Caught out by extended warranty

Many consumer electronic stores will happily sell you an extended warranty for whatever gadget you just purchased.

However, while they may use the term "warranty", these things seem more like a lottery ticket - they may only work once and you need some degree of luck (be it good or bad) to enact it.

Many of these warranties lure us in by saying they'll add "3 years" to the manufacturer's warranty.

But in fact all they do is "last for 3 years". They don't "work for 3 years".

Many of these things only work once. So if you make a claim at 13 months into your 36 month extended warranty that is it. The remaining 23 months are irrelevant.

A proper warranty would protect you the whole time. If that is what you want, you should make sure that is what you are getting.

I have, in the past, bought and used such "extended warranties".

They have a place IF you are careful and know what you are getting.

They also have a place IF you remember that you have them.

One of my job framing questions is about the age of a machine. If it seems like the machine is within the manufacturer warranty period then I will advise accordingly. I can assume most machines have a 12 month warranty, but I can't know about extended warranties. You need to tell me or I have to ask before the subject gets changed.

You need to remember that you bought this warranty and you need to know where the paperwork is. It isn't as easy as it sounds when you consider how many things the average household has and buys.

You also need to know, in the event of a failure, what will happen to you gadget and you need to be happy with that course of action.

Many of these extended warranties go to third parties, not the authorised repairers, and your device could be gone for weeks. Can you afford to be without "it" for an indeterminate period?

Even some manufacturers proper extended warranties have caveats that you may not like. If you are in business it probably isn't good enough that your computer gets sent somewhere for 3 or 4 weeks.

For these extended warranties to work YOU need to ask questions and do some homework.

Don't just assume that the words you hear mean what you think they do.

And, considering the work involved, they simply may just not be worth the hassle at all. Take the punt, get a new one if things break.


#insurance #warranties #extendedwarranties

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