What do you know about warranties? Well, you may have taken advantage of a warranty for a vehicle repair within the coverage period. Maybe you took advantage of a warranty for your computer or television if it went on the fritz.
But what about the purchases that aren’t as major? You’re protected for those, too.
Warranties can be confusing, so here’s a primer to help you understand the basics.
Types of Warranties
Before we describe the types of warranties, let’s look at what a warranty is.
The Federal Trade Commission defines a warranty as an important promise the seller or manufacturer makes to stand behind a product. There are different types of warranties.
An express warranty is the promise from the seller or manufacturer, which can be written or verbal. By law, written warranties for products costing $10 or more must be labeled as full or limited.
- Full warranties provide complete coverage for any defect, including all repair costs. Consumers can also request a replacement or full refund if the product failure cannot be fixed. Full warranties are also transferable.
- Limited warranties only cover certain parts and defects.
An implied warranty is coverage that is created by state law. The most common type of implied warranty is when a seller promises a product will perform as it is supposed to. Implied warranties may offer coverage outside of a written warranty. It is worth looking into your state’s implied warranty coverage if you have a problem that isn’t covered under a written warranty.
Lifetime warranties cover the lifetime of the product, as in how long it is available from the manufacturer or seller.
What to Look For
It is important to review the warranty carefully before you make a purchase, so you know what is and isn’t covered, and for how long. Consider the following:
- Length of the warranty: Check the start and expiration date for coverage.
- Conditions that void the warranty: For example, modifying the product may render the warranty void.
- Conditions/limitations on the warranty: Some warranties only cover specific uses, so make sure you have a clear understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable.
- Repairs and parts included in the coverage: Also note what is excluded, such as labor costs or shipping charges.
- Who performs the warranty service: The seller or manufacturer may perform the service, or they may require you to make the repair with an authorized third party.
- What the seller/manufacturer will do if the product fails: Check if the warranty covers repairs, replacement or a refund.
- If consequential damages are covered: These are damages that result from the product failure, such as damage to a workpiece caused by a tool malfunction.
Be sure to save your receipt and keep it on file with your written warranty.
The seller or manufacturer often will try to sell you a service contract or extended warranty. According to Consumer Reports, these are a waste of money. It is unlikely the product will fail within the coverage period, and the repair costs likely won’t be significant enough to justify the expense of the service contract.
Kimball Midwest wants you to know exactly what you’re getting – extensive product information is available on our website and through your sales rep, and 80% of our inventory dollars are spent on products made in the USA. Further, we can trace most of our products to the source of manufacture, helping eliminate the possibility of substandard, misrepresented, mismarked or counterfeit products being put into the supply chain. We do our best to ensure that the product you’re buying offers superior quality and performance.