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  #1  
Old 08/16/08, 01:39 AM
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When I am shopping at Sears, when should do protection plans?

Seems like most items at Sears, they offer a master protection plan, my question is what items do you really need these extended warranties?

I've heard that Sears makes much profit on selling warranties, for example they tried to get me a extended warranty on my Shop Vac.

I've bought two warranties from Sears, one was on a watch, and the other was a dual orbital sander.

I never had anything that had a defect or malfunctioned, so

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  #2  
Old 08/16/08, 05:29 AM
 
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all information I've read says do not buy extended warrenties.
problems usually show up quickly while under the usual warrenty

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  #3  
Old 08/16/08, 06:07 AM
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I buy them on my riding lawn mowers and major appliances. If you live in an area with lots of power fluctuations, the extended warranty/service agreement will be a pocket book saver.

My friend has had replacements of his kitchen range, two refrigerators, several microwaves, several riding lawn mowers.

I've had free service on water softeners, lawn mowers, etc.

I like 'em!

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  #4  
Old 08/16/08, 06:55 AM
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We never purchase the extended warranties on anything. If I was afraid that brand or something would break I wouldn't purchase it in the first place.

Seriously, the company makes LOTS of money off of the service plans and the sales rep gets a commission if they can talk you into one. (My dad works part time there).

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  #5  
Old 08/16/08, 06:58 AM
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I heard a speaker who was an expert on consumer protection say the only product that you should buy one for is a laptop.

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  #6  
Old 08/16/08, 07:29 AM
 
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It can be a toss of the coin, whether or not these extended plans are worth while. My dh and I finally decided that $500 was the cut off point. If we spend less than $500, then we would replace the item and not pay for a repair. If we spent more, we would buy the warranty and repair. So far it has generally been a good thing. Just this past week, our Bosch dishwasher went down for its second repair. The first was during the 1 year warranty, and now this one about 8 months out. The extended plan cost $146 for the 4 years (and it included our then new range). The repair on the Bosch is $245. This time we won as it is totally covered.

This approach works for us.

Chris.

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  #7  
Old 08/16/08, 07:47 AM
 
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Many states have implied warranty statutes, which trump the express warranty (ie the written warranty on a particular item); these give you specific rights as a consumer, depending on your state. For example, in my state, any NEW consumer good (personal, not business equipment) besides a used car--from blenders to refrigerators to boats--is covered for four years from the date of purchase, regardless of what the manufacturer's or retailer's written warranty states. So if I buy a cordless drill with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty and it dies 3 1/2 years later, the retailer or the manufacturer has to repair or replace it free of charge. That is the cost of doing business with citizens of my consumer-friendly state. Course, the businesses are still allowed to sell protection plans and most people don't even know implied warranty laws exist, and that's probably the deal the state struck with the retailers: we won't advertize the existence of the laws and you respect them when a saavy citizen asserts their rights under them.

So find out if your state has implied warranty laws. That's the best way to make a decision about whether or not to buy a protection plan.

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  #8  
Old 08/16/08, 01:18 PM
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I would never buy them.

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  #9  
Old 08/16/08, 01:42 PM
 
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All the data I've seen indicates that an extended warranty is almost always a moneymaker for the company selling it. I have never bought one, and never needed one...Glen

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  #10  
Old 08/16/08, 02:12 PM
 
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Absolutely DO NOT buy Sears warranty. Most recently, on two service calls placed under both original warranty and purchased extended warranty on our washing machine, service was not available for 10 to 14 days. Service had to be obtained elsewhere as we could not wait two weeks for service.

Prior to that, we had purchased warranty on the Sears garden tractor. They refused to fix the problems with it and DH had to rebuild the transmission after their extended warranty programme expired.

Provincial law states that hot water heaters must be warranted for I believe it is five years. Sears offers one year warranty only here on their hot water heaters. They then tried to get me to buy extended warranty...I had to explain the finer points of the legislation to them.

Take the gamble and go without. That way you are open to contact ANYBODY to do the repairs.

