“Would you like to be covered by our Extended Warranty Plan?” It’s one of “those” questions.
Three years ago we purchased a toaster oven. It came with manufacturer’s warranty of one year, which expired August 24, 2009. Two years later, in 2011, we received an offer in the mail to purchase an extended service/replacement plan for that toaster oven, which would “ensure our peace of mind.” The price for a one year plan: $97.32 ($103.17 if paying in installments). Two year plan: $157.17 ($184.04). Three year plan: $248.15 ($255.60). There is a 60-day waiting period after purchasing the plan before a claim could be submitted. The offer says, should our toaster oven stop working they would either ship us a new product, or if your product “can’t be replaced, we’ll issue you a cash settlement,” the amount of which is not specified.
So, we did a little price-checking online and found, as of 8/23/2011 without figuring in any discounts, coupons or sales, our KitchenAid Toaster Oven Model KCO1005OB was selling for $119.95. This means that only the “1-year” extended service/replacement plan would come even remotely close to being worthwhile, given…
1) …that there is no “fine print” that could potentially invalidate the claim.
2) …that our toaster oven would survive the 60-day waiting period. And that 60-day waiting period in actual real terms means this “1-year plan” is really a 10-month plan, not a 12-month plan.
3) …that there are no additional shipping and handling fees we might need to cover.
4) …that this offer is in fact, an honest offer and not a scam.
5) …that the toaster oven (or equivalent) is not available on the market at a price less than $97.32. ($103.17)
That’s a lot of “givens” and hardly worth it for a possible savings of $22.63 ($16.78) from the purchase price of a new toaster oven. As for their offer to give us a “replacement cash settlement”, we don’t even know how much or how little that would be. And if our toaster did continue working with no problems, that $97.32 (or $103.17) we actually would have spent on the policy would be money down the drain.
Now clearly this one incidence of an Extended Warranty offer is unquestionably not worth our consideration, but there are times when we’re not so sure, and we bet we’re not alone in that uncertainty.
We’ve all been there: we’re excited about that new (usually fairly expensive) item we’re just about to purchase. We’re finally ready to shell out the bucks. Then, the sales person asks us “The Extended Warranty Question” … and… we don’t really know how to answer. We’re in the grip of a pressure sales tactic. They know full well we want to get that new toy home and start enjoying it; money is no longer the main thing on our mind… protecting our investment is… and that’s when the salesperson suggests that we would be protected should this or that happen to our new cool gadget. And there it is, an awkward moment even for those of us who feel fairly clear in our general position regarding Extended Warranties.
I know I often have a “twinge” of doubt about refusing the extended service plan offer because nearly everything being manufactured now is electronic, computerized, technical-ized, digitalized, micro-chipped and liquid crystalized to the hilt; translation: I know I couldn’t even approach a do-it-yourself repair on my own. I also know I do not want to be stuck with costly repair bills, or having to purchase a completely new item before I had planned to.
Maybe sometimes an extended warranty plan is the right thing to do. Maybe it never is. How do you decide when and where to buy-in? What products are worth covering? Homes? Cars? Appliances? Electronics? Is there a difference between an Extended Warranty and an Extended Service Plan? The pointers in these videos will help you determine when an extended plan is worth it and when it’s not. And… they revealed a concept that we hadn’t even known existed: WHERE to purchase extended policies. That’s right, you don’t always have to purchase an extended plan from the place where you purchased the product. They also include important information on the warning signs of potential warranty scams.
Be ready before your next appliance, electronic gadget, tech, cellular, auto or toaster oven shopping trip with the pointers in these videos:
Extended Auto Warranties? David Rogers from the MondayMorningMechanic.com talks about the good and bad when it comes to auto extended warranties. What’s covered and NOT covered. What to look for in the fine print and scam warnings.
Warranties for Your Home, Worth It? - Just about everything you buy comes with some kind of warranty. And that could include your house. Are home warranties worth the money? MoneyTalksNews.com gives perspective.
Buy Extended Warranties for Tech? - Tips from Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com. on when an extended warranty might be worth it for tech and electronic devices.
Auto Extended Warranty Scam - Though this specific video was addressing a scam from a couple of years ago, scams like this unfortunately still exist. The rules here are good to take note of and follow as a general rule.
When & Where to Buy Extended Warranties – Vince Tseng, V.P. of Marketing for SquareTrade.com, discusses questions on extended warranties such as, when should you buy a warranty? From where? On what products, and at what price?
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