At a Glance
You've probably read about service nightmares on Google, Yelp, Angie's List, The Better Business Bureau (BBB), and a ton of other review sites.
Pro tip: Only believe the consumer, not eCommerce ones. Consumer review sites tend to be honest.
You may be considering buying appliances with better initial warranties as a possible remedy. A longer warranty protects you for a longer amount of time - or so you think.
Imagine never having an appliance repair bill for up to 10 years!
It sounds so good, doesn't it?
What manufacturer would ever place a long warranty on an unreliable product? (Small pause here).
In this article, you will learn where this is indeed a good idea, and where it will go horribly, horribly wrong for you (I added an extra "horribly" for a reason).
You will see warranties and then the fail rates of brands based on 34,687 service calls logged by us last year.
First, let's look at the pros and cons of buying an extra warranty.
Should You Buy An Appliance Manufacturer's Extra Warranty?
First, you will never pay for service in warranty, at least in theory - which is great.
You will also never have to pay for one of those incredibly disappointing store warranties with no actual service or service techs backing it - also great.
A few decent vendors use an extra 1-year warranty as part of a program to ensure their appliances are not demolished upon installation - an excellent idea.
Only installation certified companies can pass on the extra warranty to you (you may want to search for those companies).
In many ways, you will pay a small fortune between that top load washer and the similar one with a 10-year warranty.
So you are paying more than you need for a simple product.
Beware The Extra Warranty
Many companies are using their extra warranties to give you a false sense of security to buy their products.
This tactic is used on some of the most heavily repaired products in the industry (most we do not carry).Short on time? Get our free Appliance Buying Guide
Why Is Finding An Appliance Repair Service So Hard?
Let's say you want to get into the service business. Why not? Maytag tried 20 years ago claiming there were 10 billion dollars in service calls available.
For warranty, a manufacturer will pay you between $80-100 on average to complete a service call.
A completed service call for the appliance manufacturer means:
- You field the call
- Order/pay for the part
- Dispatch the tech
- Complete the request 60-70% of the time
- Return the part
- Repeat process if the wrong part
Let's not forget, warehouse, truck, gas in the car, person to field calls, the service tech, warehouse worker, and the two types of insurance - Liability and Workers' Compensation - needed to walk into your home legally.
Now you know why it's so hard to find decent warranty service. Appliance dealers are guaranteed to lose lots of money doing it.
Many repair companies only handle warranty service because they are promised more profitable out of warranty service from the manufacturer.
However, a 10-year warranty almost guarantees warranty service.
The only way around this nightmare is to buy a product with factory service.
They will fulfill the warranty eventually or find a dealer to service what they sell and dumb enough to market products with 10-year warranties.
The following is a list of the most popular companies, their warranty programs, and how reliable they are.
The Most Popular Appliance Brands And Their Warranties
||Full Warranty||Certified Installer||Parts only||Sealed system||Promotions|
|Liebherr||2||N/A||N/A||5 full, 12 parts||N/A|
|Maytag||1||N/A||10 on some products||N/A||N/A|
|Speed Queen||3, 5, or 7 years.||N/A||N/A||N/A||10|
|Signature Kitchen Suite||1||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Asko||2 residential, 1 commercial||N/A||N/A||N/A||5|
|Miele||2||3||N/A||N/A||5 on ranges and range tops|
|Fisher & Paykel||2||N/A||N/A||N/A||Current promotion is 5 years|
The Most Reliable and Least Reliable Appliance Brands
|Service Qty||Shipped Qty||Service Ratio|
|Electrolux Icon||0||1||0.00 %|
|Waste King Disposers||0||3||0.00 %|
|Danby Appliances||0||3||0.00 %|
|Samsung Chef Collection||0||15||0.00 %|
|Traeger Wood Fire Grills||0||21||0.00 %|
|Yale Exclusive Plumbing||0||900||0.00 %|
|GE Appliances||1||212||0.47 %|
|Best Range Hoods||10||373||2.68 %|
|Yale Exclusive Rangehoods||46||1316||3.50 %|
|Yale Exclusive||17||387||4.39 %|
|LG Electronics||168||3085||5.45 %|
|Signature Kitchen Suite||6||105||5.71 %|
|Broan-Nutone LLC||3||48||6.25 %|
|Faber USA||2||21||9.52 %|
|Bosch Appliances||754||6751||11.17 %|
|XO Hoods||4||33||12.12 %|
|Dynamic Cooking Systems||4||27||14.81 %|
|Lynx Professional Grills||15||85||17.65 %|
|Fisher & Paykel||112||568||19.72 %|
|Speed Queen Commercial||1||5||20.00 %|
|Bosch - Benchmark||156||504||30.95 %|
|Speed Queen||158||492||32.11 %|
|La Cornue||17||36||47.22 %|
|Frigidaire Gallery||40||48||83.33 %|
|Frigidaire Professional||41||31||132.26 %|
|Grand Total||7121||52346||13.60 %|
The most reliable appliances are generally builder products, hoods, BBQs, electric ranges, gas ranges, and dishwashers.
Higher-end products like professional ranges and built-in refrigerators require more service, customer education, and installation. They almost always have higher repair rates.
The Best Appliance Manufacturer Warranties
Miele: Getting a third year on a Miele with a certified installer is a good deal. Then again, their products are typically the most reliable.
Wolf: Wolf is another reliable, upscale brand. Three years is decent on a product you would consider anyway.
Gaggenau: You won't need the Gaggenau 3 year warranty, because the product is so reliable. They are under Bosch's service umbrella as well.
The Worst Appliance Manufacturer Warranties
Liebherr: Liebherr is a great refrigerator, but needs service and is tough to fix.
Maytag: Maytag has a 10-year part only, but you pay for it. The base Whirlpool is cheaper and is essentially the same product.
Speed Queen: I love this company and product, but they have had a tough 18 months for reliability. They are going back to an earlier design.
However, making that service call to that non-existent repair company in years 2-10 will not be much fun.
We don't sell a few companies on the high end with extended warranties. You probably know them.
They need a new philosophy: Build it right first then warranty it.
Providing a warranty for a lousy product and then figuring it out later does not endear you to your customers.
Our Final Advice
Most of our advice in these posts end with "it depends." Not in this case.
Here are your choices:
- You can buy a great brand with an extended warranty and probably never use it.
- You can buy a great or not so great brand from a self-servicing dealer or manufacturer who will be obliged to fix it.
- Don't buy an unreliable product from a company who cannot help you after the sale. I have only described 88% of the places you can buy an appliance.
- Be mindful of what and where you buy your appliances.
Download our Appliance Buying Guide with features, specs and inside buying tips to every major brand. Well over 580,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
- What Appliances Should You Buy Warranties For?
- Should You Buy A Third Party Appliance Warranty?
- Should You Buy That $199 Extended Warranty for Your Refrigerator?
- Pro Appliance Tips For First-Time Remodelers
- Our FREE Appliance Delivery Checklist
Craig Marcotte is an Appliance Sales Consultant at Yale Appliance. He has been with Yale for over two years now. Before working at Yale, Craig was a corporate trainer and later spent several years managing restaurants in Boston. A New Hampshire boy at heart, you can often find Craig on a mountain or running a Spartan race when he isn’t helping customers upgrade their homes.
A Note About Pricing