I often worry about not buying additional cover for an appliance. The “what if it breaks down and the high repair costs” always bother me, but in the end I always decide to opt not to buy any additional cover beyond the free guarantee period.
Looks like I was right. Let me explain:
After almost four years, my Bosch dishwasher broke down. At first I thought it just needed cleaning or something and followed all the checks Bosch recommend before calling out for an engineer.
I eventually called out for one. I had no insurance cover, so started feeling a little annoyed with myself, as the engineer cost was £99 plus additional charges for spare parts.
When the engineer arrived, he told me the dishwasher couldn’t be fixed. He said the fault was also rather uncommon and that we were basically “unlucky.”
Unlucky? too right I thought. If only I had purchased an extended warranty.
Thinking out loud I said to the engineer “such a shame, we only had it four years”. He looked at me and said the machine should have lasted a lot longer and that he would talk to Bosch about a product failing in less than five years, with the view that we should be entitled to a new one at a significant discount.
I eventually spoke to Bosch who offered me a new one for just £37, because the old one did not last a sufficient period.
My brand new dishwasher would have cost me £363. I am grateful for the engineer pointing this out to me, but I am annoyed that manufacturers do not tell you this. Instead, we are pushed into buying expensive insurance and extended warranty policies.
What really annoys me about is that no one at Bosch had told me about this extra protection consumers get. The customer care rep I spoke to when booking my engineer gave me two options:
1) Pay for the call–out charge and the cost of spare parts
2) Or you can pay for insurance for £150 and you are covered for everything for two years.
She didn’t even explain that Bosch would offer a significantly reduced new one or that I would get a £50 cashback voucher if the engineer couldn’t fix it.
Now, let’s do some maths…
Had I paid for insurance cover, it would have cost me £150 a year. The first two years were free, so let’s say it would have cost me £300 to date.
Without the cover or the discount, I could have purchased a new dishwasher for less than £300 or the same one for around £363.
Somehow, the insurance doesn’t seem worthwhile. You could end up paying more for an appliance that really shouldn’t break down, and if it does break down within a period of five years, the supplier will often give you a significant discount.
According to a study by Which? Most appliances are now so reliable, it is unlikely they need any kind of repair in the first five years. After that, just upgrade with the money you saved from expensive extended warranty or insurance costs.
So, think very carefully before you sign up to costly extended warranties. When it comes to electrical and white goods, they are a waste of money. These appliances are expected to last and if they don’t then as the consumer you have some rights!
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