Warranty Woes: A Homeowner’s Cautionary Tale

There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when you will feel thankful for your homeowner’s warranty…and then you will be hella disappointed and have warranty woes.

If you have ever had to use your homeowner’s warranty, you’ll probably feel a sense of familiarity reading this post. If you’re one of the lucky ones who hasn’t had to make that call (or submit that claim request), keep reading as you’ll want to be prepared. If you don’t have a homeowner’s warranty, or own a home for that matter, still read this post for future knowledge. You will thank me. 

Either way, after reading, you will close this window thinking about the fragility of your refrigerator! LOL 

There’s nothing like the feeling of brand new appliances, right? They’re clean, shiny, and most importantly, they work properly. We purchased all new appliances when we purchased our home 10 years ago. 

Once upon a time, we were especially in love with our Electrolux kitchen appliances. They were fancy-ish and sleek. Fast forward 10 years, and we’re ready to throw the whole kitchen away. Okay, I’m being dramatic, we just ended up throwing the whole refrigerator away. 

The warranty…when it works well

We have a homeowner’s warranty. If you’re unfamiliar, the gist is you pay a monthly fee for coverage, and if one of your covered appliances malfunctions, you submit a claim, they will send someone out for a fee (ours is $85) and they will repair it if possible. If it is not repairable, they will replace it with a comparable unit. 

We made a call on our garbage disposal. A repair person came out, realized it could not be fixed, and repaired it immediately. We came out on the better end. The call out fee was cheaper than a new garbage disposal. 

When the warranty becomes a woe

As of our last repair call, we were three calls in on this refrigerator (yes, 3 * $85). They would “fix” it, the fridge would work for 4-6 months, and then something else would pop up. This last time was the last time. The repair guy took almost three weeks to receive parts (because COVID), and the day after he installed parts, deemed the fridge a failure because the code on the picture remained.

The wishful thinking

Me in all of my naivete figured, instead of replacing it with some random fridge, they will give us the money they would have spent on a unit, and we can just get a replacement that we actually want. Well, I was partially correct. They offered us $600 for a replacement! The alternative was to wait until they brought us the replacement they wanted us to have. Yeah, no way was that an option for us.

Silly us, we took the cash and thought they would send it quickly. We would be very wrong. They said they’ll mail a check in 30 days! Thankfully we were able to replace our fridge on our own, but what if we were reliant on them? Clearly, this system is in need of some work. 

Don’t go through what we’ve been through…

Since our experience with this has been interesting to say the least, I figured I’d share a few tips and considerations for you. 

  1. Research, research, research! You definitely want to sign up with the best company out there, if you sign up with one at all. See #4.
  2. Be prepared for the let down. Just know that comparable doesn’t mean the same thing to them as it does to you. If you don’t care about brands, this may not apply to you. Which brings me to #3.
  3. Consider taking the replacement unit over the cash if you have a pretty sure means of reselling it, or if you could use it in another space. We already have a fridge in our basement which is why we didn’t chose this option. 
  4. Consider extending manufacturers warranties as long as you can, and then after that, just financially prepare to handle your own repairs and replacements. 
  5. If you have to replace an appliance, be sure to get something you love! We’re currently learning our new Samsung Family Hub refrigerator! So many of the apps I mentioned in in this post are right on the door! Officially obsessed! You’ll definitely see more about this in the future.

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