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  #11  
Old 08/16/08, 02:52 PM
 
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My hubby bought one on our front loader washer. In the first year we had to have a door latch replaced which was completly covered and then we locked it, didnt even know it could be locked. They repaired the door latch which alone cost more than the extended warranty by the time parts and labor. They also came and unlocked the lock and we werent charged for that either even though it was our mistake. Both times we have somebody here within 2 days.

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  #12  
Old 08/16/08, 03:38 PM
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Good advice, a little mixed. The $500 rule seems like a great Ideal.

BTW who does the repairs for Sears? If it's Sears home central, then I can see how it would take a while, since there is like one rep in a given area, and if he is busy, your on a waiting list.

Is there a website anywhere that will list your states information concerning expressed and implied warranties?

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  #13  
Old 08/16/08, 03:57 PM
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well after being bilked out of nearly $800 on air compressors at Home depot (their warantees are worth a thing) I have a porter cable and a ridgid compressor that bit the dust after 16 hours .
I went and bought a 2 year walk in exchange policy on the 6.5 HP gas engine at harbor freight

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  #14  
Old 08/17/08, 09:44 AM
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I have purchased them on major buys and glad too since when the manufacturers warranty ran out and the item broke, it was fixed or replaced for free!
I noticed most manufacturers warranties are not that long anymore. 1 year on a washing machine isn't enough.

I buy the extended when its a higher ticket item and the manufacturers warranty isn't for several years and unlimited!
Limited warranties can cost a lot even shortly after purchase. Some don't ever include labor...a big cost.
Some cover labor and parts but only for a short time.
Some exclude certain parts like the motor!
Some want you to send the item to them, another potential big cost and higher risk if something happens in transit.

You have to read and compare then choose if its a benefit of protection to buy an extended warranty.

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  #15  
Old 08/17/08, 11:07 AM
 
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Except for electronics, I haven't found anything I couldn't repair myself.

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  #16  
Old 08/17/08, 12:17 PM
 
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About the only thing I buy a warranty for is expensive laptop computers and rear projection televisions.

The only ones I buy for notebook computers is the one that also pays for accidental damage like screen breakage. That can really save your bacon. If it's a cheap laptop under 500 or 800 I wouldn't bother but when it's a 2000 dollar notebook I spend the extra hundred or two and get the protection. It has saved me a bunch of money on a couple of occasions.

Rear projection TVs can be a bit fragile and cranky so I get the extended warranty with those too as long as it covers bulbs. I didn't renew mine last time even though it was only 100 bucks or so for 2 or 3 years. Sure enough a few months later a board goes out. Now it costs more to fix than it's worth. If I'd have kept the warranty they'd have fixed it for free. Only good thing is now I have an excuse to go buy a new TV better than the one i had.

As a general rule though extended warranties are a losing proposition. They're big money makers for the stores that sell them though which is why they push them so hard. I went to best buy a year or so ago and bought a cheap DVD player. 100 bucks or something. They wanted me to buy an extended warranty with it. Not hardly. With a few exceptions, once a piece of electronic gear has had a chance to go through a few operating cycles and get heated up and cooled down a few times it's gonna last pretty much until obsolescence.

I've had people tell em places have even pushed extended warranties on shoes and clothing they've bought.

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  #17  
Old 08/17/08, 01:26 PM
 
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In early 2003 we bought a front load washer, from Lowes for about $700, and bought the 10 year extended warranty. Within the 1st year the door latch had to be replaced.

At about the 14 month period the pump went out. Shortly before that happened we had moved here to the middle of nowhere where the closest service person is 60 miles away (they actually had 2 service people refuse to come and they were only 45 miles away). Got this fixed and about 2 months later the pump went out again.

This time I called and told them I didn't want the same guy out that had fixed it the last time (long story). After the warranty people (not Lowes) refused to acknowledge that request I called Lowes in Wilkesboro and talked to customer service who then put me on a 3-way call with the manager of our nearest Lowes store (85 miles). They both listened and then told me to bring the old washer back and get a new one. We took it straight up there and I ended up with a brand new washer, the pedestal (which I didn't have before) and a NEW 10 year warranty plus they gave me back $$ (something like $6-8) because the washer had been discontinued and was marked down.

