Many of my readers think that you're more likely to be struck by lightning than to have an extended warranty turn out to be worthwhile. But one reader who bought into Best Buy's promise of a no-lemon guarantee on its extended warranties discovered that lightning can strike twice.
In 2000, our house took a lightning strike that took out the satellite dish receiver, VCR, TV, computer modem, parallel port, and HP laser printer," the reader wrote. "When replacing the equipment with new parts, I asked whether lightning damage was covered before purchasing the extended warranty since I had only been in the house for one year and didn't know if this could be a chronic issue. Best Buy touted their no-lemon warranty policy, indicating that if anything required more than three repairs, it would be replaced."
"The Philips TV I bought failed the first time within one year," the reader wrote. "The warranty covered the failure, Best Buy holding to their word to do in-home pickup. Second failure was about nine months later under the extended warranty. Third failure came about six months later. Now, each time, the failure required about one month or more before the required repairs were completed, so this was not a very satisfying experience."
"After the TV failed a fourth time, it was time to call in the no-lemon policy. I spoke with one of the warranty droids who assured me it would be taken care of. After several weeks, called again, got the story that they didn't have all of the service records. Sent them fax copies. A few more weeks (all this time I don't have a TV, and the repair shop has a boat anchor taking up space), call again, now they only have two of the three required records -- send the third one again. More weeks of waiting, finally (note: I'm always the one doing the calling, they never provided any information or requests for information on their own accord) call again, get told that the set will not be replaced because 'no lemon; does not apply."
"WHAT!??" the reader wrote. "The records indicated that on one of the failures, no soldering had been done, thus this did not count as a repair. So, after several months of watching a 20+-year-old 19" TV, they finally authorized the repair center to perform repairs (local repair company said they had their tech touch every solder joint just to be sure). That will be the last time I ever buy an extended warranty and now, when asked at the counter, I loudly proclaim, 'You want me to buy a warranty like the one you failed to honor the last time I bought one?' Hopefully it will save somebody else some money and cost a few sales."
Has a vendor told you to go suck lemons rather honoring your warranty? Tell us about it by posting your comments on my website, calling the Gripe Line voice mail at 1 888 875-7916 or writing me at Foster@gripe2ed.com.
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