What You Don’t Know About Your Refrigerator Warranty May Be Costing You Money
From sloppy installation mistakes to missed coverage periods, you could unknowingly be missing the opportunity to save hundreds (if not thousands) in costly refrigerator repairs. The following expert advice details the 4 most common warranty mistakes consumers make.
4 Common Warranty Mistakes
You Don’t Have Proper Documentation
When you purchase a new refrigerator, be sure you receive documentation that shows the date your product was delivered to your home (this may be different than the date you made the purchase).
Why this is important: If you purchase a refrigerator on November 1st, but the product isn’t delivered until the first week of December, your manufacturer warranty doesn’t start until the product is in your home. However, if your purchase receipt doesn’t show the delivery date, you could be fighting the manufacturer to cover repairs made after the documented purchase date.
The bottom line: When the store gives you a receipt, be sure they properly document the date that the product was delivered to your home. If they don’t, you could be losing days or months of your 1st-year warranty. If you need to use the warranty in the last few weeks of your coverage, this could cost you hundreds of dollars, depending on the nature of the problem.
(This is also true if you purchase a new home. Be sure to supply the repair company with a copy of your Close of Escrow papers. Your warranty coverage starts the day you close escrow on a new home, not the date the builder purchased the appliance).
You Didn’t Identify Installation Damage
It is important to identify damage caused during the installation of your refrigerator immediately (scratches, leveling issues, broken connectors, cracked door handles, etc). Before the delivery company leaves, inspect the unit from top to bottom. Verify that the drawers slide properly, the doors shut tight, and there are no scratches or dents. If the product does not operate properly, inform the installation company immediately.
The manufacturer does not cover damage caused during installation. If you call a service company to fix the problem days after the installation, and the technician finds that the issue was caused during the installation, you may get stuck with the service charge (and possibly a repair bill).
You Didn’t Report Cosmetic Damage
Most brands only offer 7-30 days coverage for cosmetic parts, scratches, and dents. Cosmetic parts include handles, drawers, light bulbs, water filters, knobs, logos, and even the printed writing on the touch panel. If these items fail after the first 7-30 days (depending on your brand), you’ll be responsible for the repair. This can be extremely upsetting news, especially for items such as drawers and handles. Be sure to examine your refrigerator in great detail and call the manufacturer immediately should you find any cosmetic damage.
You Didn’t Know About the 3-12 Year Limited Warranty
If you assume that your refrigerator’s warranty ended after the first year or two of ownership, you might be paying for a repair that is covered by the manufacturer. Most medium to high-end brand refrigerators come with extended coverage on sealed system labor and/or parts. Sealed system parts included the compressor, evaporator, drier, condenser, and connecting tubing.
For example, Miele refrigerators generally come with 5-year limited parts and labor warranty on sealed system repairs, and an additional limited parts only warranty from the 6th to 10th year of ownership.
Less expensive models, such as Whirlpool refrigerators, often come with a 5-year limited warranty on sealed system parts only (no extended coverage for labor).
Don’t miss out on your warranty coverage. Check your product’s Owner’s Manual for more information about the terms of your refrigerator’s warranty.