Especially during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees, don’t forget that your purchases come with a warranty if something breaks. Commonly known as manufacturer’s warranties, these typically cover you for a year or more for defects or other issues that happen under normal use. And, if you have a major credit card, you can get built in extended coverage as well. Here’s a recent experience I had that saved me big.
Last year, I bought an electric toothbrush from a big consumer products company. Never had an issue with it until this past weekend when the brush head and shaft (basically, a drill bit) separated. Now, the brush is worthless. A little frustrated at the thought of having to replace a $150 device, I wondered if it was still within the warranty period. The first thing I did was call my credit card company’s claims center. They asked when I had purchased the product, which was in May 2013. Then, they asked if it was still within that company’s claim period, which I thought was only a year. The credit card company wasn’t going to activate the extended coverage option until I verified the original manufacturer’s warranty period. I did a bit of research and it turns out that the product was guaranteed for two years!
Warranty coverage will save you money!
So, the next step was to contact the manufacturer. I noticed on their website that they had an online chat customer service option. Score. I do very well at those and they are great for tracking what was said and promised to you. After going through a few basic questions about the problem, model and serial number, the rep indicated that a replacement was on the way. Awesome! Not only was I getting a new product, but it didn’t cost me anything but a few minutes of my time. Sure enough, my e-mail today from them indicated a tracking number for my replacement via FedEx.
The next time you find yourself with a faulty or defective product, don’t assume you need to replace it at your own cost. If it is a significant cost, say $50 or more, to replace the product, it’s probably worth it to file a warranty claim. You will save money on what would have been a replacement cost, and as a consumer, feel like you are empowered to take action when you receive a faulty product.