Monday 20 November 2017

Is an extended warranty worth buying for my TV?

€1.77bn is just the tip of the iceberg
€1.77bn is just the tip of the iceberg

Siobhán Howe

I am replacing my 10-year-old television with a new Smart TV, which has built-in WIFI capability. Because these TVs are expensive, the shop assistant has advised me to take out an extended warranty when I buy it. He said this will protect me if the TV breaks or gets damaged and the warranty itself is not that expensive.

As I am spending a lot of money, the idea of an extended warranty seems to make sense. Would you recommend I buy this product?

SIOBHAN SAYS: Buying an extended warranty on a product will cover you beyond the manufacturer's guarantee period, which is usually for one year, by a further two or three years. Consumers are often offered an extended warranty when they buy an electrical item, particularly one that is expensive, complex and hi-tech, as is the case with the TV you intend to buy.

But you should remember that you also have significant rights under consumer law, in addition to the manufacture's guarantee. These rights enable you to get a repair, replacement, a reduction in price or a refund depending on whether there is a major or minor fault with your purchase. However, your rights will depend on how the item was used and also on how long you have had the item as your entitlements can diminish over time. For more information on this, go to consumerhelp.ie. You also shouldn't have to pay for repairs if the item breaks or becomes faulty within the period covered by the manufacturer's guarantee.

The extended warranty is separate to these consumer rights. You don't say how much the extended warranty will cost but they can be quite expensive over time.

Always check the terms and conditions of the warranty before you buy and if you are not sure what is covered, ask your retailer or the company providing the warranty.

To help with your decision, consider the cost of replacing the faulty item and compare this with the full cost of the warranty over the period it applies for. Sometimes replacing the item may cost less than the warranty. If you do choose to buy the extended warranty, keep the documentation in a safe place in case you need to make a claim.

Siobhán Howe works with the National Consumer Agency. showe@independent.ie

Irish Independent

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