Are Extended Warranties on Appliances Worth It?

Leave a Comment - 53

Comments

Art O'Connell

Subject: Third party warranty for Jenn Air appliances

When we redid our kitchen we purchased all new Jenn Air appliances. When the mfg. warranty ended they offered a third party warranty, which we purchased. Several months ago the frig started to leak so we called the warranty company. We tried all day to get through without success. The phone message just said due to the call volume try back later. They offered no ability to leave a message! Finally, after two days of trying, my wife got them to answer the phone at 8:00 PM. The told us they would contact a repair service (not a Jenn Air rep) and they would get back to us. After a day we did get a call and arranged a date and time for the repair but the service people never showed up so back to square one. They gave us a second repair service but they couldn't come for almost a week. Out of desperation, I went online and found the problem was a well know defect in the frig and there were instructions on how to repair it which was not too difficult. Bottom line, I fixed it myself in about an hour. However, the ice maker decided to die at the same time. When the second repair service contacted us again I explained the problem and they told me to order a new ice maker and they would come and install it. Another week and they finally showed up and installed the ice maker.

If I didn't find out how to fix the appliance myself, I would have been without my refrigerator for over two weeks, which is totally unacceptable. I would be really wary of any third party warranty offer and I would read the coverage carefully. They can say its too expensive and give you a payment to cover the value of the used appliance and if your not satisfied you are stuck going to arbitration which is also a sham.

Before I purchase another appliance, I'm going to make sure that any extended warranty is through the manufacturer and not a third party. Sorry Westinghouse, no more business for you!

Bob Z

Subject: Have you ever heard of the bathtub curve

Here is what no manufacturer wants you to know. After 30+ years as a consultant for fortune 100 companies and a college professor. Every manufacturer does the statistics on their product. The first failures are called infant mortality, and there are covered by warranty. Then the company or other venders are happy to sell you extended warranties. They know that the odds are on their side. Then the product is evaluated to the wear out and no one will sell you a warranty that extends this long.
Avoid the scare tactics of the insurance sales. The odds are always in their favor. If you are going to gamble it helps to know the rules.
Best of luck!

David Hargrave

Subject: Extended warranties

Have to disagree with all the negative comments. I had a dehumidifier that failed well into it's 2nd year of use and was out of the manufacturer's 1 year coverage. My contract (via Amazon.com) was their "Canopy Coverage" plan. I called the actual company (Asurion Corporation) and after a very short and cordial conversation I received check in 10 days for the full amount I paid for the unit. I highly recommend this company if you are going to opt for an extended warranty-their customer interface is exemplary. Cheers.

Peter

Subject: Extrended Warrantees

Most mechanical parts and electronics for many appliances are now made in China, which produces garbage in terms of manufacturing quality and reliability. The GE Tech told me that the magnetron, which produces the microwave energy in a microwave oven, used to be guaranteed for 10-years, which went down to 5, then 3, and is now one-year. One approach is to consult Consumer Reports and purchase from manufacturers that have historically high reliability scores.

Jon Kelley

Subject: Lowes Gas Powered Pressure Washer

My 2cents; I bought a Generic Gas Power washer from Lowes w/Extended warranty then while cleaning the sidewalk about 1 Year later it started leaking water from the pump and suddenly died.

Go figure - after taking it to Lowes for warranty work the technician said it was bad stale gas and they wanted $150.00 for repairs.

Words cannot express my disappointment - stale gas was not the problem and on top of that Lowes charged me $50.00 and took the almost full tank of gas out!

My Stale Gas must of been good for them to use but not my pressure washer - LOL!

Bob

Subject: Giant ripoff

Home warranty companies make their money by paying contractors a flat fee for doing a repair. The incentive is to do the job as cheaply as possible rather than doing it right. Their appliance replacement promises are a joke as well. American Home Shield offered me $550 to replace a $1700 refrigerator after eight service calls to fix the same problem. They also managed to saddle me with $400 in "uncovered" expenses when my water heater failed - even though they got the replacement heater for free because of the manufacturer warranty.

