Warranty - How Good Is It?

So you have a one year warranty on that new TV or like product, and you bought the extended warranty, so your feel pretty protected right? Well you may not be.

Well you are not! Here are some things I have learned from experience.

Warranty - Things To Watch For - In Home Service

1) The dealer may abandon you after 30 days and tell you to call yourself. Make sure you have the number in advance at the time of sale.

2) How long does it take to respond? If your big screen TV quits, how long are you willing to wait for an appointment for them to 'look' at it, a week, a month - how long are you willing to do without your TV?

3) The factory will not get involved until their authorized technician has a look at it. (Do you see the endless circle beginning here?)

4) Factory contact numbers are usually not supplied in the manuals or warranty literature and are well hidden. Make sure you have that number in advance also. My apology and kudos to the manufacturers that do supply them.

5) Naturally the extended warranty does not apply until the manufacturers warranty ends, usually one year. So it is not their responsibility to respond until then.

6) If you do have to call the factory you will probably go through at least 20 minutes of button pushing and tell your story at least three times as they pass you from number to number.

7) If you have to call the manufacturer back, you will tell your story again and again, even though they pretend to record it during your first call.

8) Company systems are set up call centre style, so you rarely get to talk to the same person twice.

9) If you are unsatisfied and ask for one contact person, or an email address, the request is often refused.

10) You will be told by customer service they cannot do anything until your TV is looked at by their authorized representative, and to call the original authorized representative back. The circle continues.

11) Once a tech looks at it, and is unable to fix it right away, how long are you willing to wait for parts - three weeks, a month, several months?

12) Consider hidden costs if your product fails, phone calls are not toll free, premium digital service you can't use, a home theatre system that can't be used because the critical component isn't functioning, etc.

Parts and pieces stacked in your TV room while you wait.

Check these out before you buy!

My Recommendation If You Buy An Expensive Entertainment Product

a) Make sure you have a number to call for warranty work. Is it toll free?

b) Call that number to see if you get a real person or a call centre routine.

Call a second time to see if you can talk to the same person again.

c) Get an email address for customer support. Try it, see if you get an answer before you purchase.

(Watch for generic computer generated answers.)

d) Do some internet research for various company executive names.

Warranty Tips

1) Keep your receipts.
2) Staple them inside the front cover of the manual. (You do keep the manual, right?)
3) Keep receipts away from heat. Most are on heat sensitive paper. They will turn black if heated.

Investigate any warranty you rely on before you take the product home. You may end up changing your supplier if you do.


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