Why experts say extended warranties may not be worth it

New tech is exciting and for those who got gadgets and appliances for the new year, a D.C.-area consumers group says beware of extended warranties that may be too good to be true.

Experts say they could be a waste of time and money.

Whether it is protection plans or service contracts, retailers are notorious for pushing consumers to buy them for added coverage for those big-ticket items.

“Many consumers are anxious about spending a lot of money on a big-ticket item and might worry about it being a lemon,” said Kevin Brasler, executive editor of Consumers’ Checkbook.

He said the problem with extended warranties is that they are really expensive and don’t offer much coverage.

“If something does go wrong with your purchase, these policies have so many fine print exclusions, you likely won’t get a repair or replacement,” Brasler said. “We find these mini-insurance policies are really bad buys.”

He recommends doing this before you buy a protection plan or extended warranty:

“Check whether or not, your credit card company offers similar protection. Some stores including Costco also offer extensions and manufacturers’ warranties for free.” Brasler said.

Consumers’ Checkbook/Center for the Study of Services is an independent, nonprofit consumer organization founded in 1974. It has been an innovator in providing information to help consumers make smarter choices for more than 40 years.

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Sandra Jones

Sandra Jones is an Anchor/Reporter for WTOP. She’s been in the news industry for more than two decades.

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