They also stranded me for a week in 110 degree heat when my AC went out. If a repair is expensive, they try to frustrate you into paying for it yourself so then they reimburse you for half. It took me an hour to get it fixed by another contractor after a week in a hotel thanks to AHS.

Ian Stuart

Subject: Extended warranty problems

Recently I bought a Whirlpool double oven for over $2000. I purchased their extended warranty. Then I found out about their design flaw when every time I ran the cleaning cycle the thermal fuse would go and BOTH ovens would lock and I would have no ovens until the repairman deigned to show up. Whirlpool's response: a. "We repair we don't replace"; b. after the FOURTH thermal fuse blew "you must have installed it wrongly we won't honor the warranty!". Oh and the temperature control has gone twice so far (just over one year of use). In Europe appliance companies are legally required to guarantee their major appliances for five years at no additional cost perhaps that is wha we need here.

Diane

Subject: Extended warranties - other possible options

In New Jersey, the major statewide power company offers "Worry Free" contracts for heater, central air, water heater and all major appliances (the cost of which is added to the monthly bill). It DOESN'T get one to the head of the line for a service call and it might or might not be the best financial choice, but it is SO worth my peace of mind. EVERYTHING covered and there are no deductibles. Before buying a major appliance, I highly recommend that every Angie's List member check with his/her power company and also with local service companies (some of which offer their own warranty plans).

Cynthia Obrien

Subject: extended warranties

I had not purchased extended warranties in the past because of advice given by different sources such as Angies. However, in the past two years I have been very glad to have an extension because two items broke down completely and had to be replaced just a month or two past the original warranty coverage. The items were not such costly items as some in this article but it would have cost me over $700.00 which is a lot of money for me on a limited income.

Lillian

Subject: Burned on warranties

Had a problem with dishwasher not drying dishes. Tech siad the heater is Ok, so there's nothing he can do. As I objected, he went on to say the plumbing in Sun City was done wrong. I ended up accidentally fixing it by something the tech should have known and told me.

Next problem was a frig that simply quit running. I waited forever and had to talk to 3 or 4 departments. Service Companies I called won't do the work if you have a warranty, because they never get paid.

seisin

Subject: Local Company

I purchased an expensive washer/dryer combo from a regionally owned company. I did purchase their warranty but it is an in house type of deal. For $500 they will come out for the next five years and fix what I need. If I don't use the service option in five years, I can use that $500 towards a new appliance from them. I figured by that time I would probably need a new oven or dishwasher if I had not already used their services. Typically I do not purchase service plans.

Mel Wondolowski

Subject: Extended warranties

Like some other writers, I do a lot of research (Consumer Reports and others) before I buy. When a salesperson asks if I want to purchase an extended warranty, I ask "Do you realize you are telling me that this appliance is not reliable?" That usually ends the sales pitch for the warranty. AND, my well-researched appliances have always served me well.

Mike O'Callaghan

Subject: Extended Warranties

Here's a financial thought. Instead of buying the extended warranty, take the money you would pay to purchase it and put it in a savings account and never touch the account, except to pay for repairs. While in this low interest rate environment you won't get much interest, you will have money in the bank ready to pay any repair. If you get lucky and don't need a repair for three or four years you will have a good amount of money for most needed repairs or to buy a new item. It has been my experience that if something is going to go wrong it goes in the first year during the normal warranty. I have been in a new house for three years and paid a total of $200 for repairs. Had I bought the extended warranty for all items I would have paid over $1,000. It takes financial discipline to not spend the money on other items, but this system has worked for me.

Mike Hoffpauir

Subject: Extended Warranties

I have them on my Washer-Dryer combo and my Refrigerator, and have used them both. The Dryer needed to have the front panel circuit board replaced (3 months shy of the end of the extended warranty), and the Refrigerator has been worked on twice under the extended warranty. Only my Dishwasher has survived without incident. I also get them when I buy a car, and I've used them.

