12 On Your Side: Extended warranty repair takes too long for Aiken mother

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- If you are planning to make a big-ticket purchase this holiday season, then most likely a salesperson will try to get you to buy an extended warranty.

Consumer Reports advises against purchasing warranties on appliances because many do not break down before a warranty's expiration date. They also say most do not cover normal wear and tear.

One Aiken County woman says the money spent on her extended warranty was not worth the time and hassle it caused her.

Patricia Muns thought she was being proactive when she purchased an extended warranty on her refrigerator, but after five months of hassling with the warranty company, she says that extra purchase only cost her money and stress.

"It's just been horrible, especially back in August I didn't have the other freezer then," she said.

Muns' refrigerator problems started back in June when the appliance's brainboard fried.

She didn't worry too much then since she had an extended warranty.

"They told me that they were very busy and that I would have to wait five or six days before they could even come back out to look at it," Muns said.

A week and a full refrigerator worth of spoiled food later, Assurant Solutions eventually fixed the problem.

But a few months later, her refrigerator broke down a second time.

"I cannot cook them a big meal because whatever left I can't afford to throw it away," the mother of three adopted children said.

The warranty company made her wait a week to fix the problem a second time.

Her refrigerator broke down a third time a few weeks ago in October.

"I was so frustrated -- I didn't know who I could turn to who I could get help from."

Muns turned to 12 On Your Side for help. Two days later, she had a check for a new refrigerator.

Many warranty companies do not have set deadlines to fix problems.

According to Consumer Reports, retailers make about a 10 percent profit on the appliances they sell to you. They make a 50 percent profit on the warranties.

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