By Ben Simmons

Major electrical retailers have lent their support to a campaign fostering competition in the UK’s £1bn extended warranties market, helping consumers ensure value for money.

Dixons, Comet and Argos have all committed to legal undertakings following an Office for Fair Trading study that found few consumers were well informed of their options, often leading to expensive and unnecessary contracts.

“Millions of extended warranties are sold in the UK each year and we remain concerned that, despite recent improvements, this market does not work as well as it could for consumers,” Ann Pope, Director in the OFT's Goods and Consumer Group. “We welcome the retailers' initiative in offering undertakings and we now want to hear from consumers and others whether they think these will lead to improvements.

The promised measures include improving the information these retailers provide to shoppers and the launch of a comparison website.

“If these undertakings are accepted by the OFT it would allow us to address the competition concerns more quickly and also reduce the burdens of further, detailed investigation.”

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