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Are Appliance Extended Warranties Worth It? (Reviews)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  June 18, 2020  |  9 Min. Read

Extended Warranties  |  How to Buy Appliances

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Appliances now fail at higher rates than ever.

However, you are probably better off just taking your chances and not wasting money on an extended warranty.

This is a complicated, often conflicting article to read.

Many consumer publications, along with ours, will never buy an extended warranty and take your chances.

However, appliances do not last like in the past.

French door refrigerators, icemakers, and pro ranges need repair from 28-38% of the time in the first year.

French Door Refrigerators & Ice MakersFrench Door Refrigerator & Ice Makers have the highest appliance repair rate

 

You have to understand how appliance warranties differ from other warranties before you are pressured into making a decision.

This article will help you decide when to consider a warranty, when it's not necessary and when you should run from the offer.

Short on time? Get our free Appliance Buying GuideLearn More

Car Warranties Versus Appliance Warranties

You probably bought a warranty on your car or had an extended warranty included through your lease agreement or purchase.

Your car dealership is mostly service when you think about it. They have a showroom, some offices, but a huge space is devoted to service.

Service is 75% of the square footage of most dealerships. Sixty-five percent of our staff is dedicated to appliance service.

yale-service-tech-team-hanoverYale Appliance Service Team 

 

So at least if you did buy an extended warranty, there was an actual service to back it up.

Appliance Service

Appliance dealers are the exact opposite. The largest dealers, Lowes and Home Depot, do not employ a single technician.

You see 10-20 service bays in a car dealership, yet none in an appliance store or any mere mention of any kind of service.

yale-today-service-over-salesYale Appliance Service, Install, & Delivery Teams Schedule 

 

It's unfortunate because there is a greater need for appliance service, now more than ever.

Appliance Warranty Providers

The two largest extended service providers are based out of Texas. Like most appliance dealers, they do not employ a single service tech.

They advertise themselves as third party administrators. Car dealers service what they sell and repair your issues.

For appliance dealers, they do not provide service. They are not even responsible for finding a service technician when you have a problem.

If you are in Massachusetts, you are contacting a call center in Texas to resolve your appliance issues.

Ouch.

Appliance Extended Warranties

yale-hanover-second-floor-ranges-1Gas Ranges at Yale Appliance in Hanover

 

You pay $999-$1490 for a stove. It costs the dealer between $20-40 for that warranty.

It's all good until you need repair.

You do not call the dealer. You call the third party administrator. They find your service. The dealership has no responsibility to help you. They can't (or won't)

If it's a difficult repair, the independent servicer will not fix the problem.

The low compensation from the third party does not pay for the time, labor, and parts to fix the serious issues.

In your contract, they can perform almost any way they want.

Like this experience, these are so prevalent, by the way.

"In addition to buying two appliances, I purchased the 5-year appliance warranties from (name withheld). What the salesperson did NOT make clear is that (name withheld). Does NOT service what they sell. These warranty policies are expensive ($250 for stove and $200 for range hood), but they are NOT worth it. All you get is directed and redirected and misdirected - from the warranty policyholder (name withheld) to the repair companies they try to find. Hmm, do you think that an appliance repair company in Vermont is going to come to Mass or service a stove? No!"

 

In other words, the warranty company contracted a service company from Vermont to repair an item in Worcester, Mass.

That's crazy.

Extended warranties are efficient for the dealer as they make money on the front end. They are efficient for the third party, who can legally perform awful service without any penalties.

However, it's a bad deal for you.

You spend money thinking you are protected when you are not.

You will still probably have an awful service experience without the warranty just without spending the money upfront.

Who Should You Buy A Warranty From?

This article is about understanding warranties. There are statistical arguments either way. You will see the products to consider and ones generally more reliable in the next paragraph.

However, there is one absolute.

Do not fall into the trap of buying an extended warranty when the provider cannot directly resolve your problems.

So that eliminates most of the dealers who rely on third parties.

You should only buy an extended warranty from a dealer providing service. In the US, finding these dealers is next to impossible.

Yale-Appliance-Service-TechYale Appliance Service Technician Adjusting a Wall Oven

 

In Massachusetts, there are several excellent service departments. Many are our direct competitors.