The original warranty cost about $150. It paid for itself on the 1st service call and I still have 6 years left on this new washer - which incidentally hasn't had a single problem in 4 years.

In March this year we bought a $2500 Maytag refrigerator from Lowes for $1150 and bought the extended warranty. Hope to not have to use it but I trust Lowes to make it right if we do.

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  #18  
Old 08/17/08, 04:14 PM
 
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We've never purchased an extended warranty. Very seldom do they actually pay. When a Sears salesperson was pushing way too hard for us to buy their extended warranty, my dh said that if their product was that bad we'd better not buy it and we went elsewhere. We have had Sears appliances since 1960's. They have always been excellent products. However, without fail their service has always been terrible. We no longer own any Sears appliances except for our 32 year old deep freeze.

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  #19  
Old 08/17/08, 04:33 PM
 
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I thought of one other extended warranty purchase that WAS with something we bought from Sears.

We bought one of those $1200 elliptical machines several years ago. About a month after the regular warranty expired the LED display stopped working. We called and the warranty people sent the part and the repair man came to the house within a couple of days and fixed the machine. He also greased and tightened parts while he was there.

Last year when we moved the machine was in storage for several months. When we got it put back in the house it wouldn't come on. Called and the warranty people sent the part and again, the repair people were there within just a couple of days to fix the problem.

In the first case, the cost of the house call would have been more than the extended warranty (they came from Odessa, 130 miles away). In the second case, it was 50 miles. The warranty paid for itself with the first call.

I think you go by the cost and just make your decision based on the product and the factors for your individual purchase. In our case, because we are so rural, house calls to repair machines can be more than the cost of the extended warranty. It makes sense on big ticket items.

D.

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  #20  
Old 08/17/08, 05:42 PM
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To me: Never buy an extended warranty. If its bad workmanship, it should die within the manufacturers warranty period - otherwise its up to me to make sure I don't abuse it.

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  #21  
Old 08/17/08, 09:26 PM
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I worked at an office supply retail store that sells the extended warranty. There are a few things to remember about them. On the ones there, the extended part starts after the manufacturer's warranty expires. If something happened you called the number and they would send you a gift card with the amount of purchase plus tax for you to purchase another one. This is a good idea with certain electronics like printers. You can usually get another printer that is better than the old one due to changes in technology. Also, the warranty is good for normal wear and tear and accidental damage. With 3 kids and a husband thats a good thing. Our cordless phone has walked outside and into dog's mouths more than once.

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  #22  
Old 08/17/08, 11:17 PM
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always buy the extended warranties for any new tv over 500 bucks if you dont you be sorry you didnt. i repair tv's for a living and i am a warranty station for most of them and none of them are that good anymore

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  #23  
Old 08/18/08, 06:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faithful One View Post

Is there a website anywhere that will list your states information concerning expressed and implied warranties?

Just google, "*your state* implied warranty statutes" and you should be able to find it. Express warranties are the warranties you get from the manufacturer, so those are moot when your state has implied warranty laws. In my state, the attorney general's office has a consumer protection division, but in other states there may be a separate agency.

Until you know your state's laws, the advice you've received here is random and anecdotal at best, bogus and potentially damaging to your wallet at worst. This thread just goes to show you the "buyer beware" concept, since many of the people here who advise purchasing extended warranties on certain purchases live in states that have implied warranty laws. They would be better served lighting the money on fire to heat their home this winter instead of giving it to Sears to keep their corporate headquarters toasty.
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  #24  
Old 08/18/08, 07:43 AM
 
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They are almost always a terrible idea. Think of it this way. If you were the retailer, would you be offering this extended warranty if it cost you money? Of course not! They are a HUGE cash cow. They are literally almost pure profit. So much that the sales people at most stores get a kickback when they sell one, which is why they are so pushy about selling them.

In a recent Comsumer Reports issue they covered extended warranties and came to the same conclusions. More often than not, the covered product did not break. And if it did, it was often a hassle to get the company to cover it. Overall better to save your money and take your chances, or take the extra that the warranty would cost and put it towards the purchase letting you buy a higher quality item that's less likely to cause you problems.

