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Are Appliance Extended Warranties Worth It? (Reviews)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  November 29, 2019  |  5 Min. Read

Extended Warranties  |  How to Buy Appliances

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Appliances now fail at higher rates than ever. Buying a warranty for appliances now does not mean coverage. In most cases, warranties are an awful purchase unless the service agent backs them with actual service.

This is a very difficult, often conflicting article to read.

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

However, appliances do not last like in the past. A French door refrigerator will require service 28% of the time just in the first year. Certain gas ranges are over 30%, so there is a need for proper coverage.

These numbers do not include many known unreliable brands dropped by us over the past five years. The number will be much higher for the industry.

We outsourced warranties to third parties like most dealers currently until 2009. We now self-insure and have logged over 34,000 service calls last year, so we can inform you about the subject professionally.

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

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Our History On Extended Warranties

Framingham-Yale-Appliance--Now--Open

Back when I started in 1986, the Maytag washer lasted 17-19 years with 1 or 2 service calls.

Appliances pre-2000 also had limited warranties of 2-3 years after the first full year, so we did not even sell extended warranties. There was not a real need for you to buy one.

Now the average appliance lasts 6-9 years, according to the America Servicers Association, and most of the limited warranties are gone.

Before 1994, we did not have a service department.

Now service is the largest part of the company employing 80 people alone and logging 34,469 service calls last year.

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What Changed In Appliances?

Many of the reliable products have changed to be more efficient with better features. However, these improvements have affected reliability, particularly in refrigerators and ranges.

They also have become more labor-intensive and expensive actually to repair.

With more expensive and more temperamental products, you may want to consider a warranty as an investment against repair rates in the future.

That would be assuming good repair, which this industry sorely lacks.

When Should You Not Consider A Warranty?

Professional BBQ Grills - Yale Appliance in Framingham

Hoods, microwaves, grills, disposers do not require a warranty, in my opinion, because they require service in the first year is less than 5% of the time.

  1. Range Hoods: 3,650 Sold / 158 Repaired
  2. Microwaves: 5003 Sold / 320 Repaired - 
  3. Grills: 892 Sold / 34 Serviced 

Our numbers are based on 34,687 service calls logged last year by our service department.

What Appliances Should You Buy A Warranty For?

Counter-Depth-French-Door-Refrigerators-at-Yale-Appliance-(1)-(1)

The statistically most unreliable products are Pro gas ranges and refrigerators. Both have changed the most drastically, with gas ranges being more powerful and now having ignition system problems.

Most Reliable Professional Ranges For 2019

  Service Qty Shipped Qty Service Ratio
Samsung Chef Collection 0 1 0.00 %
Fisher & Paykel 2 10 20.00 %
Bertazzoni 3 14 21.43 %
Thermador 85 346 24.57 %
Jenn-Air 36 138 26.09 %
Wolf 75 278 26.98 %
Miele 10 20 50.00 %
La Cornue 1 2 50.00 %
BlueStar 20 36 55.56 %
Grand Total 232 845 27.46 %

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

Most Reliable Counter Depth Refrigerators For 2019

  Service Qty Shipped Qty Service Ratio
Signature Kitchen Suite 2 33 6.06 %
LG 6 71 8.45 %
Samsung 133 1051 12.65 %
Fisher & Paykel 41 261 15.71 %
Whirlpool 7 44 15.91 %
Maytag 1 5 20.00 %
BlueStar 3 14 21.43 %
Bosch 105 408 25.74 %
Jenn-Air 270 780 34.62 %
Liebherr 6 15 40.00 %
Amana 3 7 42.86 %
KitchenAid 152 334 45.51 %
Blomberg 25 30 83.33 %
Grand Total 807 3062 26.36 %

Also, the new French doors 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.

Most Reliable Front Load Washers For 2019

  Service Qty Shipped Qty Service Ratio
Samsung 8 178 4.49 %
LG Electronics 72 1246 5.78 %
Whirlpool 30 293 10.24 %
Maytag 204 1470 13.88 %
Electrolux 112 281 39.86 %
Frigidaire 4 9 44.44 %
Speed Queen 19 14 135.71 %
Grand Total 455 3494 13.02 %

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

 

Who Should You Buy A Warranty From?

This article is about understanding warranties. There are statistical arguments either way. However, there is one absolute.

Do not buy an extended warranty from any company without a service department. Seriously.

Most extended warranty providers really just call centers. They sell extended warranties like a commodity to dealers (like us pre-2009) and bid out the repair to the cheapest independent service company.

Unfortunately, that repair company will not perform an expensive compressor repair or install a direct drive motor in your washer for that low rate.

It's like that washer. They can't afford to fix it, but they can't replace it either

Often, you are left with an unfixed or badly fixed machine. That's the reality.

Google any third-party provider and read other people's experiences online.

Pretty grim, isn't it?

Warranties sold this way are simply not worth the money.

So, only consider a warranty on the more expensive products. Most importantly, at least understand what the service experience will be like after the sale before buying additional coverage.

Lastly, I would ask a ton of questions before the sale. Look at online reviews.

Do not fall into the trap of buying an extended warranty when the provider cannot resolve any problems in a reasonable amount of time.

Our Current Stance On Warranties

Over the years, we have stopped representing unreliable brands. In 2017, our shift in laundry to Whirlpool/Maytag had decreased our warranty repair from 20% to 5% in the first year.

Although we have never pushed extended warranties, there are certain times where, statistically, you need 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 own service department and market only the statistically reliable brands.

Our Final Advice

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

However, unlike most insurance companies, you have to research the ability of any warranty provider actually to repair your appliances.

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.

Additional Resources

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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.

A Note About Pricing

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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