If you've gone Christmas shopping in an actual store recently, someone might have tried to sell you a service plan. And it might sound like a good idea at FIRST, but Consumer Reports is here to tell you . . . don't believe the hype.
#1.) Products already last a long time. If your product doesn't break during the original warranty period, chances are it will last beyond the extended warranty period too. Especially if you're not buying off-brand stuff.
#2.) Service plans are WAY too expensive. Most of them cost about the same as what you'd pay for one repair: Up to a third of the full cost of the product itself. Just save the money . . . and pay for repairs when you actually need them.
#3.) They rip you off in the fine print. Some plans start on the purchase date, which means they're covering the same period as the manufacturer warranty. Other times a company will give you a flimsy excuse and refuse to honor the contract.
--For instance, they could "determine" that the damage was YOUR fault. Or they could just say there's no authorized repair provider in your area.
#4.) Good companies will want to help you anyway. Companies want to keep their customers happy. Even after your warranty runs out, you might still get free repairs.
#5.) You might be covered by a credit card. Lots of credit cards offer benefits that extend a manufacturer's warranty for a year. So you might not need the service plan even if something DOES break.
#6.) State laws may already extend your warranty rights. Most states have laws requiring products to be free of major defects for a reasonable amount of time. So a court could force a company to fix something even after the warranty runs out.
#7.) It might be an easy fix anyway. If something breaks, a few minutes on Google might show you how to repair it on your own.
#8.) You can probably get renter's insurance cheaper. If you have homeowner's or renter's insurance, add whatever you buy to it. They might give better coverage for less money . . . and they don't run out.
Most service plans are for electronics anyway. And if you're like most people, you'll be ready to buy the next model before your service plan even runs out.