The First Time I’ve Ever Used a Product Warranty

BrokenMug When I was expecting my first child, I bought a video baby monitor. Months later, it’s awfully nice to be able to
see my little girl when she’s sleeping peacefully or rolling around
in her crib chewing on her feet. But lately, the image on the monitor has been a
little…green. And distorted. And sometimes not there at all.

I found it absurd that such an expensive product would only
last for five months, so I went looking through the monitor’s paperwork. Turns
out, it’s covered under a one-year limited warranty by the manufacturer. And
because we saved the receipt for this thing, we can actually use the
warranty. I made a call yesterday, and I should be receiving a new monitor in
seven to 10 business days.

Hallelujah.

The problem, of course, is that I have to send back my
fuzzy-screened version in order to score a replacement model, leaving me
monitor-less for (you guessed it) seven to 10 business days. This is not a minor
issue. What if my return was something bigger, like a fridge?

Nonetheless, I’m pretty thrilled to be getting a functioning
(I hope) product out of the deal.

Some warranty advice:

  • Keep receipts. When you buy a big-ticket item,
    staple the receipt to the instruction manual and file them both away.
  • Think hard before you put cash down for an extended
    warranty.
    Many repairs fall under the warranty that already comes with the
    product (typically a year). For an extended policy to apply, the product would
    need to break after one year but before the 2-3 years are up on the extended
    warranty. The odds are not in your favor.
  • Put cash aside instead. Many repairs cost about as
    much as the extended warranty does. If you’re really concerned, consider putting
    some money aside when you buy the item (instead of shelling out for the extended
    warranty). Then you’ll have a cash cushion if your product does malfunction.

Have you ever used a warranty on a product?

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