There’s some good news for those consumers that have forked out on extended warranties on pricy electrical goods such as computers and flat screen telly’s in the run up to this Christmas.
The good news comes in the form of launch of The Warranty Club, on December 1st 2006. Membership of The Warranty Club (priced just £10 for a year) will enable the consumer to buy warranties direct from the insurer at a discount against High-Street prices.
The extended warranties that consumers purchase via The Warranty Club are offered at a guaranteed saving of at least 20% off the High-Street price of each warranty they purchase. Members also benefit from heavily discounted (at least 20%) engineers’ call out rates via a national network of repairers.
Consumer groups have been worried for a long time about the hard sell techniques used by the big High Street electrical retailers to sell expensive additional warranties to consumers at point of purchase.
This concern was shared by the Competition Commission that completed a review of the extended warranty market in 2001 which led to the introduction of a 45-day ‘cooling off’’ period earlier this year, in which consumers purchasing extended warranties have 45 days from the day on which they took out the warranty to reverse their decision and claim a refund.
This legal ‘cooling off’ period means, for example, someone who has paid £300 for an extended warranty on a flat screen television set in the run up to this Christmas has up to 45 days to trade in this warranty with no repercussions.
That same person can go on line and join The Warranty Club for just £10 then re-purchase a warranty for his goods saving at least 20%. He ends up with an extended warranty, membership of The Warranty Club for one year (covering all electrical warranty purchases he wants to make that year) and £50 in his pocket that he didn’t have before – so it’s his opportunity to claw back a bit of Christmas cheer!
The Warranty Club is being launched in the UK by international retail dealmakers Patonz and is underwritten by a leading UK insurer, which will be announced on the day of the launch. The Warranty Club separates the sale of the product from the sale of the warranty and gives the consumer many more options in terms of how and where they purchase their electrical goods and a warranty, if they want one.