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Picking up a major appliance like a refrigerator is a big purchase for your home, so naturally, you want to keep it in the best shape possible. Part of ensuring that you've made a worthwhile investment is in the product itself, picking out a quality brand that will last through the years. However, even the highest quality refrigerators have their issues, and a small problem can mean a repair in the future.
Warranty plans can help you cover those unexpected errors. Most major appliances come with a factory warranty attached, giving you peace of mind for some time, usually around a year. But problems don't always crop up within that year, and a factory warranty won't cover all the issues you can encounter.
That's where extended warranties come in. Whenever you buy from a major retailer, you can expect to hear an offer for extended coverage as you check out. Even when shopping online, a warranty is just a few clicks away from becoming part of your cart. Home Depot refrigerators are no exception to this, and you can purchase one of their warranty plans. But is the cost worth it?
What Do Home Depot Refrigerator Warranties Do?
While the coverage provided by your factory warranty will depend on the exact make and model of refrigerator you purchased, Home Depot offers protection plans for fridges that follow set guidelines. This setup means that, aside from the differences in your plan specifications, you can expect the same level of coverage for Home Depot refrigerators.
With that in mind, Home Depot does not have a specific warranty plan for refrigerators. Instead, there is one protection plan available for all major appliances purchased through the company.
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Home Depot's warranty guide indicates the types of repairs available in detail. To qualify for coverage, the damage to your refrigerator must not be eligible for repairs under any other kind of policy, such as your home insurer's policy. You can also receive partial reimbursement for any preventative maintenance done before an issue arises. Simple cosmetic repairs also can only receive a partial refund.
Coverage includes situations like:
However, Home Depot refrigerators with warranties do not cover several potential needs for repairs, such as pre-existing conditions, misuse of the product, third-party actions, natural disasters, failure to follow manufacturer instructions. Like many other warranties, there's a strong chance your need for repairs may not fall under its coverage plan.
Even so, for the conditions covered by the warranty, Home Depot does offer full reimbursement for any qualifying repairs. When repairs aren't possible, you can also expect to see a replacement for your covered appliance through a Home Depot gift card or check that's equal to the purchase cost with tax added.
No Lemon Replacement
Home Depot also follows the "no lemon" replacement standard in its warranties. If your product requires more than three repairs out of the box, then it's a "lemon"—a failed product. If your refrigerator meets this qualification, then you can expect a charge free replacement from your coverage in addition to the terms that your factory warranty outlines.
Filing a Claim
Upon purchasing your warranty coverage, you will receive instructions on how to file a claim through the protection plan. You can do this by calling customer service directly or filling out the online form. Both these options are available twenty-four/seven, throughout the entire year. Once you provide the details of your problem, Home Depot will take the appropriate amount of action.
Home Depot provides both in-home and out of home services. If you need to deliver your product to an authorized service center for repairs, your warranty will cover the cost of shipping both to and from your home. For replacement coverage, you must return the original appliance to receive the new refrigerator.
Once your policy expires, you have thirty days after the expiration date to file any claims. Anything filed past this date, even if the problem occurred within the coverage period, may not qualify for repairs or reimbursement.
Home Depot's refrigerator warranties do not have any deductible payments before providing coverage. To purchase a warranty, you must do so within 90 days of your initial appliance purchase.
The length of your coverage will depend on the plan that you select. For major appliances, Home Depot offers both five and three years extended coverage plans. Depending on which one you choose, you'll have coverage for any qualifying repairs and replacements within that timeframe.
If you want to continue your coverage, you will need to renew it within fourteen days of the expiration of your initial plan. Otherwise, you will not qualify for new protection. If you need repairs during this two-week gap between policies, you can still file a claim under the thirty-day past expiration claim period.
There are no delays between the purchase of your warranty plan and the coverage. You immediately start to receive the full benefits of the warranty. However, if you don't purchase the warranty on the same day as you are buying your refrigerator, any damage that happens before you get the protection plan won't have coverage.
