Dixons Carphone Plc (LON:DC.) shares edged lower on Wednesday morning after the high street retailer was slapped with a £29.1mln fine for mis-selling mobile phone insurance. "We're committed to stay on that trajectory and to make sure all customers enjoy the right technology products and services for them".
Carphone had told staff to recommend its Geek Squad insurance and technical support product to shoppers even if they were already covered by home insurance or bank account policies.
A man looks at his mobile phone as he walks past a Carphone Warehouse store in central London
During the period under investigation, from 1 December 2008 to 30 June 2015, the company made regulated sales of Geek Squad policies worth over £444.7m.
The FCA said a high proportion of these policies were subsequently cancelled early. "In the past few years, whistleblowers have contributed critical intelligence to the enforcement actions we have taken against firms and individuals".
"The high level of cancellations should have been a clear indicator to the management of mis-selling", he said. Sales staff were also trained in "objection handling", focusing on overcoming customer objections rather than assessing whether the insurance was suitable for them. Customers who reckoned they might already be insured were advised to buy the policy and cancel in 14 days if they discovered they didn't need or want it, the FCA said.More news: Saudi Arabia rejects call for worldwide probe of Khashoggi murder
According to Retail Gazette, the FCA said the retailer "failed to properly investigate and fairly consider customer complaints".
Complaints from customers were not adequately followed up by Carphone Warehouse, meaning valid complaints were not upheld.More news: FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Severe storms possible this afternoon & evening
Carphone Warehouse's boss said the firm was "disappointed" it had fallen short in the past but that it was a "very different business today".
The penalty comes after parent firm Dixons Carphone revealed previous year it had suffered a massive data breach affecting the records of millions of its customers. It was the biggest penalty it has imposed on a retailer.More news: YouTube star Lilly Singh takes Carson Daly's late night spot