Since 1938 Barber & Haskill has been a family owned business serving the Barrie, Midland and Orillia areas. We are dedicated to providing you with the best in products, services and pricing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Extended Warranties

Are Extended Warranties Really Necessary?
Over the years, we have all been put in the position where – after making a major purchase for a household item – we have to make a decision about whether or not we should buy extended warranties.  
 Plus we match our competitors documented price with the same merchandise.
Here at Barber and Haskill, we do not push warranties on our customers.  It is always totally up to you if you feel an extended warranty is something that will add a level of comfort and value to the total purchase.
Often, I am asked my opinion on whether to buy an extended warranty.  
So, here are my thoughts:
When it comes time to decide about the warranty, I would strongly advise it on major appliances like refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, wall ovens, cooktops and laundry.  These items are the most expensive to purchase and in turn the most expensive to service, both in parts and labour.  And, unfortunately, it is true that appliances do not last as long as they once did.  These days, it is estimated that an appliance’s lifespan is anywhere between eight and 10 years.
This last fact may have you wondering with all the advances in technology and improved materials, how is it that appliances are lasting for a shorter period than their predecessors?  A good question and the answer starts and ends with – technology.   Yes, appliances work better today than they ever have and are more efficient than they ever have been, thanks primarily to technology.  However, all of these advances lead to having more things that can go wrong.  It is something that can bring both advantages and potential problems.
Most appliances come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty, including all parts and labour.  In the rare occurrence that a major failure takes place in the second year, we would likely advise replacing the unit instead of fixing it.  This is a situation that we never want to find our customers experiencing; this is the time when the extended warranty can be your saving grace.
Here are some keys I would look for in buying an extended warranty:
 Barber and Haskill Service Departments new vehicle, 2015
• Find a retailer that you trust, one that handles its own warranty or backs the warranty it sells instead of out-sourcing it.  You want a retailer that has its own service department to support the warranty: this is always a better option.  Here at Barber & Haskill, we currently have five full-time people working in our service department.     It amazes me how much appliance service we do up here in what you could consider a relatively small community.  We have calls coming in constantly, to schedule service calls, or inquiries for a part that the appliance owner can replace themselves. 
• I would also look for a retailer that will offer some store credit for a warranty that is unused.  Making your purchase at a store that you trust,  you get the peace of mind of having your appliances covered, with the value of the warranty not completely lost if you don’t have an issue. 
• Beware of extended warranties that are managed by a third party.  In this case, when there is an issue, you don’t call the store you purchased it from: you call a 1-800 number.  Then, you could potentially sit and wait on hold and hope to get someone who knows the area you are calling from and who may understand your problem.  Sometimes, these retailers don’t have a service provider in your region, leading to longer down-time for your unit.
In closing, when I make a major purchase like appliances, I always ask some questions: 
  • Who will provide the service work?  
  • Who do I call when there is an issue?  
  • What happens if I do not use the extended warranty… do I get a credit for the price I paid?  
I would base my purchasing decision on the answers to those questions.  I feel that – despite some of the negative stories you may hear – there is a place for extended warranties, given the expected life of appliances these days.  Ask your sales person some of the questions I’ve provided above to see if an extended warranty is right for you.  If you are content with the answers, I’d go for it.
Barber and Haskill Waranties

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