MJ

Subject: Extended Warranties

The only extended warranty I have found worthwhile is the one purchased for my Hyundai. It paid for itself when the AC compressor died. However, autos are very expensive and have a long life. Also, Hyundai had no strings attached, such as a deductible. Recently, I was pushed to buy one that cost nearly as much as the item I was purchasing (a cordless drill) - I told the guy, I'd just buy a new one. In any case, read the fine print - I truly believe most are not worth the cost.

Sam

Subject: Appliance Extended Warranty a Bad Idea

Extended warranties represent cash cows for retailers and are typically of little value to consumers. If they are going to fail, most appliances do it within the normal 1 year warranty period. I've bought dozens of appliances for my rentals and I've only had one failure - a gas oven during the first year - and all it needed was a minor adjustment.

Stan Prus

Subject: House Warranties

I bought a "house warranty" through HSBC when I got my mortgage and they promised 24 hour service. After paying on it for a few years the first time I tried to use it for a broken refrigerator the company said they couldn't send anyone out for three days because it was a holiday weekend. I complained to HSBC, never heard back, and canceled the non-service. Fortunately I had Angue's list and had a repair man over in 45 minutes, saving hundreds of dollars in food that would have gone bad.

Mike Lopata

Subject: financial stewardship

This article is not bad - gives several perspectives and some helpful information. The opinions I have read in financial stewardship magazines indicate that extended warranties are better for the company than for the consumer. Of course, if you buy an extended warranty and your appliance breaks down, you "win." But odds are, you won't. Better to set the money aside in your own savings account and try to add to it month to month as your own "warranty fund." That way, you always win!

J Barrer

Subject: Simply DIY

Don't buy a warranty. There is an abundance of information on the internet these days making it very easy to fix your appliances yourself. Most parts can be ordered online and received in 2 days. Many YouTube videos provide step-by-step instructions on how to repair all your appliances. These days all the repairs are "remove and replace" so in most cases all you need is a screw driver and a pair of pliers to fix the appliance.

Francis LeMeunier

Subject: Appliance warranties

You failed to mention the low repair allowance most warranty companies offer repairmen. I had a difficult time having an LG washing machine repaired because the warranty company wanted to pay a much lower rate than everyone I called. What a hassle.

Greg K

Subject: Another angle on extended warranties

Another thing to think about is if you spend an extra 20-30% on everything you buy, you could very quickly spend a lot more on warranties than in a service call if one of them breaks. If you buy a washer/dryer and a stove refrigerator with close proximity, you could easily spend $1,000 or $2,000 on warranties for all of them, but they aren't all going to break. You're probably better off saving your money on the warranties and paying for the $500 service call on the one that does break.

Linda Aldridge

Subject: Extended Warranty on a dishwasher

We purchased the extended warranty on a Borsch dishwasher and when the pump quit weeks before it was up we thought it was worth it. What they don't tell you is that it can take months for them to get a repairman out to service your unit. Then if they need a part it can take more months for it to arrive and for them to come back and do the repair. I wish we had just saved our money on not getting the warranty and just bought a dishwasher when the other one failed! Then I wouldn't have been without my dishwasher for over 3+ months!!

LeRoy Lamborn

Subject: Extended Warranties

For God's sake, you have not, not, done "the research". Consumer Reports, the most respected consumer source, generally recommends against, against, them.

The sellers usually push them because of the high profit margin. And repair shops are hardly experts on economic issues.

Without delay, get a subscription to Consumer Reports, on line. You have not done your job.

Mark

Subject: Vehicle warranty

When I bought my new F150 pickup truck in 2012', the dealership salesman talked me into a $2,200 extended warranty. Not only is there a $100 deductible but have heard excuses why item is not covered. My opinion....NEVER again

Diane

Subject: Vehicle warranties

This is my single override of "Consumer Reports" negative recommendation. Prior to my current new car, I had always purchased this and I had always made use of it. When I bought my current car - especially due to the high cost of the extra warranty - I seriously considered "Consumer Reports" negative recommendation. However, because I also considered my past history, I opted to purchase it anyway and I am SO glad that I did. With each car, I haven't made significant use of the warranty, but I have always saved more than the cost of the warranty.

