By Bobbi Burger Brunoehler of BobbisBargains.
You know how many credit cards say they they double the manufacturer’s warranty? It’s the reason why I pay for major appliances with credit, not my debit card or a check, and why I almost always turn down an extended store warranty. I’ve read about the warranty doubling in promotional materials but, until today, I never knew what this perk really meant and how it worked. Here’s what I found out.
I purchased a rather expensive window air conditioner from Sears one year and three days ago. I purchased this item from Sears only because I could not find this A/C unit anywhere else that included free shipping. I knew Sears did not have a friendly return policy. I did not buy an extended warranty because I knew my Discover card included an extended warranty.
Now it is 368 days later. I discover that
an important part of the A/C unit has disintegrated and needed to be replaced. I called Sears and was told “3 days past warranty. Nothing we can do. Call your credit card company.”
I was so proud of myself. I actually found the copy of the credit card statement that showed when, where, and how much I spent for the air conditioner. I called the credit card company. They kindly gave me the phone number of the insurance company I had to call to file a claim.
I called the insurance company. The guy on the phone let me know that it would take 15 minutes to complete the phone call. I said, “OK.” He wanted my name, all my contact information, the day, place and price of purchase. He also wanted the model number and the serial number of the unit. He also wanted to know what day my unit broke. He then told me that I would be receiving an email with paper work that I needed to fill out, a claim number, and a website for further instructions. To fill out the claim, I would need all the above information he already took, plus the original receipt, the original manufacturers warranty in writing, a picture of the unit, and a written estimate of what it would cost to fix the unit. I would then submit those and they would consider the claim. I would hear from them within 4 to 6 weeks! If they decide to pay the claim, they send me a check.
Wow! That certainly is NOT easy. Had my unit broken 3 days earlier, I would have had a part sent to me for free and/or I could have taken it directly to Sears for a fix. I’m lucky that my air conditioner still functions. Otherwise, the extended process to redeem the extended warranty would render the warranty useless to me because I don’t want to go without air conditioning in the middle of summer. I’d buy another unit or pay for the repair myself.
Hummm. I’m not really all that enthused about my extended warranty through my credit card anymore.
Of course, I do not know how this story is going to end. The good news is that I have found my original receipt (I have a great filing system) and the original manufacturers warranty. I submitted my paperwork — but I’ve still got at least 4 to 6 weeks before I hear back from them.
Have you ever used your extended warranty option on your credit card? What happened?