We've been putting together a new server for Exchange 2010; the first try got us a machine that didn't do hardware virtualisation. (How can anyone sell a server that doesn't have hardware virtualisation support in this day and age?) Once we had a more capable system it was time to stock up on memory and storage and we turned to Crucial and Scan as usual.
Scan practically spammed me with notifications and receipts and invoices; I counted five mails from them within half an hour. Sadly, I didn't pore through the details of one of them carefully enough and it wasn't until I looked at the paper invoice that I found a £4.38 charge for insurance. Insurance? It can't be delivery insurance or just doesn't work insurance; the carrier and my credit card already take care of those. So what's it for? When I complained about it, Scan said "Scansure is 28 day damage cover, in the event that any of the components covered by this are damaged during installation. Further details can be found at http://www.scan.co.uk/Scansure/Index.aspx". So it's insurance against you being stupid enough to break the thing you bought when you fit it.
And how did it get on the order, when we're sure we ticked the box to say we didn't want it? And why isn't it opt out? (Isn't it a legal requirement for optional charges to be opt in rather than opt out?)
I mailed Scan back (after a few days the mail bounced saying the account was suspended; I resent it) and got a reply saying they'd tried to phone us and explaining why the insurance is there. "The whole idea behind this cover is to make it very cheap. It's designed to encourage people to build their own PCs, and has the additional benefit to us of simplifying the RMA process. Our research revealed that over 70 percent of RMAs happen within the first 28 days. It's hoped, that by taking the fear out of building a PC this will in turn boost the component market. This is a brand new product, that hasn't been seen anywhere else in the IT industry. Whilst we agree that the cover is added by default when initially checking out a basket of components. It is very easy to opt out by proceeding to the next page, and at 'Step 1' choosing to remove the additional fee from the order." Apparently, at some point we must have clicked back in the browser and this was enough to add the insurance back in again.
Scan can't refund the charge 'because the order has shipped' (again, I thought all insurance had to come with a cooling off period during which you could cancel). My politely worded complaint resulted in an offer of an equal discount against a future order - but that means I'd have to want to shop with them again. As far as I can see, this insurance is great for Scan - and if it was an optional, opt-in thing great for nervous upgraders; I don't see what it has any benefit for me and making it opt out is - as Google can tell you - just not good enough.