Poirier in Norwood, Belchers in Framingham, Hunter in Littleton, Doyons in Reading, and George Washington TOMA in Weymouth all are service first, sales second type of places.

Hopefully, they self insure, so you do not have to call third parties to have them service your appliances.

It's a bizarre question, but worth asking.

Now you know who to buy a contract from, let's see which products to buy them on.

Have questions? Click here to check out our Learning Center.

What Appliances Should You Not Consider A Warranty For?

Hoods, microwaves, grills, disposers do not require a warranty, in my opinion, because they require service less than 5% of the time in the first year based on our service reports from 2019.

What Appliances Should You Buy A Warranty For?

The statistically most unreliable appliances are professional gas ranges and refrigerators.

Both have changed the most drastically, with gas ranges being more powerful and now having ignition system problems.

Professional Gas Range Reliability for 2020

  Service Qty Shipped Qty Service Ratio
Miele 15 21 71.4%
BlueStar 30 42 71.4%
Wolf 50 307 16.3%
JennAir 15 103 14.6%
Thermador 53 430 12.3%
Grand Total 163 903 18.1%

Refrigerators have changed the most. They are far more efficient due to new Federal energy standards.

Counter Depth Refrigerator Reliability For 2020

  Service Qty Shipped Qty Service Ratio
BlueStar 23 36 63.89%
Jenn-Air 308 595 51.76%
KitchenAid 103 239 43.10%
Whirlpool 6 17 35.29%
Bosch Appliances 135 422 31.99%
LG Electronics 10 46 21.74%
Samsung 248 1220 20.33%
Fisher & Paykel 31 192 16.55%
GE Profile 9 59 15.25%
GE Appliances 5 35 14.29%
Café Appliances 2 41 4.87%
Grand Total 916 2932 31.24%

The new French door refrigerators have more issues, especially with the icemaker dispenser in the refrigerator.

It can leak when a frozen cube is dispensed out of a slightly warmer refrigerator.

Front-load washers should also be considered. They are generally reliable but are expensive to repair.

Front Load Washer Reliability For 2020

  Service Qty Shipped Qty Service Ratio
Whirlpool 20 350 5.71%
GE Appliances 1 15 6.67%
LG Electronics 161 2270 7.09%
Samsung 27 349 7.74%
Maytag 251 659 38.09%
Electrolux 13 13 100.00%
Grand Total 473 3656 12.94%

It is less expensive to simply replace a front load washer rather than buy the parts and allocate 4 hours of labor to fix a broken washer.

Our Current Stance On Warranties

front-entrance-of-the-yale-appliance-hanover-showroomFront Entrance of Yale Appliance in Hanover

 

Over the years, we have stopped representing unreliable brands. In 2017, our laundry shift to Whirlpool/LG had decreased our warranty repair from 20% to 7% in the first year.

Although we have never pushed extended warranties, there are certain times when, as we said, you should consider protection after the first year.

At the same time, everyone hates buying a product they never use. In this case, it is an unredeemed warranty.

We can now offer extended warranties with a 50% credit if unused. We can do that because we have our service department and market only the statistically reliable brands.

Should You Buy An Extended Warranties For Your Appliances? Our Final Advice

samsung-kitchen-package-at-yale-appliance-in-hanover-1Samsung Kitchen Appliances Featuring a French Door Refrigerator with an Ice Maker

 

Mathematically, you should consider an extended warranty on the highest risk appliances, just like buying regular insurance.

However, who is as important as what appliance for extended warranties.

As we often say in this blog, check and verify before you buy. Check reviews like Yelp and Better Business Bureau are two excellent resources.

You want to understand how you will be treated after you buy any product or service, especially an extended warranty.

Check services like you would any purchase before you have problems later.

As a general rule, you will find the best service with companies with service departments, not with third-party call centers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can You Negotiate An Extended Warranty?

It depends. When outsourced, you probably could, because it's a sold product.

2. How Much Does It Cost To Repair Your Appliances?

Our average repair is about $155. Refrigerators and front load washers are higher.

Have questions? Click here to check out our Learning Center.

Additional Resources

Download a Yale Buying Guide covering all topics of appliances and lighting. Over 820,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

View our appliance buying guide

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WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?

A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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