Alan

Subject: Vehicle warranty - same viewpoint

I have heard nothing but negative details on extended vehicle warranties, not many, but nothing positive and agree with Mark that they are not something to jump into. I believe the largest issue with a warranty is similar to issues with Insurance. Come time to pay you get either a stone wall or more realistically a run around. It is a shame, but I think the best thing is to pick the best initial warranty. Yet I still believe ANY warranty holds possible let downs.

James Thompson

Subject: Home Warranty Programs

Rather than having a individual warranty on each appliance get a Home Warranty that covers, depending on the plan purchased, most large appliances, the heater and A/C and water heater, etc. The costs vary and are renewed annually.

Vickie McGraw

Subject: Home Warranty OK for Repair, Not So Good for Replacement

I have experience with two home warranty companies. They're sometimes good about paying for repairs. But when it comes to replacing appliances, they limit how much they'll pay for a new item, usually only a basic "builder's grade" model. And, they may exclude the cost of bringing the installation up to code. Plus, you often have to call them several times and haggle to get to a resolution.

When our furnace went out, our then warranty company offered us $500 for replacement. After a year of dealing with them (we live in a warm climate and that winter wasn't very cold), I finally accepted a $900 cash-out and bought the furnace myself. The total cost was $2,600 (bids ranged from $2,600 to $3,300). Granted, I purchased an upgraded furnace; but, in the original $2,650 estimate, $1,800 was not covered for things like the permit, heater stands, gas flex line, vent pipe, transition, return air can, on and on.

Prior to the furnace, that home warranty company was forthcoming on plumbing repairs, but gave me the runaround on the oven and dishwasher. I had to call them multiple times and finally file a complaint with the BBB before they made good on those two items, at builder-grade prices.

Recently, we tried to have our Culligan water softener repaired. Our current home warranty company couldn't find a company to fix it. Apparently, Culligan won't sell parts to other repair companies and they won't work with warranty companies. So we accepted a cash-out of $500, the maximum allowed. That's enough to buy a decent water softener at a big-box store, not a comparable Culligan model.

These are just a few of the experiences we've had. So, when it comes to home warranties, you may break even, but it may not be worth the hassle to you. And don't expect them to replace your appliance with a comparable model.

Jo-An Simon

Subject: Extended warranties

This article doesn't consider the fact that people have many appliances. How do you know which one is going to fail within the time period? So you have to buy extended warranties for all expensive appliances, following the logic presented here. They are certainly not all going to fail within the one or two extra years you purchase. Consequently you have to compare the cost of ALL the extended warranties to one or two possible service calls within the time frame.

Jim

Subject: Extended warranties

An extended warranty is simply an insurance plan and usually a very expensive one when you consider the cost versus the dollars at risk. Considering the example given above where you are spending one dollar to insure a possible loss of two with only a 50% chance of collecting. You are buying an extraordinarily expensive insurance policy! Merchants love to sell these policies as they are great cash cows. I have never bought one and never needed one. Threatening a bad internet review of an obviously defective item will very often bring the manufacturer around to making a satisfactory adjustment even after the warranty has expired.

Judy Mossman

Subject: LG Washer, Dryer, Refrigerator sold by Home Depot

I purchased an LG refrigerator, washing machine and dryer, all on one order and all with 3-year extended plans totaling $4864.14 on 11/08/2012. First of all, neither Home Depot nor mfg LG honor the additional 3 year extended plan contract to begin AFTER the first year warranty EXPIRES. (They will honor the first year warranty even if you don't purchase the extended plan.) They begin the 3 year contract effective with the initial purchase date. Secondly, the warranty effective date is not the date the appliance/s is delivered and set up in your home, it is the DATE HOME DEPOT enters your order, takes your money and hands you the receipt. #1-HD & LG "STEAL" your first year plus #2-steal the time from purchase to actual delivery date. When I complained, the HOME DEPOT appliance customer service offered me their corporate legal counsel #. This is fact and have ALL the paperwork to back this claim! The next time you are asked if you would like to purchase an extended service plan, question their effective dates!!!!!!

