Customers have blasted Currys PC World over ‘hidden’ monthly charges that have ended up costing some thousands of pounds.
The high street tech giant is among the most complained about companies on consumer websites with ‘rants’ occurring on an almost daily basis.
Customer complaints have been pouring in online, with sites such as aspokesmansaid.com containing 2,275 individual grievance against the electronics firm.
Many customers have raged at charges to their bank account named ‘product support’, which range from £5.99 to £11 per month.
Currys PC World has been blasted for ‘hidden fees’ by customers who said they have paid up to £2,000 for services they were not told were ‘optional’
In some cases, these charges have gone on unnoticed for years, costing one customer almost £1,500 in insurance she didn’t sign up for.
One customer purchased a HP touchscreen laptop for £400 from a PC World in Blackburn, Lancashire – only to find thousands of pounds in charges applied to his bank account.
He said: ‘I had no clue at all. I bought the laptop with a card linked to a bank account that I barely used.
‘All was fine for a while and, to be honest, I completely forgot about it.
‘But a couple of years later, I got a letter from my bank saying that I owed them almost £2,000 because I was overdrawn and had been for a while.
‘I chatted with my bank and thankfully it got sorted out – but I did discover that the reason I went into the red was because of Currys.
‘When I bought the laptop, they’d offered me free insurance, so I signed up.
‘At the time I wasn’t told that after a period it would be paid – otherwise I wouldn’t have signed up to it.
‘They were charging me £5.99-a-month – and I think they still would be charging me now if I hadn’t realised. It’s a scam.’
Some consumers have no clue why they are facing monthly charges, with Claire Smith claiming she was being hit with ‘stealth’ charges.
Claire, on consumer website aspokesmansaid, wrote: ‘I declined any sort of insurances or monthly fees and chose to just buy the TV – I was charged for ‘product support’ on my statement but wasn’t sure what it was.
‘I am very upset to see the person who served me has set up the direct debit without my permission and money has been take from my card.
‘This is as good as theft, I will be reporting this.’
Another customer, Allan Dickerson said: ‘I’ve noticed £17.99 coming out of my account, when I call Currys I’m having no luck.
‘This has been going on for three months, I want it cancelled and money refunded from.
‘I didn’t agree to product cover or sign anything.’
Christy Bruce added: ‘I have noticed I have been getting charged £8.49 for product support each month.
‘I was not aware of this charge or what it was for until I googled it and saw it was your company,
‘I don’t understand what the charge is for and would like it to be cancelled.’
Arthur Thompson added: ‘I am being charged twenty-two pounds per month after buying a TV on my bank statement but I do not know what for.
Currys replied to the complaints on the site, where they apologised to the customers affected and asked them to get in touch.
In March, consumer watchdog Which warned Currys PC World it was in breach of the law after more than 100 customers complained they were charged more than was advertised for products.
Between 2015 and this year, 108 people contacted the watchdog to complain of charges that were ‘not optional’ while making purchases at the electronics stores.
Customers have also hit out claiming direct debits have been set up without permission
They centred around the company’s ‘Knowhow’ service, which includes installation and backup support and costs around £40, with customers claiming they were not told they could turn it down.
A spokesman from watchdog Resolver said: ‘Hidden costs are fundamentally damaging for businesses because – though they bump up the profit margin – they destroy the trust and goodwill from their customers.
‘Increasingly, businesses are charging for things that people would have assumed were free or part of the deal, like installation costs, delivery – even collecting items in store!
‘At Resolver, we believe that the cost displayed should be the cost for everything, not the cost before the add-ons.
‘Most people aren’t going to collect and install their own massively heavy washing machine – then take the old one away!
‘So retailers should advertise the full price for the item and everything you might reasonably expect to be included.
‘At the moment, the options are very limited for people when it comes to retailers.
‘There needs to be a strong ombudsman service for the retail sector and a regulator with the power to fine firms that aren’t playing fairly.’
Currys PC World have been approached for comment.