If you’ve ever walked into a store to buy an appliance or electronic device, you’re sure to get the hard sell on a warranty for your new refrigerator, dishwasher, TV, computer or Smartphone. You’ve already made a large outlay for the item, and now you’re wondering just what you should do about the warranty. Here are a few things to ponder when you look at warranty offers.
Show Me the Money
Preventing Installation Issues
The first rule of thumb in keeping your appliances up to par is making sure the item is working well in the first place. When the delivery guys come to install your refrigerator, for instance, check to see if the item is in good working order before they leave. You may need an electrician or plumber to install your gas stove or dishwasher. Watch the installation process, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Before you shell out the cash for an extended warranty, check out the price of the contract. Remember to haggle and see if there’s some wiggle room on the cost. Weigh the annual cost of the warranty against the cost of replacing the item. Most warranty offers on smaller and less expensive appliances just don’t make sense. Plus, if you consider all of the items you could have coverage for, it might set you back a pretty penny. So, you need to decide what’s worth covering. Cell phone coverage, for example, can be pretty pricey. If you happen to have a top of the line and very expensive Smartphone, it just might be worth considering. But the decision is, ultimately, up to you. Don’t be pushed around by the salesperson.
Read the Fine Print
Whether they call it a warranty, service contract, protection plan, or insurance, it’s all essentially the same. No matter the coverage, you need to get the details of what it covers and what it doesn’t. Make sure you know the length of the manufacturer’s warranty that comes for free when you purchase the product. Know who will provide service on the appliance if it breaks, and find out just how quickly they will respond. It can be a big issue if your hot water heater goes on the fritz in the middle of the winter, and your repairman can’t get there for days. And, remember, if your service contract gives you access to a number of registered repairmen in your area, and you happen to have a horrible repair experience, you can always call back the service number and ask if there’s a different repair company for the follow-up call.
How Long Will It Last?
The life expectancy of your appliance certainly depends on how much you use it and the quality of the item. If you’ve got a lemon on your hands, changes are it will go bad after a very short time in use. It will probably still be under the free manufacturer’s warranty that comes with the original purchase price.
Today, most appliances and electronic devices are pretty reliable. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, washing machines have a life expectancy of five to fifteen years on average, while dryers may last up to thirteen years. So, most extended warranties go unused. The choice, of course, is yours. But why waste money on a very unlikely event, especially when the money could be better spent elsewhere. It does help to look for reviews of appliances and electronic devices before you buy. The cheapest appliance might not be the best bet in the long-term. Check out major magazines and reputable online sites for information on the reliability of the specific brand and model of appliance or electronic device you’re planning to buy.
Call Your Utility
Before you step foot in a store, call your local gas and electric company and find out the cost and scope of covering the appliance you plan to buy. Many gas and electric companies offer service contracts on furnaces, hot water heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, cook tops, wall ovens, stoves, and the like. Find out the limits of the coverage, if you can. And, remember, even if you decide not to purchase the store’s extended warranty, you can buy a service contract from the gas and electric company later. And, unlike having a number of different warranties for each and every appliance, you can bundle your coverage with your local utility and get protection for a variety of items in your house. Also, remember that depending on your credit card company, if you purchased the appliance or electronic with the card, you might have limited extended warranty already in place. So, check the terms of your credit card. A short search online can also turn up a ton of outside companies offering extended warranties on a variety of products. But buyer beware! Do your homework before you purchase it.
Need a home to put new appliances in? Just call Earl @ 770-377-5793 or email: EARL@EARLPARK.NET