Should I Invest in an Appliance Warranty?


No matter where you go to purchase a new home appliance, chances are the vendor you decide to purchase from will offer an extended warranty for the product.  These warranties or “protection plans” are usually offered in increments of two, three, or five years.  So depending on the retailer you purchased from, and how much extra cash you’re willing to part with, you can have your new appliance protected for many years to come.  As you would imagine though, there are many pros and cons to investing in an extended warranty.  Consumer advocates such as Consumer Reports used to caution against purchasing these extended plans, but the industry, and the warranties themselves have changed, so that may no longer be the case.  Appliance makers used to offer extended warranties anywhere from five to 20 years beyond the purchase date, but only certain parts and repairs would be covered.  The more modern approach is for these companies to offer warranties only offered for up to five years.

There are still many benefits and advantages that come with purchasing an extended warranty though.  First and foremost is that a single repair can equal, or even go beyond the cost of the plan itself.  For example, if the refrigerator you purchased nine months ago breaks down and needs a new compressor, the cost of the warranty plan will almost certainly be less than the cost of the repair, or even the new part itself.  You can also take comfort in the fact that warranty companies only employ authorized servicers to work on their brand of appliance.  Unfortunately though, the old adage of, “they don’t make them like they used to,” rings true when it comes to new home appliances.  Competition between manufacturers, demand for new products, and the cost of manufacturing and components leads to new machines being not quite as reliable as units made 10 to 20 years ago.

Of course there are also some downsides to making the investment in an extended warranty.  The complaint we hear most frequently is in relation to how long it can sometimes take for a repair to be completed.  Warranty companies often scrutinize the diagnosis and work performed by the servicers they employ, and sometimes make it difficult for them to get paid for the work they do.  This in turn leads to a lapse in time between diagnostics, ordering and receiving parts, and completing the repair.  The longest of these being the amount of time it can take for a servicer to obtain the necessary parts for a repair, since they must usually come directly from the manufacturer instead of from local distributors.

Despite these pros and cons, over 50% of customers purchasing new appliances today will spend the extra money on an extended coverage plan.  If you count yourself as one of these customers, be sure to check the Better Business Bureau’s rating of the service company scheduled to take on the repair of your appliance.  When under warranty, you have the option to refuse any service company whose BBB rating or reputation is not up to par.  You can also request a service company of your choice if they are an authorized servicer of your brand in the area, so always request Lake Appliance Repair when scheduling a repair through your extended warranty plan!

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