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KnowHow is a new initiative from Dixons Retail that initially looked as if it were to provide service and support services for Dixons' consumer electronics and IT products but, as of 2012, has been looking to branch out into repairing large kitchen appliances or whitegoods.
As such and, since this is a new operation, not too much is currently known about the service or how it is to be operated by Dixons although the trade is obviously rife with rumour and speculation given that Dixons is the leading appliance retailer in the UK at the time of writing.
One of the bits of chatter that would appear to be correct is that KnowHow have been attempting to recruit engineers from Comet's service as it winds down. This has been said to have proved difficult though as comments from the engineers would indicate that low salary levels and poor conditions on offer have held some back from moving to the new Dixons Retail operation.
For the moment, with little engineer feedback and no consumer feedback it is not possible to offer much more information.
Repair Trade Perception Of KnowHow
On this we can offer a little more information but we will have to frame the story and provide background to the remarks so that they make sense.
In general there appears to be little love lost between Dixons and the independent repair trade in general with many accounts of dealings with the company spanning back decades. Most of the feedback is not at all positive.
In the 1990's Dixons set up an appliance repair division called Mastercare which was a known brand for service used on Dixons consumer electronics side, servicing televisions, radios, cameras and so on for some time. This was extended to repair primarily Servis and Philco branded appliances although it would engage in other brands on occasion. However it was short lived, lasting only a few years before the division was closed down.
What left a bitter taste with the independent repairers was the manner in which it was closed and, whilst working for Mastercare, how they were treated.
In order to seemingly compete with Comet and presumably have in home appliance service carried out cheaper, in around 2003/4 Dixons engaged NESN to carry out some in home service on their behalf under the Dixons extended warranty plan.
This led to a struggle between CDSL, then operating as repaircare and NESN which was bitter and protracted. Meanwhile Dixons remained silent and left repairers in the dark, some of whom were yet again reliant on the contract work to survive.
Then in 2012 Dixons decided to once again change the landscape by moving the contract held by repaircare, amid all sorts of rumours about wrong doing, over to becoming an in-house repair service and employing their own workforce of appliance engineers.
The level of trust that many repairers have with Dixons is incredibly low as they have changed direction several times seemingly with little or no regard for their subcontracted workforce.
That seems to have translated to becoming the way in which KnowHow (which some repairers refer to as "WhoKnows") is regarded by the independent repair companies.