Don't waste your money on extended warranties
Skip paying for protection you already have.
Seven out of 10 shoppers offered an extended warranty at Apple Stores, Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming.
While extended warranties promise to pay for repairs for a specified period after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, you’re likely paying hundreds of dollars for protection you already have under consumer law.
Our latest retailer survey found that three big retailers – Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming and Apple Stores – offered seven out of 10 shoppers an extended warranty.
Only 2 to 3% of shoppers at the three big retailers were told by store staff that they didn’t need an extended warranty, or that they were already covered under consumer law.
The more expensive the item, the more people were offered a warranty. This is especially so for whiteware (60%) and home tech (54%) purchases across all retailers surveyed.
Extended warranties may also be marketed as product care or damage protection plans.
Most of those surveyed who were offered the warranties at the stores refused them.
You’re already covered
Under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA), manufacturers and retailers are obliged to guarantee the products they sell are of an acceptable quality and fit for their purpose. Most appliances, certainly the big-ticket ones, can be expected to perform well for many years, not just the period covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
This means that if your product develops a fault when it’s still reasonably new, you can have it repaired or, if that isn’t possible, replaced – even if the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.
If the fault is substantial, you can choose between a refund, repair or replacement.
Therefore, there’s no value in having an extended warranty if the only thing it gives you is cover beyond the period of the manufacturer’s warranty.
The extended warranty may cover accidental damage, but so does your home and contents policy – for example, your contents insurance should cover damage to computers and electronic appliances from power surges.