How To Beat The High Cost Of Appliance Repair

By: Jeff Hatch

April 05, 2017

It’s inevitable. No matter how well your home appliances are built, at some point they will reach their life expectancy and stop working. So can you afford to be without yours for long? Do you have a backup plan in place? And, more importantly, do you have enough money saved up to cover the repair or replacement?
 
According to Home Advisor, the average cost to repair an appliance is $170. But prices can vary greatly once you include such variables as the make, model and age of your appliance, as well as parts, labor and applicable service fees. For more accurate pricing, you can visit Home Advisor’s site to search by location or use the figures listed below as a rough estimate of what you might expect to pay per appliance. 
 
Average Repair Costs
 
Air Conditioner $200-400
Clothes Dryer $100-400
Dishwasher $100-200
Furnace $100-130
Microwave $75-150
Range/Oven $400-700
Refrigerator $200-400
Washing Machine $120-500
Water Heater $90-110
 
Now consider your own budget. If you have enough money set aside to cover all of the above, then you’re probably not too concerned. However, a recent survey by GoBankingRates showed that 69% of all Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. So if you fall in that category and suddenly find yourself without something as important as your refrigerator, the problem can go from bad to worse. There’s the added stress of having to spend your time being forced to go out to eat and the increased frustration of losing even more money due to food spoilage.    
 
So how do you avoid this scenario? “While some maintain consumers should put aside cash for repairs and replacement of essential electronic products or appliances, it is not possible or practical in today’s economy,” says Timothy J. Meenan, Executive Director of the Service Contract Industry Council. “An extended warranty [service plan] can help consumers manage unanticipated, unbudgeted expenses.”
 
It’s worth noting that just one service call can more than make up the price of an extended service plan. That fact alone makes it worth owning one. But when you consider that an extended service plan also provides you with added peace of mind, immediate assistance and may even cover ancillary damage such as food loss, suddenly it becomes an invaluable, yet inexpensive plan to help you manage the unwelcomed inevitable.  
 
Want to know more about the benefits of owning an extended service plan? Visit our site or call us at 800.833.8801.

Filed Under: appliance, budget, consumers, costs, extended, plan, repair, service

What Is The Difference Between A Warranty And An Extended Service Plan?

By: Jeff Hatch

September 07, 2016

This is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive and one that causes a lot of confusion among customers. Simply put, a warranty is an agreement to make any repairs or replace defective parts during a specified period of time upon purchase – a 90-day warranty, for example. It is provided by the manufacturer or dealer and included in the purchase price of a product. By contrast, a service contract/plan is a separate agreement designed to provide protection after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.  
 
Since a manufacturer’s warranty is only good for a limited time, having additional coverage for important purchases makes a lot of sense. An extended service plan (or vehicle service contract) is a popular choice among customers who want extended coverage on everything from consumer electronics, automobiles, home appliances, boats, power tools and other items they truly value or see as an important long-term investment. For instance, a cash-strapped college student who can’t afford to be without a laptop computer for schoolwork would be smart to invest in a service plan. 
 
A service contract also offers additional benefits that generally aren’t covered under the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty. If you bought a new vehicle, chances are your warranty only covers defects and issues that came about during the design and manufacturing process. With a service contract, you can get supplemental coverage for important systems like the transmission and suspension, and ancillary product protection that covers paint, dent, fabric and windshield repair. 
 
In addition to product and purchase protection, service contracts offer consumers convenience and peace of mind. There have been several articles as of late that all list this as one of the main reasons that people feel that a service contract is well worth the added expense. Should something go wrong with your purchase, you’ll receive immediate assistance. Plus, a service contract can be purchased for just a fraction of what you would normally pay for service repair or, in worst-case scenarios, an entirely new item. 
 
If you do decide that you are interested in extended protection, the best rule of thumb is to always make sure that you carefully compare the service contract with the manufacturer's warranty. Also, consider: 1) the cost of the service contract, 2) the types of coverage it offers, 3) the length of time covered, and 4) how you expect to use your purchase. And if you have any concerns regarding your service agreement or need help with a specific type of coverage, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll be more than happy to help.
 
Visit our website to view more frequently asked questions from our consumers. Or call us at 800.833.8801.

Filed Under: contract, plan, product, service, vehicle, Warrantech, warranty

Purposeful Transparency — Another Reason To Partner With Warrantech

By: Jeff Hatch

June 08, 2016

At Warrantech, we believe that the cornerstone of a successful relationship is the constant sharing of program information with our partners, including underwriting results and key performance indicators (for example: customer satisfaction, service levels and product reliability). We feel that this purposeful transparency — coupled with our unmatched flexibility, innovation and deep industry expertise — are the attributes that separate us from the competition. 
 
As a subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, a multinational property and casualty holding company that is one of the strongest and most financially stable companies in the industry, we are able to provide both global underwriting and administrative services. This vertical integration creates complete transparency and a level of insight into program performance that is unparalleled, which in turn leads to increased efficiencies and optimization for your business plan. 
 
During quarterly business reviews with our partners, we present key findings and can pinpoint issues right down to the part level. This gives us the opportunity to help alleviate any concerns with your program and give you deeper insight into its performance, which includes, but is not limited to:  
 
Industry observations and patterns
Best-in-class performance/benchmark analysis (including ROI and opportunity costs)
Brand leaders and industry innovations
Competitive intelligence (industry and market leaders)
Best practices
Marketing updates
Regulatory environment review
Contact center KPIs/SLAs
Experience reports
 
We also provide real-time access to our systems, giving each partner the ability to track program performance at any given time. Additionally, to ensure that the program is maintained in a manner consistent with your standards, we can structure your program so that your employees can be embedded at the Warrantech facility. This transparency enables us to provide you with profit sharing programs so that you are able to benefit even further from the ongoing success of your program. 
 
