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At checkout at electronic or big box stores, the clerk will often offer you an additional warranty. The script usually sounds a little like this: "Would you like to add buyers protection on this product for only $20.00?" Only buy products that have good warranties in the first place, and say "No" when a checker offers you an impulse warranty on electronics. If you are afraid that the product will not last past the manufacturers warranty, it's probably not worth buying. Also, your credit card may offer extended warranties on purchased items already.
Nearly everything that is manufactured has some sort of warranty, although the length can vary greatly. Sellers can also offer extended warranties and credit card purchases may have additional protection as well. But these do you no good if you cannot utilize them before they expire. Here are some tips for making sure you get your money's worth from new purchases.
Purchase with a credit card instead of paying cash or using a debit account. This will give you extra protection for no extra money. Plus, the credit card company will reimburse you for fraud from an online seller or identity theft. Your bank or credit union will usually do the same but it make take more time and leave you with an overdrawn account until it is fixed.
Extended warranties for products, especially electronics, are offered at the point of sale but can be an unnecessary expense in many cases. However, if the purchase is for a child or teen, the extended warranty can be very helpful, especially if it covers accidental damage and replacement.
Extended home and auto warranties are usually only available right at the time of purchase but these can be very helpful over time. A home warranty usually covers all the appliances in your residence and will ensure that small problems can be repaired at no additional cost to you. It can save you big over the years you live in your home.
It is recommended to take your car to the dealer's service department for maintenance and repair until after the warranty has expired. They will ensure that everything is done to spec and will keep track of all necessary information. And if something goes wrong, there is no worry that it won't be covered because of an out of network mechanic or some other loophole.
Many higher end home goods and furniture offer a lifetime warranty but this sometimes comes with a catch. A good example of this is Le Creseut. Their cast iron enamel cookware has a lifetime warranty for replacement. But you must ship the heavy cookware to the nearest location which is an added expense. And if the company determines the piece was damaged through inappropriate care, there will be an additional charge for replacement. This still might be less than buying a new one but it all adds up.
Be sure to save receipts long enough to ensure a return or exchange. Most stores will accept returns for about a month, although games and electronics can have a shorter return time or special requirements. Be cautious when purchasing early presents as the return window could be over before the gift is unwrapped.
For larger purchases, be sure to staple the receipt to the owner's manual and file it away. If the receipt is on thermal paper, it would be wise to take a photo or scan to protect against fading. Some receipts can become entirely blank in a short amount of time and it can be hard to prove when and where you bought a specific device. If you have the receipt emailed to you, you can print it on demand.
Fill out any warranty or registration cards. This will help you in case the original reciept is unavailable and will also allow the manufacturer to contact you in case of a product recall or update.
Write the warranty expiration date on your calendar, with a reminder a month or two before it ends. This is especially important for large purchases; like autos, appliances or home repairs. Nothing is more disappointing than to have something fixed only to find out that the warranty has already ended. And watch your new car's mileage too as it can often end a warranty months before
Please share any warranty tips or stories with us in the comments below.
I like to save money by buying stuff on sale. I usually buy presents for my family, in advance when I find them not when I need them. But as I found out recently, means that the warranties may have expired.
I like buying products with lifetime warranties, such as Totes umbrellas. The last time I had to use the warranty, I had to mail back the entire umbrella, plus a $5 check to cover postage for the return umbrella.
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How do get my broken Corningware replaced with the lifetime replacement warranty?
Editor's Note: Corningware no longer offers a lifetime warranty. You would need to contact the company directly for more information.
Take a picture of the broken item, showing the Corningware's emblem. Usually located on the bottom of the bake or cookware & email it to the customer satisfaction/consumer marketing department as proof of authenticity.