With the high cost of replacing a home appliance, we often think about purchasing an extended warranty or service plan. Home Advisor’s website reports the average cost to repair an ice maker is between $250 to $330. So, is the extended warranty really worth the money? This excerpt from a Consumer Reports article, ‘Extended Warranty Buying Guide’ makes a valid point,
“Buying a service plan may not only duplicate coverage you already have, it sends manufacturers a message that limiting their express warranties will increase the sale of service plans. You shouldn’t have to pay extra to get manufacturers or retailers to stand behind their products.”
Service plans may also have fine print that contains exclusions from coverage. Another can occur complicating things further is when the plan is outsourced to a third party leading to possible duplication of coverage or unsatisfactory repairs. Consumers actually have more warranty rights than they know. Another Consumer Reports article, ‘What You Need To Know About Warranty Laws’ states,
“Under a federal rule, retailers must let you read any written warranty for products costing more than $15. Based on what we’ve seen, some retailers or their sales staff either don’t know the law or ignore it.”
In today’s world, you get to the cashier and once the item is rung up for sale, you are asked if you want to purchase the extended warranty or service plan and given a price. This provides no time for you to review the plan to make an informed decision.
While shopping for these new items, look past what the item does and focus on the maker of the product and the warranty that comes with the product. It is easy to lose sight of this when you are comparing various optional features. Remember the intended use and decide if it will fit your needs. Often, a quick online search can open your eyes to how well a product has been received by previous consumers. Think about the item you are replacing. Were you satisfied with the current product you have been using and would you consider purchasing from that same brand line again?
Do your homework and buy reliable products, ask the store to provide you with the warranty information before you purchase and also inquire about the store’s own return policy.
Major appliance purchases are quite the investment. If you feel the store’s return policy is inadequate, try another retailer, or the warranty is too little, explore other brands. Take your time to purchase a product that best fits your needs, comes with an adequate warranty plan and from a retailer with a policy of standing behind their sales.