Can working mums have it all...

Neff call out charge – Are they ripping off the public?

Neff call out charge – Neff, Bosch, Siemens and Gaggenau ‘finds a way to sting customers having problems with new appliances…’

Can working mums have it all...
Neff call out charge ‘rip off’

Don’t bother complaining about your Neff call out charge. Amie Beard, Customer ‘Liaison’ Manager of Bosch-Seimens Hausgerate (BSHG) warned: “We reserve the right to invalidate the warranty.”

HAVE YOU HAD TO PAY AN UNFAIR APPLIANCE CALL OUT CHARGE? CONTACT ME USING THE FORM TO THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE >>>

Are warranties and guarantees simply a way of extracting more money from customers? It seems they are …

A relative of mine had a problem with a brand new Neff washing machine supplied with his Poggenpol kitchen at his new flat. Poggenpohl referred him to Neff. He rang Neff and explained the fault which was a terrible noise when the machine was spinning. After going through basic checks on the phone – such as the washing machine is level on the kitchen floor (tick) –  Neff said it was clear the machine, obviously under warranty, needed to be seen by an engineer.

As a favour I offered to see the engineer into the house. He had barely stepped through the door when he made the shocking announcement he believed I was wasting his time. It was a button in the filter, he was sure.

When I said I was surprised no one at Neff had mentioned this when the relative rang for advice he laughed (quite nastily!) I should have read the instructions and from the manual worked out the problem for myself.

Furthermore he would not fix the washing machine unless I fetched him a bowl, and watched and learnt what to do. Despite telling him the washing machine was nothing to do with me and I was just there to let him in as a favour to the relative, he said I need to read up on how to work a washing machine – he started with a lecture about how first I should put all the washing onto the floor and go through all the pockets…

I think it highly unlikely he would have spoken in such a patronising, demeaning and sexist way if I were a man and I was shocked and felt vulnerable. It struck me I was a woman on my own with this individual so I duly did as he said.

But after he left I felt so upset and shaken that I went to Poggenpohl, who supplied the kitchen and referred us to Neff, and complained about the attitude of the engineer. I was so upset I put a review on TrustPilot. But after being contacted by Brett from Neff who apologised, I put the episode behind me.

However, weeks later the relative then received an invoice for £99 call out. When I queried it I was told by Neff they had no record at all of any complaint made to them. This despite the my mobile phone showing a 16 minute phone call of apology from Neff Head Office in Kettering (01536 43100), the dated TrustPilot complaint and even a call from Poggenpohl to confirm I also complained to them.

It was then I saw the internet is awash with complaints about Neff (who are also Bosch, Siemens and Gaggenau)  call out charges. BBC Watchdog investigated a while ago to find out why customers and others are not given any information about how to fix a machine themselves. The point is if this information had been given to my relative then Neff would not have had to send an engineer – but then also they would not have made £100.

The Watchdog story felt they and other manufacturers (excluding Beko who were helpful in their research) were profiting from this. In response Bosch told them they do not give out any technical info because in essence they would be concerned about putting customers at health and safety risk.

In fact although the manual and customer service talk about many scenarios that can go wrong with a washing machine, and basic fixes, nothing addresses fixing a rattling noise in the appliance.

No mention of a ‘foreign body in the filter’ and advice to check it.

Resolving this meant removing a kick panels at the bottom of the appliance, draining any water into a bowl and then checking the filter is clear by sticking your hand inside the machine.

Not exactly straightforward… but what angers me is that no one said about doing this fix and instead sent an engineer, and no one said either about the call out charge of £100 at the start.

It’s no surprise at the time of writing Neff customer service, or BSH Home has the lowest rating of ‘bad’ on reviews sites such as TrustPilot. Other customers might disagree but it is my personal opinion, it is nothing short of a rip off ‘scam’ to withhold this sort of fix from customers when they ring for advice.

As for the engineer’s rudeness, well I am appalled Neff think it Ok for anyone to make a customer feel so uncomfortable – especially when they were charging for it.

Amie Beard said: “Our engineers are trained to talk customer’s through ways to rectify these issues themselves in the future and it is my belief this is what our engineer was attempting to do. The warranty provided with all of our appliances covers the customer for mechanical and electrical failure for a period of 2 years from the purchase date. Unfortunately the fact that a foreign body was found in the filter of your appliance is not considered as either mechanical or electrical and so the call out fee will not be waived.”

TIPS

There are so many complaints about Neff, Bosch and Siemens particularly on Google that it is best to avoid purchasing one of their appliances in the first place. In my view it seems their customer service team is simply focused on getting the payments and not ensuring customer satisfaction and care.

Warranties and guarantees are generally a waste of money and are simply provided as an additional way of making money!  Best to call out a local engineer who will charge much less. If a machine is found to be faulty then contact the supplier as you may have a claim under the Consumer Rights Act.

Have you had a problem with a call out charge or rude engineer? Do let me know below or contact me using the form >>>

 

 

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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