. I now find that they are not my current insurer DG and I have 2 policies. Phoned to cancel policy. I wanted to know how they knew I had a washing machine and told they are given