A little while ago I bought a product and an extended warranty – it is very rare that I buy extended warranties but this was one of the very few items where it seemed worth it.
As the warranty approached its expiry date, I got a letter from Domestic & General inviting me to extend it for another year. To send me a letter offering an extension for another year seemed reasonable and I had no objection to this.
Unexpected Phone Calls
Less reasonable was that I noticed several phone calls from UK number 0800 444 231. I screen my calls and do not answer the phone unless it is a number I recognise – this helps cut down on disturbance by sales calls & scams. But I do tend to check who the number belongs to and a quick Google search indicated these calls were from Domestic & General.
The search results also revealed people complaining they been plagued by calls from this number, receiving repeated sales calls despite asking them to stop.
I contacted their CEO, Alex Labak, to complain about their unsolicited calls – to which I had no recollection of consenting – and instructed them to acknowledge my instructions regarding my data privacy. To be fair I got a very prompt response agreeing to arrange for no further contact from them – and to date they have honoured that request.
It is worth noting that I did challenge them to provide proof of any consent for them to contact me for marketing purposes (warranty extension) and they have so far failed to provide this.
Justification for Phone Calls
They did suggest it was easier for their customers to renew over the phone. Whilst it is true that some customers may find it more convenient to renew by phone, those that wish to do so can contact Domestic & General on their Freephone number 0800 561 4493.
It is certainly not a justification for them making direct marketing calls to customers. Any organisation making this type of call needs to be able to prove they had consent (see Information Commissioner’s Guidelines).
If you need to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner about unsolicited calls from any company, you can do so here.