The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced that Dixons, Comet and Argos have offered legal undertakings to improve the extended warranties market in the UK. The announcement follows an OFT market study on extended warranties which highlighted competition concerns in the market which might mean that consumers are not getting value for money. The proposed undertakings include:
- The establishment of an extended warranties comparison website.
- The provision of more accessible information.
- Doing more to make sure that consumers get the correct information on extended warranties.
The OFT will now consult on whether to accept the undertakings rather than ask the Competition Commission to undertake a full investigation of the market, and expects to reach a final decision before Summer 2012.
Which?, however, has criticised the proposals as not going far enough. It says that the extended warranties are worse value today than previously as appliances are more reliable than ever. Providing more information does not solve the problem that the extended warranties give, according to the consumer rights group.