Carphone’s reputation takes a hit from £29m fine for mis-selling | Nils Pratley

Watchdog’s finding is a terrible blow for a business built on the idea that it’s the punter’s friend

Remember those sunny days of 2014 when the managements of Dixons and Carphone Warehouse unveiled their “genuine” merger of equals? The fit was perfect, the executives agreed, and Carphone’s mobiles would soon be communicating with Dixons’ fridges. The 50:50 merger terms were declared to be fair to both sets of shareholders.

No they weren’t. Half a decade later, Dixons makes the money and Carphone is barely profitable. Now the latter is disgorging an ugly mess in the form of a £29.1m fine from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for mis-selling Geek Squad, an insurance and technical support policy. The geeks, it turns out, were encouraging customers to buy a policy many didn’t need; home insurance or bank accounts provided the same cover.

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