Make the Most out of your Warranties

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Warranties are a built in strategy to help protect the consumer against bad products, so let's learn how to take advantage if this common convenience. It is required by law that a warranty be available for reading before a product is bought, whether in store, online, or by catalog.

Keep in mind the below when perusing warranties:

  • How long does the warranty last? A warranty that is for all of 10 days is pretty much worthless, as it often takes time for a product to defunct.
  • Who do you contact to get the service? It can be either the retailer of the manufacturer.
  • What parts and repair problems are covered? Check to see if any parts/repairs are excluded from the coverage. Also look out for conditions that may be highly inconvenient or expensive such as having to return it in the original packaging (that is usually long gone by the time you are dealing with this) or shipping a heavy object back to the factory i.e. a couch.
  • Does the warranty cover "consequential damages?" This means damages caused by the product bought i.e. if the freezer breaks, will the warranty cover the spoiled food. Most warranties will not cover this, it is a great plus if it does

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Shout to Get the Attention You Need
Make a some noise social media if the company is not responding to your complaints. According to PwC's 2016 Total Retail Survey, more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers say social media influences their online shopping behavior, with reviews and comments being a top influence. Companies are watching their image carefully, and company worker's are hired to retain that image. So it is quite likely a company rep will jump in and help you before your complaint gains traction.

Resolving Disputes

The Federal Trade Commission has several pieces of advice here: If the Retailer cannot solve the problem go to the manufacturer, send clear mail with the Company's address listed. Keep copies of everything sent. The FTC supplies a complaint letter template you can use in addressing your issue.
Consider small claims court. If your dispute involves less than $750, you can usually file a lawsuit in small claims court. The costs are relatively low, procedures are simple, and lawyers usually aren't needed. The clerk of the small claims court can tell you how to file your lawsuit and your state's dollar limits.
Contact your state or local consumer protection office. They can help you if you can't resolve the situation with the seller or manufacturer.

A Warranty is as good as the company/manufacturer behind it

Avoid problems buy buying from reputable sources. Read online reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, find your favorite blogs that make trustworthy recommendations.

Share with us below your Warranty stories, and how you resolved them.

1 Response to Make the Most out of your Warranties

  • William Sommerwerck
    William Sommerwerck on January 6, 2018 at 4:11 pm said:

    You have it backwards. The fundamental purpose of a warranty is to disavow the implied warranty of merchantability, derived from British common law. The seller generally tries to do as little as possible, for the shortest period of time. This has always been true, but the increasing rapidity of technological obsolescence, combined with more and more hard-to-service commodity products produced by cheap labor, have left many companies unconcerned with long-term customer satisfaction.

    There are exceptions. My HP notebook (purchased six years ago) had a DOA WiFi radio. HP sent a sturdy shipping box and paid all charges both ways. Within 36 hours, I had a working computer.

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