Are extended warranties worth it? - WFLA News Channel 8

Are extended warranties worth it?

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Customers are often asked if they want to buy an extended warranty. Customers are often asked if they want to buy an extended warranty.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - You shop. You find. You purchase. That's what we do during the holiday shopping season.

But, inevitably, once you reach the cash register you will also be asked whether you want to also buy an extended warranty. They're offered on many products these days.

"Buying an extended warranty is really a personal preference. Consumers need to know what it is they're buying and is there any need to have an extended warranty on it," says Bryan Oglesby of the Better Business Bureau.

Oglesby says to keep in mind that most products already come with a one year manufacturers warranty. So, if you are considering a extended warranty find out "Does it extend from the date of the expiration of the manufacturers warranty or does it start from the date of purchase?"

 Consumer Reports.org recently advised against buying extended warranties in general, calling them notoriously bad deals. Consumer Reports data shows products seldom break within the extended-warranty window and when electronics and appliances do break, the repairs, on average, do not cost much more than what you pay for an extended warranty.

More consumer coverage: IKEA recalls lamp following death of child

"If you're a person who drops things often and you want it to cover accidental damage but it doesn't, is a warranty really worth investing in?" says Oglesby

 That's why one important key is to know what the extended warranty actually offers. Some experts believe they can be a good and convenient investment for larger items like big screen televisions, refrigerators, etc.
 
"There are warranties out there, they will come out to your home, they will do repairs on site, you can bring it to a local repair store and if that fits your needs and the investment in the warranty is worth it," says Oglesby.

 Also, check with your credit card company. Often, credit cards will extend the life of a manufacturers warranty negating the need for buying extended protection.

The bottom line, according to the Better Business Bureau, is do your homework.

"Don't feel pressured to purchase the extended warranty on the spot. Ask to take the information home, review it, understand it. If you have questions, ask about them, and then make an informed decision if you want to buy a warranty."

It is also important to stay organized. Keep your receipts, product handbooks and warranties in one place to make it easier if you do have a problem.

Also, if you are considering purchasing an extended warranty, check out the company first. The BBB says it receives complaints frequently about warranty companies going out of business, leaving consumers high and dry.

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