Appliance Repair

Are Appliance Repair Plans Worth it?



Some appliance technicians recommend them for today’s larger, more expensive Appliances Repair Wichita, while others suggest that regular maintenance is enough to keep appliances in top running order. The debate continues on whether extended appliance warranties are worth the cost.


For most large appliances sold today, appliance extended warranties are a good idea. Triminio says, “If you spend $800, $1,500, or $3,000 on an appliance, then it’s definitely worth getting one.”


Others, however, don’t think they’re worth the cost.


James Wright, a home inspector with Western Reserve Home Inspection in Cleveland, says, ‘I would say it is probably not worthwhile to get an extended warranty unless there is no way that normal maintenance will be done [on the appliance].’


For appliances that last from three months to up to one year, most manufacturers offer warranties. After that, if the unit breaks down, the manufacturer claims no responsibility, unless the customer has purchased an extended warranty.


At sales time, most retailers offer extended warranties, also called service plans. However, some manufacturers offer them during the first year before the original warranty expires.


Extended warranties vary in contract price and length. For instance, if purchased for a longer period of time, warranties may run for as little as one year or extend up to five or more years, and cost less.


Do extended warranties represent a good investment?

Twenty years ago, Triminio said that extended warranties would not be recommended for large appliances. Yeah. But now?


“Appliances are constructed a bit differently from what they used to be,” he says. “It cost $3,000 for some refrigerators and washers. And the components are so expensive because they all have computer boards for newer units. For a portion, it can cost $200 to $300.” He attributes energy-efficient machines to the high cost of parts that seem to break down more easily.”


Service plans are also being recommended by Ryan Haskell, manager of Nason’s Appliances in Crown Point, Indiana. He says that most service calls range from $200 to $400 for refrigerators. One call and you’ve made up more than the warranty price,” he says.”


If the item costs $500 or more, Triminio suggests consumers should think about buying an extended warranty. If it costs $800 for an appliance, he recommends purchasing one.


Are the extended guarantees a waste of cash?

Sometimes the additional costs aren’t worth it, technicians say. It is not worth spending $200 on an extended warranty if you buy a washing machine for $350, says Triminio, a former salesman for a large appliance company. He also advises clients to be wary of pushy salespeople.


He says of his previous experience as a salesman, “If I sold a $200 extended warranty, I would get $20 in commission.” “They’re going to start pushing it and make you afraid. They talk about how, after a year, it could break down. That’s why some people buy them—they get frightened.


During home inspections, Wright says he comes across few broken appliances, except in foreclosed homes. “Any device may suddenly fail, but most will give warning signs that they have problems, such as unusual noises,” says Wright. “Furnaces and air conditioners could be devices that could make sense of a warranty because they are costly to replace and it is not always obvious that something is wrong.”


Service plans often come with fine-print exceptions that, according to a Consumer Reports article, could cause a business to deny a claim. The same report also points out that during the two- to three-year period after the manufacturer’s warranty expires and the service plan is in effect, appliances seldom break.


What kinds are best for extended warranties?

For large appliances, two kinds of extended warranties are typically available: one offered by the manufacturer and one offered by a third-party company.


Triminio warns consumers to be wary of warranties from third parties.


“The advantage of the manufacturer getting an extended guarantee is that they are in the business of fixing appliances,” he says. “We’ll probably have to buy parts for it if it’s through a third party, and send another company to diagnose the problem.”


Triminio adds that dealing with third parties is more difficult because technicians often have to call a 1-800 number and take several questions from an operator who works for an insurance company over the phone. He says customers have more difficult times working with third parties as well.


“It is a smoother procedure to work through the manufacturer,” he adds. “The process is treated by the manufacturer like a normal claim.”


Roberta Howarth