Tips on Extended Warranties
To avoid warranty fraud, it is important for consumers to do their research and understand what they are purchasing before they buy a warranty. The following are just some basic, by no means exhaustive, tips to protect yourself from warranty fraud when purchasing an extended warranty.
- Research the company you are considering as your warranty dealer. Check with the Better Business Bureau and do additional research to determine the company's reputability and reliability. How long have they been in business? What is their track record? What experiences have other consumers had with this company? Is the company financially sound? Having a warranty through a company that goes belly-up or one with a history of warranty fraud is virtually worthless.
- Carefully review and understand the terms of the warranty BEFORE you purchase the product. What is covered? What is not covered? What stipulations might nullify your right to a claim? What features are included? Is there a renewal option? As a general rule, it is better to have a warranty that excludes coverage for X, Y, and Z rather than listing 10 to 20 things that are covered by the policy.
- Read and save ALL documentation pertaining to the warranty. Photocopy receipts and documents that originally appear on thermal paper, as the print will fade with time. If you purchased a warranty online, be sure to print out all pertinent pages from the website. If a salesperson adds a feature to the warranty verbally, be sure to get him/her to put it in writing.
- Call the service number on the warranty before purchase. Is it easy to get a hold of service personnel? How long does it take? Does the service staff appear organized and helpful?
- Comparison shop for the most appropriate warranty to suit your product and your needs. The cheapest warranty is not always the best; most times, you get what you pay for. It is also important to maintain sight of what you need and don't need from a warranty. For example, if you work with computers often and replace your PC with a new product every three years, there is no need to purchase a five-year warranty.
Consumer protection agencies and organizations may be able to provide additional tips to help you avoid warranty fraud. If you have suffered financial losses as a result of warranty fraud, you have the right to fight back. Please contact our consumer fraud lawyers to learn more about how you can obtain financial reparations for your losses through a class action lawsuit.