Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Appliance Warranties

Every time we buy a new appliance or piece of technology, we face that question, "Should be a warranty?"  In the past, we bought a warranty on the washing machine we bought and the refrigerator we bought when we moved into this house.

I've gotten pretty disillusioned with warranties the past few years.  Often the cost is on you to return to the manufacturer.  When we had a television go bad on us from Costco, it was a bear to get someone out to inspect the television.  The verdict ended up being that it was unfixable.  I think it took several months to get it resolved and get a check from the company so we could get a replacement television.

But, some companies have figured this out and they now offer warranties that they tout as "no deductible" and of great benefit.

Two years ago, we did decide to buy a 5 yr warranty on our side by side Samsung refrigerator.  The warranty cost $250, but because the refrigerator would be expensive to replace since it was a counter-depth fridge, we thought it was worth it.  This is one of those rare occasions when it was.

Two weeks ago, I called HH Gregg because the LED panel that shows the temperature/ice/water controls wasn't working properly.  The man asked all sorts of crazy questions (that were meant to deduce if the malfunctioning was my fault or not).  It wasn't my fault.  It was a glitch.  We hadn't done anything to it.  It was covered.  But, at the same time I asked about one of my refrigerator shelves that showed several cracks on the sides of it.  Verdict?  Not covered.  The new shelf, thankfully, only cost $61, including tax, and I was able to swap out the new and old shelves myself.

The cost of the new part and installation would have been about $500.  So we did get our money's worth this time.  But, most of the time breakage (statistically) happens right after the warranty runs out.

Last year, the computer in my oven went out.  I wish, wish, wish that I had just had it fixed instead of replacing the oven.  The oven barely fits in its spot and I dread the new one ever having to get replaced.  The repair would have cost $400.  I don't feel like I made the right choice on that one.  

We don't have a warranty on our television because the warranty would have cost half of the television price.  

Warranties are tough.  You gamble when you buy a warranty.  Will it break?  Or won't it? Will it break before the warranty runs out?  I once read that statistically, warranties are designed to run out right before an item is statistically likely to break!  What a discouraging thing to read!

I'm learning that with some appliances it's wise to get a warranty and some it's not.  I wish there was a way to know, but I think it has more to do with knowing how much it would cost to replace the appliance if something breaks on it, whether you could replace the appliance if you need to, how much repairs typically cost (and how likely they are to be needed), and how long you'll have to wait for it to be repaired.  

The LED panel on my refrigerator thankfully didn't affect its ability to dispense ice and water and monitor the temperature.  I did have to wait 2 weeks for the part and the repair after the initial visit.  A friend of mine had her washing machine fixed and it took 6 weeks for it to get repaired.  No matter how you cut it, it's crummy when an appliance breaks and we depend on it every day!  Repair time doesn't diminish if you have a warranty, the warranty just diminishes the cost.  

No comments:

Post a Comment