In the past, product warranties have received a bad reputation. Some consumers saw them as an unnecessary and added expense. However, there are some valuable benefits to purchasing product warranties that consumers should consider, particularly as they begin shopping for major appliances and electronics.
After all, though most of us would like the products we buy to work indefinitely, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. Product warranties can help protect the consumer in those cases.
Product Warranty Basics
Many popular appliances and electronics including everything from refrigerators to LED TVs are covered by warranties from the manufacturer. These warranties come at no additional cost and are valid for a limited time. The amount of time the manufacturer's warranty covers replacement or repair of the item varies depending on the product.
In recent years the trend has been for manufacturers to cut back on the length of time initial product warranties are offered. As a result, extended warranties have become more prominent in retail stores. An extended warranty is often sold by the retailer. It's true that if nothing goes wrong with the item, the retailer will profit from the price of the extended warranty purchased.
However, extended warranties many times cover problems that are strictly the fault of the consumer including things like dropping fragile electronics and water damage. The only way to know for sure what is covered by a particular warranty is to read the fine print.
How to Protect Your Major Purchase with a Product Warranty
When you are trying to decide whether or not to purchase an extended warranty, the first thing you should consider is price. First, think about the price you paid for the original item and the price of the extended warranty. If you buy a DVD player for $75 for example, it probably doesn't make much sense to purchase an extended warranty that costs $30. However, the more costly the appliance or electronic equipment, the more sense it makes to protect your purchase with an extended warranty.
Another important fact that consumers should not overlook is that extended warranties can save a lot of hassle in the long run. Serving as a sort of insurance policy, the product warranty can cover you where manufacturer's warranties fall short. Trying to iron out the specifics of what's covered by the original warranty can be a pain. In many cases where consumers are buying a major appliance, there is peace of mind in knowing that your purchase will be covered in a wide range of circumstances.
Ultimately the decision is up to you as a consumer. However, before you buy an extended warranty it is highly recommended that you read the fine print first. Find out what specific limitations and exclusions are part of the warranty and know how long the warranty will be in effect. In some instances extended warranties overlap with the manufacturer's warranty, and in some cases they go into effect after the initial warranty expires.