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  #25  
Old 08/18/08, 09:03 AM
 
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With Sears it will depend on where you live. Better to ask around locally. I have heard wonderful things and horrible things and I have lived the horrible. We will never buy another thing from Sears ever.

When we moved here I got my first NEW appliances - dw, front loader, drier, all fridge, upright freezer...

Sears was out multiple times on my dw (turned out there was a recall on that part pump/motor) so they fixed it and again... and again I think... the last time it was a certain repairman who seems to believe it is always the customers fault and he called it customer error and would have been $300 to repair it. No thanks.

front loader out several times on including 1 complete rebuild... repairman noted you can not fill them like they say... not even 2/3 full... 1/2 full is the MAX (they take so long to come out dh bought me a backup washer from a local store... NO problems with it so it is NOT us)

then there was my all fridge.... it went out the first of April.... it took 11 weeks to get it repaired...

Here is how it works with Sears if you are in the country...

you call the service #
ask for a service call explaining the problem
oh.. we only service your area on Fridays... next available appt is a week from Fri (8-13 days away)
they come out look yep it is broken it needs x part... we'll have it shipped to you and be back out in 2 weeks to fix it..

NOW if that does not fix it... it is another week or two and repeat and repeat...

and I spoke to everyone up through their national complaints office.. no satisfaction.

BUT I will say people in other areas have been quite pleased... but a good friend 4hrs from me (different service center... also rural) had the same experience.

We now buy from a local furniture store and are very very pleased.

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  #26  
Old 08/18/08, 10:53 AM
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Sears Hot Water Heaters

Sears also has "built-in" extended warranties for some of their products, for example thier hot water heaters. I remember going to Sears many years ago with my Dad to buy a new gas hot water heater. Thre modesl were on display. One had a 2-year warranty for a low price. Another came with 5-year warranty at a higher price. And the most expenisve model had a 10-year warranty.

I said to Dad, "I suppose I should buy the "best" one with the 10-year warranty." Now Dad was a plumber. He looked over the three HW heaters and said, "They all are identical heaters, they just use different trim colors."

I bought the cheapest model (2-year warranty). That was over 20 years ago. The heater is still working in that house.

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  #27  
Old 08/18/08, 11:04 AM
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I bought an extended warranty with my fridge. Haven't needed it yet.

I had a Compaq notebook computer that started giving me grief at about 9 months after purchase. It was dying and wouldn't restart. I sent it in for repairs 5 times before the warranty was set to expire The service manager was working with refused to replace it despite repeated requests. On the day it expired I bought the extended warranty I called in and my service manager was out that day so they assigned me to a new one. This guy was great! Not only replace it. He also upgraded it. I got a newer model, faster processor and bigger HD. I am very happy with the new notebook, and I was never happy with the old one. Plus, although I only paid for a 1 year extended warranty, the service manager extended that to three years!

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  #28  
Old 08/18/08, 11:42 AM
 
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I buy for big ticket stuff. Just got a new frig on extended warranty from the old one.......

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  #29  
Old 08/18/08, 01:05 PM
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From Sears I wouldn't even buy an appliance anymore. When the dishwasher broke it was about 3 weeks before they could come out...then "well the technician called in sick let me reschedule you in a month" After moving up to a manager they got it down to 1 week later but it required parts so they send the parts to the local place and reschedule after they arrive another 2 weeks later.

I mentioned this at the store when I was there for another reason and they didn't care.

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  #30  
Old 08/18/08, 07:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pink_Carnation View Post
From Sears I wouldn't even buy an appliance anymore. When the dishwasher broke it was about 3 weeks before they could come out...then "well the technician called in sick let me reschedule you in a month" After moving up to a manager they got it down to 1 week later but it required parts so they send the parts to the local place and reschedule after they arrive another 2 weeks later.

I mentioned this at the store when I was there for another reason and they didn't care.
That's our experience with Sears as well - they plain do not care, and satisfaction is no longer guaranteed. Right now I'm arguing with them about a product that was shipped that was blatantly defective - they charge handling charges and refuse to reimburse the handling charges. Just one more nail in their coffin as far as I am concerned. Defective products, poor quality products, overpriced products, poor service - no wonder they are having so many financial problems!!!
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