Warranty Scams and Avoiding Them — TechVirtuosity

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Not Every Warranty is Good

There are several different types of warranties, some good and some that are not so good. But what are warranty scams? Some companies do it intentionally, some are actual scammers and some are just bad deals. But if you are like most people, when you see a warranty you typically don’t think much about the conditions of it. I’ll explain below on how to avoid the bad ones!

Understanding Warranty Conditions

Companies, whether they have good intentions or bad ones, they need to make money. Extended warranties are great for this and that’s worth a lot of money for them. But the one thing all warranties have whether extended, included or otherwise, they have “conditions”. So what are warranty conditions and how do they work?

  • Added conditions can have limits on how often the device is used. Typically known as fair use.
  • They will specify normal use conditions and explain what isn’t covered, such as drops or spills.
  • Some warranties require a receipt or something to show proof that you purchased the device or extended warranty.
  • Conditions may cover cheaper components like phone batteries but not major ones like a new screen.

Indirect Smartphone Warranty Scams

This is where the lines start to blur between advertising and actual coverage. If you purchase a smartphone they typically flaunt being able to have water on them or even being submerged. But most manufacturers put little tabs on the inside that change color if water touches them. So your phone can go underwater, but if it ever does get water inside then you aren’t covered? This is a mix of misdirecting features that are not covered.

Smartphones Aren’t That Covered

While warranty scams might be obvious to some, companies will sometimes disguise it. Popular electronic stores that allow you to purchase extended warranties will sometimes exclude normal use cases. They’ll design a phone with glass wrapping around it, but they won’t cover it if you get a scratch on it. But this isn’t in every situation so be careful when reading the fine print. Not all extended warranties are bad! But some are scams.

Key Tips for Spotting the Bad Warranties

Other than the things mentioned above, here are some things to look out for on typical warranties. Ask yourself the following questions…

  • Does the warranty cover typical wear and tear?
  • Does the warranty only cover manufacturer flaws and for how long?
  • Is the price of an extended warranty worth it?
  • Is the company known for providing great customer service?
  • Do you know the company trying to sell the warranty to you?

Those questions cover a wide range of scenarios but they will help you in making informed decisions. The last question you may only ever use if you get a phone call or email claiming to offer you additional warranties.

How to Recognize Warranty Scams Over the Phone

If the scam is over the phone, it’s best to simply hangup and call the company directly if you have any doubts. But if they claim to be a company you are familiar with, then tread carefully. Is the warranty reasonable? Are the conditions fair? I always recommend to avoid any warranties over the phone. Companies like to pressure you into making decisions then and there without you doing your own research. Scammers also like to pretend to be a company that they aren’t. It’s simply safer to avoid the phone for those reasons alone.

Car and Electronics Warranty Scams

Dealerships already tend to have bad reputations, but they aren’t too different than electronic stores. They sell you something and try to get you to purchase extended warranties. Dealership warranties don’t typically cover much while costing thousands of dollars, which can be called a scam. They tend to pressure you into making purchases but always do your own research. Again, ask yourself if the price is reasonable for the likelihood that something will break. Same goes for electronics. In most cases you are allowed to purchase the extended warranty later on after you do your research.

Never be Pressured Into any Warranties

In the end, warranty scams are far too common. Always do your research and never let a company pressure you into making a purchase then and there. Warranties have helped lots of people but likewise, companies have also scammed people out of lots of money! Full blown scammers don’t help anyone which is why I suggest avoiding phone call warranties, just in case. Hopefully this helps, and feel free to drop a comment or suggestion “here” or below!

Originally published at techvirtuosity.com on January 28, 2019.

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I'm a writer, blogger, technician and software developer. Writing is my passion that I do on the side. I love all things technology.

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Brandon Santangelo

Brandon Santangelo

I'm a writer, blogger, technician and software developer. Writing is my passion that I do on the side. I love all things technology.

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