Max Zadeh

Subject: Extended Warranties

We need to look at extended warranties in terms of odds of "winning", in a similar fashion as gambling. As such, extended warranties are a sort of gamble you would do in a casino, where the odds are stacked in favor of the house. I have been a consumer for 45 years, and my conclusion is that extended warranties are a bad idea just for the reason than on the long run the consumers loses, whether the item breaks down or not.

Monika

Subject: Extended Warranties

To buy or not to buy.
Kinda' like one's risk tolerance assessment in the stock market.
Appliances do appear to break down more frequently nowadays. My parents had a GE refrigerator that worked for 50 years! My own 45 year old Frigidaire refrigerator just died this Sept. Newer appliances are much more expensive and appear to last about five to ten years.
Electronics - that's a whole different ballgame! Two friends and I have purchased highend digital SLR cameras at Best Buy for which we got extended warranties which ended up being a good thing because all of us ended up getting replacements when the originals failed and couldn't be fixed. Even the replacements needed replacements!
If having a warranty brings peace of mind it's worth buying it whether or not it ever needs to be utilized. Financially it may not be smart to do but the comfort it provides is probably worth the cost. Consider it to be in the realm of insurance we purchase but are happy never to have to utilize such as flood ins., HO ins. & car ins.
Personally I would never purchase third party ins. Only from the original manufacturer or reliable sales outlet. I usually select the 3 to 5 year term at the time of original purchase on the few select items I have decided to 'insure'. This has worked out well for me. Items I did not get warranties for have lasted about ten years so I'm glad I didn't waste money to purchase warranties for them.
Financiially it is a gamble. As with most things, it is a matter of choice.

Dale Nelson

Subject: Extended warranty

I do not believe that a company selling warranties pays out more than they collect. If you think that paying for a repair is affordable, then you are gambling in a losing game to buy extended warranties.

Bill Paliwoda

Subject: Extended Warranties

The article really missed the real issue with an extended warranty. What really needs to be researched is the "small print"...things like the cost the consumer is expected to pay per service call, deductibles, and, most importantly, the circumstances that will void the warranty. Many of the extended warranty companies are very good at getting out of paying for repairs...often claiming negligence on the part of the owner. Just look at cell phone replacement warranties. Most charge $100 for a remanufactured phone that often uses non-OEM parts (especially for the screen). For example, I had to replace my Droid Razr Maxx a couple years ago (the touch screen was not working). It was replaced (for $100) but the replacement obviously did not have a "gorilla glass" screen, because the phone slipped off a seat and landed on a padded floor but the screen still cracked!

Johnny B

Subject: Appliance warranties

An additional caveat is that these insurance companies have volume deals with Manufacturer's. So if an appliance needs to be replaced, often ithe appliance is not of the same quality as the old. I had a warranty for a large high-end name brand water heater that sprang a leak and they replaced it with a smaller unit that was made overseas and a weird brand name. I don't feel confident this one will last long.

Steve

Subject: Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are insurance, nothing more, nothing less. They have become a large source of income for retailers and are rarely worth the price. The now defunct Circuit City chain revealed that 50% of its profit came from the sale of extended warranties. Unlike life insurance, the odds are you will never use the extended warranty. You need to decide how much you can afford if something does go wrong after the initial warranty period.

If a salesman gives you a hard sell pitch that you really need the warranty, you should ask why he is selling you a crappy piece of merchandise. Most failure I have experienced fell within the initial one year warranty. Some stores and credit cards double that to 2 years at no additional cost. Unless it's a $40K car, most extended warranties are a waste of money.

Melody

Subject: Appliance Extended Warranties

We buy extended warranties for all our appliances. Its a good thing too because all the appliances we have ever bought broke down after the manufacturer warranty and four of them we had to get the lemon policy on. The old saying they don't make them like they use to applies this day and age. Everything has plastic parts that are junk!

