Maximize Your Warranties

by Catherine Booth

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Why Warranties?

Save Money When Buying Appliances

When you purchase an item, not only should you fill in the warranty card and send it in, but also you should keep the receipt in a special "warranties" folder. Write on the back of the receipt the date that the warranty expires. Often the ink on the receipt fades over time and this will help. For items that have more than one-year warranty, you should also cut out the part of the packaging that details the warranty conditions and staple it to the receipt.

Many appliances such as irons, washing machines, and kitchen appliances have one- or two-year warranties. Quite often, the appliance will give up the ghost within that time, and you can go to your warranties folder, find the receipt, and take it back to the store with the receipt and appliance.

Companies know most people will throw their receipts out or lose them when they get their new appliance home. Often, people will simply fork out for a new appliance, as they cannot take back the old one for a replacement or refund.

More expensive appliances and many household items such as saucepans and quality electric fry pans have longer warranties, say 5 to 50 years. Not many people will keep their receipts that long, but if you do, you may never have to purchase another of the same item ever again, because the companies rely on the customers' losing the receipt, not on the long-term reliability of their product.

Suppose you now have a broken or worn out item and you wish to return it to the supplier for replacement or refund. There are a few steps to consider:

  1. Is the item broken or worn out through misuse or poor maintenance? It is unlikely you will receive a refund or replacement in such cases.

    If it isn't, then you are in luck and have a good chance. Ensure the item is clean and appears well looked after. Make sure you have a neat and tidy appearance, as a scruffy appearance can affect how your claim is received. Have good manners and polite speech, and if your claim is initially doubted or rejected, ask calmly and nicely to speak to the manager on duty. If the manager is not helpful, ask for the contact details of the company's customer service manager.

  2. If you purchased the item a long way away, often taking it to the same chain in your area will be helpful. Most chains will honour receipts from other stores within the same chain.

If the warranty is not honoured, go to your local consumer affairs bureau and they will help you sort it out.

Catherine Booth describers herself as "an Aussie battler from years gone by." One year, she and her husband survived on less than $7000 for the whole year. She writes ebooks to help other battlers out of the debt and poverty cycle. She believes it is better to make one dollar do the work of two, than to earn twice the amount of money and end up paying half of it in tax.

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