Murphy’s Law says that if something is going to go wrong it will. Another form of Murphy’s Law could state that, “As soon as your warranty expires the thing is going to break.” That always seems to be what happens and it leads to all sorts of imaginings of corporate conspiracies about making things with an expiration date so you have to keep buying replacements. That is not true.
Warranties are given during a reasonable period when there should be no expected issue with an item. After a warranty has expired the reasonable expectation is that it will continue to work just fine until its reasonable lifetime has expired. Sometimes this happens and sometimes it does not. So if your warranty has expired, what do you do? There are options so you do not get caught having to pay for repairs or replacements out of pocket. Let's discuss a few of them.
How close to the expiration date was it?
If something has gone wrong with a product very soon after the warranty has expired you may be in luck. Many companies will still honor a warranty if you are within 30-days of the expiration date. Warranty dates are guess work and it is reasonable to think that they would be off by 30 days before or after the estimated date. Call the company and talk to them. Stay calm. Don’t accuse and see how receptive they are to honoring the warranty.
Does the company offer an extended warranty?
Some companies offer an extended warranty plan. This is usually offered when you purchase the item and for a few dollars more you can extend the warranty. Many companies also offer a separate extended warranty that you can purchase within 30 to 60 days of the expiration of the old warranty. It is rare that you will be able to purchase and extended warranty after that. By then it is assumed that damage may have occurred and you are trying to get the company to pay the cost of repair rather than planning ahead for a “just-in-case” situation.
Out Of Pocket Payments
You can also just suck it up and pay for your own repairs or a total replacement out of your own pocket. Sometimes this is unavoidable; and can relieve some of the headaches that can come with trying to implement an extended warranty. If you are more than 60 days past a warranty expiration; you may not be eligible for an extended warranty. If the company has gone out of business there may be no source for an extended policy anyway. Also, if you have purchased the item second hand you may not be eligible. That is another caution about warranties, read the fine print; they may be restricted to only one registered owner and non-transferable. This is not the information you want to find out about when you need the warranty the most.
Your warranty has expired, now what? Use warranty checkers! One important thing you should know is that more and more companies are making use of the Internet for product and warranty registration and are now offering “warranty checkers.” These are programs you register with that will notify you when your warranty is about to expire. Even if the product you have does not offer this service you can make your own version of a warranty checker. All you have to do is look for the expiration date of the warranty and then mark it in your calendar. Once you have it marked, mark a date three months prior to it with a comment like, “Warrant Expires 90 Days.” This will remind you to have any service covered by the warranty done, to purchase an extended warranty or to look for a backup product.
Remember if your warranty expires you have many optionss. The extended warranty can be your best friend. Make sure that you read the information carefully to make sure you get the best coverage available. Warranty are put in place to protect you in case of a problem with your purchase. Make sure you get what you pay for.