Private Covid test fiasco leaves customers hundreds of pounds out of pocket

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Approved providers feature on the Department of Health and Social Care’s website which is where marketing manager and single mother Agnes Kegl found 001Doctor.UK. She complained to Crusader after paying £340 for kits for herself and her son just before returning to the UK last month from her family’s home in Europe.

The first kits never turned up “and the second ones were five days late,” says Agnes.

“We were left facing indefinite quarantine until I bought a whole new set so we could leave isolation. In all it has cost almost £800.

“The company was impossibly difficult to contact and sent confusing emails. It’s awful, I’m a single mother and I just can’t afford to lose such a lot of money.”

A Facebook group cites similar distressing experiences with companies.

Agnes claims one part of 001Doctor.uk promised her a refund while another refused.

001Doctor.uk has now paused taking orders.

A recent check on Tuesday afternoon revealed it remained on the government’s approved list for tests to release for international travel and general coronavirus testing.

The company was also confirming the same on its answerphone message.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We do not endorse or recommend any particular private test provider for quarantine test packages.

“All private providers of Covid-19 tests must meet the minimum required standards and are reviewed by the independent United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

“The list of approved private test suppliers is published on gov.uk and continually updated to ensure those listed are meeting the required standards.”

001Doctor.uk has not so far responded to Crusader’s request for it to refund Agnes.

She has now started a Section 75 credit card claim through her bank Monzo. 

Echoing the views of others, “I thought ‘approved’ meant ‘recommend’,” reflects Agnes ruefully.

“I know the authorities are under pressure, but even so if people pay for a service but do not get it they should get the money they are owed. We were led to trust and the system needs sorting out.” 

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