Friday, May 4, 2012

Making Use of Product Warranties

This is a great guest post from my dear friend Alaina.  Enjoy!

If it’s broken, get it replaced!
Hello, Frugally Blonde readers!  My name is Alaina, and I’m Liz’s friend in real life as well as in the blogosphere.  We met in college and our lives have followed remarkably similar paths since then.  I also have three kids and live in Northern Virginia.  I do not, however, use couponing as one of my main money-saving tactics.  
What I do utilize to the best of my abilities is warranty information.  All kinds of products have warranties or, more commonly, a ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ policy.  You can save lots of money on replacing broken or defective items by contacting the manufacturer and having them send you a replacement!
When you purchase something that comes with a warranty, take the warranty papers or information right away and put it in a place where it won’t get lost, but that you will remember when it’s time to use it.  
I have successfully replaced all sorts of items.  My cookware has a nonstick coating and a 10 year warranty.  A few years ago, the nonstick coating started peeling off for no good reason.  I contacted Calphalon, shipped the defective pans back to them and received brand new ones in the mail, for just the price of shipping the old ones to them.  It was much cheaper than buying a whole new set.
Children’s toys are another type of product that I frequently replace.  My 3 year old daughter recently received a floor puzzle as a gift and the picture started peeling off the cardboard pieces the second time she played with it.  I called Melissa & Doug and they are sending a replacement at no cost!

On occasion, items break and are no longer produced by the company that made them.  In my experience, companies will send you either a newer model of the same product or give you credit for merchandise that you select.
If you can’t find your warranty information, use the internet!  Many companies have phone numbers, live chat with customer service representatives, and email.  Don’t be afraid to contact them!  I have never been challenged regarding improper use of an item, and it never hurts to ask!
Think of it this way: a company that already has you for a customer wants to keep you as happy as possible.  You’ve already paid for the warranty service - why not use it?  The small amount of time spent in calling a company far outweighs the time and money you would spend replacing it by purchasing a replacement in the store!

Check out more great money saving ideas at Frugal Fridays.

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