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Home Appliance Warranties

As we near the first anniversary of moving into our home, we also approach the expiration of the warranties for most typical home appliances. Before they expire, we’ll be looking carefully through all our appliances to see if any of them need any kind of servicing.

So far we’ve been fortunate in the condition of our appliances, but there have been a few problems. The freezer had multiple problems upon installation of the ice maker: dented door, missing parts, incorrect instruction diagram, broken part. Finally we got it working. Now the matching refrigerator has a problem with a wiggly handle. I’ll be calling the company this week to get the service scheduled, so that we don’t have to pay for it.

As for extended warranties, I just don’t believe in them. If an appliance is inherently problematic, it is most likely to breakdown in the first few months of use. If it’s not, it should last for years without service

Remember, the companies that sell extended warranties make a living by selling warranties. In other words, they make more money from the warranty than they send out in service calls. Certainly, if you’re unlucky, you’l be glad you paid for the extra cash. But in all likelihood, you’ll never use the service you paid for and it will be money down the drain.

When considering the return on investment, remember that losing an appliance isn’t like losing your life. It’s a recoverable incident. Rather than pour your money into extended warranties, put the same money in a savings account. Self insure. Then, if you have an unusual appliance incident on day 366, you’ll have the cash to replace the appliance right at hand. And if you don’t, well, you’ve got the cash for something else.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • bar November 1, 2011, 9:29 pm

    I agree with your assessment on extended warranties. As the owner of Western Appliance Repair, located in Boise Idaho, I can attest that extended warranties are un-needed. If you pay Sears 299.00 for a years warranty you will be paying too much. Most repair fall under 299.00 and the repairs rarely happen every year. So, over a 10 year period you have paid 2, 999.00 for a 300-1200 dollar appliance. Not good. Also, please consider that the companies that are working for extended warranty companies do so for dirt cheap. That means the company that arrives at your home is making about 70.00 per repair. Are you going to expect polite, a technician that takes his time, promptness, a professional? How much can that appliance repair technician be paid for the company to still make a profit. Believe me folks, the technician will do the least work, will be working as fast as he can, and many times they will be under-trained. …your choice though.
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  • Sofia January 8, 2012, 6:42 am

    it is unlikely that the product will break, malfunction or need repairs during the lifetime of the extended warranty. The average length for an extended warranty is around two to three years depending on the product. Many manufacturers build products to last, and constantly having products break down over a short couple of years tarnishes a manufacturer’s reputation.

  • Nicole January 25, 2012, 8:35 pm

    Good point on just putting the money intended for extended warranties in your savings account. With regards to extended warranties, it is important to consider who is going to be using the product. If you are sure that the people who will use it are “careful” people, then there’s no point going for the extended warranty. But if “careless” people are the ones who are going to use the item, it might be wise to get the extended warranty.

  • Jessica February 6, 2012, 7:52 pm

    Very informative article on home appliance warranties.

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