I am buying a power sofa and recliner. I am most concerned should the power mechanism stop working. What is the best furniture warranty to cover that type of problem? Is there more than one level of insurance, such as a premium that covers more than the standard warranty?
There is no premium “Best” furniture warranty that covers more than standard warranties.
This includes Extended Warranties.
Salespeople may honestly believe that extended warranties provide extra protection.
Any extra warranty protection is minimal.
The additional cost of the extended warranty does not justify the minimal added protection.
A furniture warranty is a legal document, created by attorneys, to protect their clients. Those clients are the furniture companies or the insurance companies that cover extended warranties.
Furniture warranties have 3 primary purposes:
Warranties are carefully written to reassure consumers that it will fully protect them against damaged or defective products.
Broad claims are listed at the top of the warranty.
The broad warranty “guarantees” will “appear” to protect you against the most common types of problems that furniture shoppers worry about.
Exclusionary clauses buried further often nullify warranty protections guaranteed at the top of the document in broad print down.
2) Protection (for retailers against their customers.)
The attorneys for retailers and insurance companies write extended warranties to minimize the potential costs and maximize the profits of their clients.
Extended warranties are not written for the benefit of the consumer.
Although some types of warranties (such as those for automobiles) may protect consumers under government regulations, states and other governmental authorities rarely regulate furniture warranties.
Extended warranties are one of the most profitable items sold by furniture retailers.
The furniture retailer keeps approximately 30% of what you pay for the warranty.
Responsibility for potential repair costs is transferred to a 3rd party insurance company.
Furniture retailers are paid to be relieved of liability for covering warranty claims.
Furniture warranties include multiple exclusionary clauses.
The exclusionary clauses are listed in small print, deep down in the document, where very few people read.
These exclusionary clauses modify or completely nullify many of the broad claims listed at the top of the document.
The language used in these exclusionary clauses can be deceptive.
For example, warranties may guarantee service only for “accidental” damage.
This denies coverage for any damage that occurs over time as the furniture is used.
Problems that arise after the furniture has been in use are far more common than “accidental” damage.
Examples of problems occurring over time include: worn out cushions, seam separation, broken foundations, and fabric discoloration, peeling, or stains (unless you can specify a single “accidental” cause for the stain.)
If the couch has additional stains or dirt, that did not occur “accidentally,” your warranty coverage may not apply.
Furniture salespeople work very hard to convince you that warranties are designed to protect you.
They will know the broad warranty coverage.
Very few salespeople are aware of the exclusionary clauses buried deeper down.
Furniture retailers will usually take care of obvious problems within one year of purchase.
After the first year, the most common problems are rarely covered.
The most common problems (for upholstered seating) include worn out cushions and fabric-related complaints.
The customer’s responsibility for labor or transportation costs often makes repairs impractically expensive, even when the defect is covered under warranty.
Labor and/or transportation costs typically become the customer’s responsibility after 1 year.
The photo above features a Bradington Young power reclining sectional.
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