Robert Chalmers

Subject: warranties

In 2006 we bought a new double wide mobile home. We did get the extended warranty and it worked out well for us. Our car insurance company I'd been with for 45 years was Nationwide and at first they insure our Mobil home but the dropped that coverage. I ended up going with Geico to cover both. To my surprise the homeowners policy is with the same company that had out extended warranty. The policy includes coverage on all of our appliances for repair or replacement. There's a $500.00 deductible but to replace a major appliance that would be cheap.

Daryl

Subject: extended warranties

The quality of today's major appliances is nowhere near what it was back in the 50's ,60's, and 70's. Like it was stated earlier if you are spending anything above $800 - $1000 you need to give serious consideration to paying for the extended coverage. Manufacturers design and build with the idea of planned obsolescence and lower quality standards. So unless you are a handyman let the buyer beware.

Steve

Subject: Cost of Extended Warranties

The cost of today's appliances are no where near that of the '50s and '60s. If you made $5,000 a year in 1960, you were not doing too badly. Now $100K is mediocre. Appliances were a lot more expensive in real terms as a percentage of your income in 1960. And yes, for the most part they were better made than those of today. But replacing a $1,000 appliance today is maybe 1% of your income. Back then, a $250 appliance would have been 5% of your income. And generally, it makes more sense to replace any appliance that breaks over 5 years old, rather than repair it. Things don't last as long as they used to, so why pay for insurance for something that won't last very long anyway?

markooo

Subject: Service Plans

Nah, service plans are a waste. Most appliances come with warranties of up to a year. If the appliance is going to break, it is going to do so in that period. That is some protection. As for how appliances are made to day, quality controls are much tighter, parts are made with robotics with high tolerances, better testing, data gathering, analysis and trouble shooting. Parts are modular, replaceable and easily maintained as compared to years ago.

Andrew Page

Subject: Extended warrenties

Unless offered by manufacturer, or by a second hand shop that works on all kinds of models: definitely do not buy from a third party. I would not pay more than $99 a year and then only by dealer or second hand shop. Definitely read the fine print. Many times a charge will be made for a service call unless service contract specifically states it will be at no charge. I recently had to pay a $100 service charge on a third party warranty and it turneded out that plug was not fully inserted. A total rip off!

Susan Kline

Subject: Extended warranties

For many years I considered appliance warranties a waste of money, but with new appliances I think they are a necessity. My LG refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom didn't even last 2 years. The computer 'motherboard' would have cost $300.00 to replace and I opted for a new refrigerator and bought the warranty for it. My dishwasher needed a very expensive repair as well. Meanwhile an old Maytag washer which was in the house when I bought it 10 years ago is working just fine. It seems that appliances are not made as well as they used to be.

Paul Ankeney

Subject: New Appliances are Scary

Within the last 5 years we have found extended warranties extremely valuable. Modern, energy efficient, high complexity appliances are no longer lasting like past generations.

Fortunately we bought the EW with our first big flat screen TV. Turns out, there isn't much that can be repaired if they go bad. After two years the picture went bad, and we were able to pick out an even better quality & larger TV for free since prices had dropped.

Second experience was the purchase of a large "energy efficient" refrigerator. No longer do you have a single heavy duty compressor and thermostat, now they are extremely complex. Tomorrow they are coming out for the 4th service call in two years and are replacing both major circuit boards. I can only imagine the thousands of dollars I have saved using my extended warranty.

The other value of extended warranties is the lack of stress & worry that your high priced appliance may break, or continuing to use appliances that don't work right. Can't put a $ figure on that, but well worth it to me.

Jim

Subject: Extended Warranties

Extended warranties are definitely worth it for large appliances especially given all of the electronic features characteristic of today's models. We were glad we had them on our wash machine and refrigerator. Even though we were happy with both units overall, they payed for themselves many times over when we had to call a serviceman to repair the electronics. And as Murphy's Law goes...it always fails after the warranty lapses.

