Friday, July 15, 2011

Keeping Track of Warranties

I got a letter last week from Maytag informing me that the warranty on the refrigerator we had purchased in 2009 was expiring this week. I knew that couldn’t be right. I distinctly remembered having purchased extended warranties on both the stove and refrigerator last year.

I flipped through my checkbook register and found entries for both a Frigidaire and some off name extended service program. For the off name, I’d paid $159 on June 30, 2010. No WAY that was for one year! (Maybe there are programs that cost that much; I don’t pay that much!) I drug out our trusty dusty home journal book where thankfully I HAD stored the warranty contract I’d received in the mail. (Instead of stowing it in the bill drawer which I would normally do and where it might never be seen again.)

It was definitely for our Maytag refrigerator. And it said the warranty was effective from July 10, 2010, through July 10, 2014! OK. Great. I wasn’t off the beam after all.

What I found out is that even though the mail I got had the Maytag logo on it, it may or may not have really been from Maytag. I pulled one of the letters I’d gotten last year soliciting the protection program I ultimately bought and it looked almost identical to the one I got last week.
(Just a different address and same coverage at cheaper rates.)

What I learned is that both the manufacturer and the retail outlet you buy from (in this case, Home Depot) either provide or contract with warranty service organizations. Apparently, they compete against each other for your warranty dollar.

So, before you purchase an appliance warranty, here’s a couple tips.

  • See if there’s another option available.

  • Know for sure WHICH organization you’re contracting with.

  • Keep any and all paperwork, including the check number or credit card info for your transaction.

1 comment:

Karen Anne said...

I was reading just the other day that warranty offers with misleading logos were one of the major scams. Some come from fly-by-night places where you're just throwing your money away.