Do You Buy the Warranty?

Over the last few years in this house we’ve bought a number of appliances, a number of large furniture pieces, and a few different electronics (TVs mostly). And I’m always stumped when it comes to the warranty. When do you buy it? When do you skip it?

I feel like this is akin to rolling the dice. You could buy the warranty and have a perfectly good appliance that lasts for years and you never need it! Or, you could pass on the warranty and then have your appliance shit the bed exactly one year and one day after you purchased it. It’s a total crap shoot!

So, here are my (extremely non-scientific and non-official) guidelines for when you want to buy the warranty!

PHONES

Jesus eff Christ – buy the insurance on your phone. Just last week I dropped my phone. Picked it up, saw the screen wasn’t cracked and thought “Oh, good, it’s fine.”

Nope. It was not fine. It would not turn on at all. I did not have insurance on this phone. Because of course I didn’t. I called my husband (from a land-line, like an old) and asked him what I should do and he immediately sent me links to new phones I could purchase.

However, those phones were all over $700. So, I figured, what could be the harm in calling Google about my phone even though I knew I had purchased it over a year ago.

Turns out, no harm! Because I called and they said that they would send me a replacement phone for free despite the fact that my phone was out of warranty. Maybe because I am a good customer? Maybe I just got someone at customer service that was having a good day. Regardless, I got a new phone and I didn’t have to pay $700. You can bet your butt, though, that I now have insurance on this phone. And one of those cases that looks like I’m preparing to take my phone into a war zone. You guys, going 36 hours with a phone was awful.

ELECTRONICS – TVs and SUCH

This is where my husband and I disagree. I always want to buy the warranty on the TVs, but he says it’s not worth it. He says if the TV dies after a year (which is how long most things are covered under a manufacturer’s warranty) that by then the price of the same exact TV will have come down enough that you’re better off buying a new TV then getting a replacement that’s probably a refurb.

APPLIANCES

My rule of thumb here is that if it’s over $1000 or it has computer components, you should be the warranty. Lots of new appliances like Samsungs and LGs have computer pieces to them that are extremely difficult for regular repairmen to fix.

Whereas appliances like dishwashers or dryers or things like that are usually things that, if broken, can be fixed by an appliance repair man for less than the cost of the warranty.

At least – that’s the way that I look at it. We’ve only had one “lemon” appliance and that was a $400 dishwasher. I didn’t have the warranty at the time and it was “unfixable” according to our appliance guy, so I purchased a new one based on his recommendation. I’m pretty happy with it, and it’s been going strong for three years now.

FURNITURE

This is tough. We have three dogs. Things get beat up in our house since the dogs are allowed on the furniture. But recently we purchased a new bathroom vanity with a marble top. Since it was pretty pricey and the warranty covered chips and nicks in the top, I figured it was worth the $60 to get the warranty.

But with couches and beds and things like that – it really depends on how you live your life. Do you have kids that are really hard on furniture? And does the warranty cover broken springs or slats? If, so, it might be worth it. If it’s just you and you know you treat your furniture nicely, then maybe the warranty is not worth it. You’ll have to decide that on your own.

UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE GETTING

My only caveat with all of this, though, is to make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting when you buy a warranty. What exactly does it cover? Some of these warranties only cover extremely specific and unlikely circumstances, which can make them pretty worthless.

So definitely read the fine print and make sure you store all the warranty information in a place where you won’t lose it.

Got any good warranty stories? Or horror stories? Drop me a line in the comments or leave me a note at basicbgettingrich@gmail.com

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