Fred

Subject: Appliance Warranties

If you were re-modeling your kitchen and buying a new refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, and dishwasher, I would not buy any manufacturer's extended warranties. Instead, in a year I would buy a Home Warranty that would cover all the appliances plus heater, AC, and washer and dryer for one annual price with a $60-100 service call. These warranties guarantee to fix the item or replace it with a new one. I have had a heater and dish washer replaced for just the cost of the service fee.

Allen Slansky

Subject: Extended warranties

I always felt if I did my research and bought appliances that would last, a extended warranty is not worth it. Same with a car. For third party warranties, when you need it, you'll be told it doesn't cover the very problem you have.

If I buy a Samsung, I wouldn't buy one, same as with a Honda.

Showtime

Subject: Home warranty

Or if you pay for a home warranty just use them to service your appliance. Mine is 800 a year and I pay 65 when they come out.
It's been worth it when minor problems come out. They even replaced my fridge when it completely died.

Bob

Subject: Research Extended Warranties/Service Plans

Assuming you've decided to buy a plan. . . not stated above, but key to the decision: compare prices, not just coverage at various sellers, both the appliance seller and the aftermarket options.

The Extended plan prices can vary dramatically. For example, on a $1,400 appliance we found the prices to range from $120 to $550 for a 5-year plan! You might find it makes more sense to pay a bit more at a different seller to get a better or cheaper plan.

Most often, the price of the plan is related to price of the appliance. In some cases the "price" used is the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price and others, the price you paid on your invoice.

Ask whether the plan uses your appliance manufacturer's technicians or third party technicians. The qualifications can be dramatically different, especially in this age of plug-a-laptop-into-the-appliance-to-diagnose-it.

Does the plan offer to replace or discount a replacement if the repair is too extensive to perform?

My evaluation process for the price: guesstimate the cost of a service visit during the plan period (starts after the manufacturer warranty) and the likelihood of a service call. Multiply the two and compare to the plan price.

Example: $300 visit x 50% chance = $150. If the plan is priced near $150, it might be a smart buy.

Brad Zacharia

Subject: Extended Warranties

You're missing a major factor. Yes, if an appliance breaks it was worth having the warranty. But since you don't know which one will break then your logic has to apply to ALL your appliances. In other words, you'd have to spends many thousands of dollars each year to cover ALL your appliances. By not buying extended warranties you could bank that money and if something breaks you have more than enough to have it fixed or throw it out and buy a new one and do that on more than one appliance. And if you were hooked on extended warranties than your logic would get you to buy them on your refrig, range, microwave, A/C units, TVs, DVR players, cars, house heater, hot water heater, cell phones, computer equipment and what else. By the time you're done you'd spend $10,000 per year on these extended warranties. At that point, if you did not by them who cares if one, two or three things break? Who cares if 10 things break? You'd still be left with a lot of money in your pocket. If extended warranties were worth it to the consumer then the companies would not sell them - they'd be losing money. But the companies know you're not likely to make a claim on them so it's mostly pure profit for them.

Val Ross

Subject: In the majority of cases they are not a good deal

I spent most my life in the major appliance and electronics business and my experience is that extended warranties are rarely a good deal. There is so much profit in a sale of an extended warranty, for example what an extended warranty the customer would pay one hundred dollars for cost me the dealer between four and ten dollars, and then watch out for the fine print.

I once had a customer who was an elderly lady with a Frigidaire washer that had continued to purchase the extended warranty from the manufacture for 12 years, she showed me all her cancelled checks and they totaled almost fifteen hundred dollars and this was on a washer that probably cost $250.00.

The only circumstance that I can imagine where buying an extended warranty might be wise, is if you purchase a high end item that future repairs could be very costly and you are on a fixed income with very little discretionary spending. This scenario seems unlikely as if you are in such a dire financial situation you probably would not have made the purchase in the first place.

Remember, the sales person and the company you are purchasing a product from is never looking for your best interest, they are looking for their own. When you feel the high pressure sales or the attempt to frighten you, please be assured the best thing you can do is say NO.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had


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I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


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I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.
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That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.