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  September 18, 2008

Viking Direct Insurance Scam

As you are probably aware, most goods bought in the UK come with a 12 month warranty as standard. Of course, this only covers manufacturer faults and not accidental damage. So, when buying a new TV, an extra cover plan may be advisable. After all, if the baby runs into it and knocks it over, that’s a lot of money potentially lost. Equally, a new Fridge, cooker or IPod may warrant the same protection. But a paperclip?


We’ve recently noticed that our last few orders from Viking have included a 2% “Extra Protection Plus” charge. Now this is a charge that isn’t removable during online purchasing, is hidden in the small print of the catalogue and is applied automatically to all purchases. So, what does it do exactly? It extends our warranty to cover accidental damage. So, if we drop our box of envelopes and they smash into pieces, or we accidently shatter our paperclips, we’re covered. If I’d known about this earlier, I would have saved all those bits of tape that stuck together while trying to tape boxes up. We could have got a couple of pennies back for them!

While we were annoyed to be caught up in the Vista Print scam, at least they are bona-fide conmen. We have to admit we thought Viking would be better than that though. Charging accidental damage insurance by default on all invoices, and making it un-removable other than by phoning up and wasting half an hour would be bad enough if we were buying high price electronics. But for a company selling us general office consumables such as paper, paperclips and tape it is nothing short of fraudulent in our eyes.

Its to be said that we are very happy with the service and products of Viking- Direct so far. What puzzles us is why big sucessful companies risk their reputation and potentially customers by doing such scams without the customers consent. We guess its somoething called GREED. (Not to talk about the 95% which probably dont notice it and keep paying it. Anyway now you have been warned!