I recently found some time while working at my law office and stumbled upon a great article written by Ellen Phillips of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Ms. Phillips wrote briefly about whether one should purchase extended warranty, especially when faced with the dilemma of either not buying one and having an expensive item break, or buying one and wasting money on an item that may not need foreseeable warranty repair work done on it.
Ms. Phillip’s answer to this dilemma is to have the consumer evaluate two factors before buying deciding on whether to buy extended warranty or not. First, the consumer should determine the specific services and coverages of the extended warranty terms, and second, the cost and value of the consumer’s peace of mind. Ms. Phillips pointed to a recent Consumer Report article that pointed out that the cost of extended warranties may be as much as the actual repair work itself.
Speaking of peace of mind, having extended warranty on a product such as a car does not guarantee that you will be worry-free. For example, if you bought a new car and have taken it in 4 or more times under the Texas lemon law and the service center is unable to properly diagnose the defect and fix it, then having additional extended warranty beyond the standard manufacturer warranty period is virtually useless.
At any rate, back to Ms. Phillips’ article,… one item that she pointed out that I find necessary to repeat is this… when you’re listening to the “extended warranty” pitch from the car salesman or the electronic sale associate, be sure to read the extended warranty contract on what it covers and do not rely on what the agent tells you. Remember, down the road when you sue to enforce the extended warranty, it is much easier and more convincing to the judge or jury if you have a written document supporting your position, rather than asserting the “he versus she said so-and-so to me when I bought it” claim.
Also, be sure to review the fine print carefully. Take note of any exclusion language and be mindful of what the extended warranty does not cover. Sometimes, you are paying for a warranty that has so many exclusions carved out of it that you are better off not spending money on a warranty that is not worth the recycled paper that it is printed on. The last thing you want is owning both a lemon car and a lemon extended warranty.
To read Ms. Phillips’ article, go here. Download file