Money Thinking of buying an extended warranty? Think again

18:54  28 november  2017
18:54  28 november  2017 Source:   thestar.com

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Think again . By Tara DeschampsSpecial to the Star. Mon., Nov. What should you do instead of buying an extended warranty ?

Share. Tweet. Pin. Email. Today. Mobile devices are especially vulnerable to accidental damage, which some extended warranties now cover. The owner of this iPhone 5 got a new phone through their SquareTrade protection plan.


After finally putting that fridge that was making those creepy gurgling sounds out of its misery, you comb through aisles at the local appliance or electronics store, finally settling on the perfect replacement.

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Don't Buy Extended Warranties . You'd be smarter to set aside the money you'd spend to cover repair costs yourself. Try again later. When you need to repair your car, refrigerator, computer, or a major system in your home, it’s comforting to think you won't have to break the bank to pay for the fix.

We bought an extended warranty for a refrigerator we bought at Home Depot. I wasted so much time on this that I would rather just organize and pay for service myself, rather than buy an extended warranty again that is "serviced" by Asurion!!

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You’re anxious to get it home when the salesperson launches into a speech about how cheap an extended warranty is, compared with all the disasters that might befall your new buy.

You're thinking there's no way your flashy new fridge will break any time soon, but you've also got visions of coming home to find all your food unexpectedly defrosted.

Most people are pushed into a quick choice, neglecting the details until their purchase goes on the fritz, so the Star asked experts what questions to consider when mulling over an extended warranty.

Are extended warranties ever a good idea?

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"I think it has changed people's minds about whether they should buy one or not," said Ty Shay, chief marketing officer at SquareTrade, one of the big players in the extended warranty market. Don't let anyone pressure you into buying an extended warranty .

Extended Warranty Buying Guide. Getting Started. 0 SHARES. Of course, you first should try your other options, such as contacting the manufacturer or retailer if you think the problem was the result of a defect, or using coverage you may have from your credit card.

“Sometimes, yes, but most of the time, no,” says the founder of howtosavemoney.ca, Stephen Weyman.

Pricy technology, such as the latest iPhone or a new vehicle, are “good candidates” because they’re expensive to buy and fix, are likely to break and can be difficult to do without.

Likewise, laptops “have few repair options if the motherboard gets damaged, whereas desktop computers can be fixed in pieces and are much cheaper to fix.”

Warranties on small items like batteries are rarely worth it, says Joanne McNeish, a Ryerson University associate professor of marketing.

To decide when to buy an extended warranty, she says to weigh how difficult and expensive it will be to replace or repair whatever broke with how much the warranty costs. The more costly and challenging, the more likely a warranty is a good idea.

What should you know about the extended warranty?

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Weyman says find out whether the extended warranty applies immediately or only after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, and whether you get an immediate replacement at the store or have to mail it away at your expense.

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“I think it has changed people’s minds about whether they should buy one or not,” said Ty Shay, chief marketing officer at SquareTrade, one of the big players in the extended warranty market.

Before you buy an extended warranty . Don’t ever feel pressured to purchase a plan at checkout. Really? I mean, come on. The only item that could make sense are very expensive cell phones. I see your 2015 study, but what do you think now?

Ask if the company will fix your item, give you a refurbished or new one or a refund, he adds. If they give a refund or replacement, the warranty might not cover the full value of the item or could be pro-rated by age or wear, as is often the case with tires.

If a replacement or a repair will take time to arrive or occur, he says, consider if you can be without the product. For a cellphone or fridge, that might not be feasible.

McNeish suggests asking if you will be charged if a repair person visits and the problem is not occurring, or if it’s something that was your own fault like a dryer not being connected to the right vent. Sometimes, she says, companies charge, even if the fix is free or no work is done.

Should you ever finance an extended warranty over time?

McNeish’s answer is “no, no, no.”

“If you can’t afford it at the time, don’t buy it.”

Meanwhile, Weyman says, “The only time it may make sense is if it’s on an expensive item like a new car,” and even then, he says, it isn’t always worth it.

What happens to your warranty if a store goes out of business?

When purchasing a warranty, McNeish says consider whether the company you are buying from will be in business for the plan’s full period. If you have doubts, it might not be the wisest buy.

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Think again . By Elisabeth Leamy Washington Post/Bloomberg. These unwritten warranties apply unless the product is marked “as is” when you buy it. Instead of shelling out for an extended warranty , put that money into a designated repair-or-replace savings account.

Read up on the IMS failure and think again if you think of buying a Porsche. Because Porsche has not addressed this issue publicly and will not grant potential victims an extended warranty or a free mechanical fix of the problem, many otherwise good used cars are now tainted.

When a company closes, they don’t have assets to finance warranties, she says, so “the liability is on the customer.” That means no more service for your product. If you haven’t finished paying off the warranty, you still have to cover those costs.

In the case of Sears Canada, which is going out of business, all warranties were cancelled on Oct. 18. If you purchased one 30 days before that date, you are eligible for a refund. If you financed your warranty with deferred payments in an EasyFinancial contract, you’re still on the hook for installments.

When should you cancel an extended warranty?

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Most people give a fair amount of thought to buying an appliance or an electronic device. But a warranty for them gets barely any consideration. If you do buy one, it will probably be out of emotion, fear or because the salesperson wore you down.

You can’t always cancel an extended warranty, but it might be a good idea, says Weyman, “if you aren’t getting any value from it” or “if you signed up in haste and realized there are a lot of exclusions.”

What happens if you cancel an extended warranty?

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Rules around extended warranty cancellations vary by province and company, says McNeish.

Pricy technology that's costly and complicated to fix such as a new vehicle may be worth covering with an extended warranty.© Dreamstime Pricy technology that's costly and complicated to fix such as a new vehicle may be worth covering with an extended warranty.

Often a cancellation comes with a fee and sometimes, a requirement to give 30 days’ notice. You also might not be paid back the full amount, but instead, a pro-rated total, McNeish says.

What should you do instead of buying an extended warranty?

Instead of an extended warranty, Weyman says you can rely on a manufacturer’s warranty that automatically comes free with your purchase or look at credit cards with extended warranty protection. The cards, he notes, are run like insurance, where claims are filed and paid out.

He and McNeish recommend putting aside money, so by the time your product breaks, you’ll likely have enough for its repair or a replacement. Weyman suggests the amount saved be 20 per cent of the purchase cost.

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