Stretching Your Dollar... Extended Warranties

By Maureen O'Boyle - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you have purchased an expensive electronic item and wondered if the extra money you paid for the extended warranty was really worth it, you might want to talk to John Lechner.

Recently, he purchased a DVD burner from a large electronics chain.  While at the check-out counter, the clerk talked him into paying more for an extended warranty offered by the store on his new purchase.

It wasn't long before Lechner says he got "burned" when the burner stopped working.

"They said 'It is out of the terms or the warranty because you broke it, it was not from natural use,' and that is not true," Lechner said.

Many consumer groups, including Consumer Reports, encourage consumers not to fall for the warranty pitches.

"Chances are, you won't spend as much on repairs as you would on the warranty itself," said Ellis Levinson who is also known as the Consumer Guy.

Most warranties contain pages of fine print.  You can be assured buried in all that fine print the company is making sure it will make a profit on the warranty and it really will not be beneficial to the consumer.

There is a new direct-to-consumer warranty company called Square Trade which is generating rave reviews.

You have up to 90 days after purchasing your electronic device to decide on the warranty you want.

Web site reviews by consumers give Square Trade high marks.  Square Trade makes money because there is no middle man.  It offers assurances without the same high prices.

Square Trade promises warranties at a 70 percent discount from retailers.

Click here for a link to Square Trade.  As with any warranty purchase, make sure you understand the contract before you spend your money.

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