To learn more about Warrantech’s unparalleled transparency, visit warrantech.com or call 800.833.8801.
 
 Warrantech Program Transparency at a Glance
 
 Program Accessibility:
   • Open communication 
   • Real-time program performance
   • Complete system access
   • Embedded client employee options
 
 Program Design Customized to Meet Each Client’s Needs: 
   • Creation of policy and procedure handbook 
   • Personalized performance metrics
   • Customer satisfaction levels using
     - Customer surveys
     - Quality assurance
     - Net Promoter Score (NPS)
     - Social media

Filed Under: business, client, innovation, insight, integration, partner, plan, program, transparency

Why Should You Consider An Extended Service Plan?

By: Jeff Hatch

April 11, 2016

1. Financial Strain

If you feel that having to purchase an entirely new item or making costly repairs would drain your bank account or leave you with a mountain of credit card debt, then you should definitely look into an extended service plan (ESP). It can actually enhance the value of your product as opposed to being a financial burden in the event that something does go wrong. With an extended service plan, you’re essentially transferring risk to the company that sold it to you and trading it in for peace of mind. Regardless of the product’s cost, having a smaller monthly ESP payment instead of an unexpected, large repair bill is a wise investment that can help keep you from breaking the bank.

2. Time Constraint

Another key consideration is time. An extended service plan can help: 1) Take the guesswork out of searching for a quality repair company to fix your damaged merchandise on short notice. 2) Find a replacement product and have it shipped to you in a timely manner if repair is not an option. 3) Provide you with on-site repair in many instances.

In short, a good extended service plan is designed to provide you with immediate assistance. If you are having trouble with a product, you’ll have instant access to an authorized service professional, via a toll-free number, who can diagnose the problem and help you get on with your day – right away.

3. Product Reliability

No matter how well designed a product is, nothing lasts forever. Failure is inevitable. That’s why it’s always a good idea to go online and research the potential shortcomings of the particular product you intend to purchase. Check into the long-term durability of that brand to determine its reliability and what type of coverage would be most beneficial to you.

Also, think about the implications of being without your favorite consumer appliance – whether it’s a refrigerator, television, dishwasher, washer/dryer or other durable good. If you feel that being without this specific item would be a burden to you, then an extended service plan serves as a good complement.

4. Accidents Happen

Consumer electronics have become more mobile over the years, which means that they are more susceptible to accidental damage from typical everyday use. Keep your habits and behaviors in mind as to how you use products like these. If you travel a lot or are constantly on the go, then your mobile devices could be at greater risk. And if you depend on a smartphone, computer tablet or laptop for important things like work or college assignments, just imagine how difficult it would be if you didn’t have coverage and had to spend a lengthy amount of time without them.

5. Long-Term Investment

It is human nature that we would treat a car that we intend to purchase and drive for a long period of time differently than we would a car with a short-term lease. If it belongs to us we’re more likely to keep it cleaner, buy higher-grade gasoline and go out of our way to avoid bad roads. The same can be said of any product. If you view something as a long-term investment more than simply a fleeting purchase, you’ll want to keep it operating at its very best for as long as possible.

An extended service plan is a must-have in situations like this and can be useful for items that depend on steadfast service. As always, be sure to read the coverage terms of your extended service plan to be certain that it meets your needs, and make sure that it includes a reliable repair plan to help keep your most important appliances working longer and to the best of their abilities.

For more information regarding extended service plans, visit warrantech.com or contact us today at 800.833.8801. 

Filed Under: consumer, electronics, extended, finance, investments, plan, reliability, service, time

Dos and Don’ts — A Warrantech Customer’s Perspective

By: Jeff Hatch

January 15, 2016

The following advice comes from a Warrantech customer who purchased an extended service plan for a tablet. All claims are handled differently – depending on product, problem and usage – but hopefully this provides you with some insight as to what to expect and how you can be prepared in the event that you need to file a claim.

I had to use this extended service plan on a previous tablet I bought – all went smooth. After it broke I made a claim, got a prepaid label, mailed the broken one in, and they sent me a check in the mail to cover what I paid for it. I've bought it again for another tablet I got my daughter. Hopefully this one won't break, but you never know with kids.

Had to use them again [for another electronic device], same as above – no complaints, way cheaper than buying insurance from your phone carrier.

Couple words of advice as to why some may run into issues:

1) Make sure you buy this extended service plan within 90 days of your tablet purchase.
2) Hold on to the receipt and original packaging (if it was bought online it’s much easier to do).
3) Register your extended service plan as soon as possible.

I've always done this with these items, so when it came time for a claim it's a matter of answering a few questions and then you get your shipping label and send it off. I've yet to have them actually repair/replace a $0-200 price range tablet; they have always sent me the replacement cost in a check.

Last comment – be sure to read what you are purchasing. Some plans are only extended warranties, some include accidental protection. Also, be sure to buy the right policy to match your tablet’s retail value. Don't buy a $0-200 plan if you have a $500 tablet.

To learn more about what our customers have to say about us and our extended service plans, visit warrantech.com

 
And if you have a similar story or advice to offer our customers, be sure to share it with us here.

Filed Under: advice, customer, extended, plan, service, tablets, warrantech

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