Fix-It Fast Guarantee
Home Depot also provides a quick fix guarantee. If you don't have a complete repair within one week of your initial service visit, the company will offer a one-time payment of $50.
Food Loss Reimbuersement
Sometimes repairs for your refrigerator will be minor. Other times, they'll upset your usage enough that perishable kept in your fridge may become spoiled. When this happens, your Home Depot warranty will provide up to $300 to replace any food lost for both refrigerators and freezer units. You can only receive this reimbursement once per claim.
No Claim Reward
While your refrigerator warranty is there to help protect your appliance from any unseen circumstances, you may not have any trouble with your fridge throughout the entire extended coverage period. If you don't make any claims in that time, you are eligible for a no claim reward at the end of your service term.
This reimbursement is worth 30% of your total protection plan cost.
If you decide that you want to cancel your warranty, you have 90 days from the initial purchase to do so and receive a refund. However, if you choose to cancel past the 90-day mark or you have already used your benefits, you may not qualify to get your money back through any form of compensation.
Since Home Depot does not have a specific refrigerator protection plan available, you will instead need to purchase their major appliances warranty. This product covers numerous products outside of just refrigerators, and it has different price points depending on the initial cost of your fridge and the length of your protection plan.
For the three year warranty, the coverage cost ranges from $50 for products that cost $15-299 to $195 per plan for products that cost between $2000-$10000. As expected, the five-year protection plan is more expensive, ranging from $75 to $295 for the same product price points.
If you are purchasing more than one appliance at a time, you may be able to receive a discount on buying multiple protection plans. However, Home Depot generally only offers this discount through a physical store, rather than their online retail points.
In comparison to some other competitors, like Lowes, Home Depot's prices are comparable for the lower product price plans. However, when it comes to more expensive units, the price starts to pick up. If you are investing in a pricier refrigerator, the cost of a Home Depot extended protection plan may quickly outpace what you can find through another company.
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How It Compares
On the surface, Home Depot refrigerator warranties are comparable to those from their competitors. You can find lost food reimbursements, preventative maintenance partial cost coverage, quick repair guarantees, and no claim rewards on many other protection plans available through other major retailers.
One notable feature that Home Depot is missing when it comes to its refrigerator warranties is in rental reimbursement. Some other competitors will provide costs for rentals up to a percentage of the value of your covered freezer or refrigerator. Lowest rental reimbursement benefits provide this if their service team has not completed repairs within 72 hours.
Of course, there's also the debate of whether you need to have an extended coverage plan or not. While the one-time payment may seem worth it to prevent further problems in the future, the numerous excluded scenarios on the warranty may mean that you never get to take advantage of the plan at all.
Depending on your situation, it may be better to put the money spent on a warranty in savings. Many necessary repairs on refrigerators do not cost a significant amount in the long run. If you don't need to use your emergency fund, you'll have the full amount of the money available, rather than a percentage of reimbursement only available at the end of your service plan.
While the details of Home Depot's protection plans look passable on paper, customers have had mixed experiences. Many buyers report that they only got delayed service from their warranty, with unorganized repairman arrivals and disjointed staff communications. The quality of actual repair service was also mediocre once completed.
The many qualifications for warranty coverage also put a damper into how much help the coverage can supply. Many customers have received visits from technicians only to learn that their problems don't qualify for repair.
Part of these issues comes from the fact that Home Depot does not have a dedicated warranty repair staff, but instead relies on third-party companies to help handle repairs. This setup likely causes a lot of disconnect between the Home Depot team and those who come to take care of the work on refrigerators and other appliances.
Even so, the amount of reported problems across the board isn't universal. Some customers have had positive experiences with their Home Depot warranty plans, with prompt repairs or speedy customer service when issues do arrive. But the number of disappointed customers and regular complaints may be an indication that there's a gap between what Home Depot promises and what they deliver.
What We Think
While we acknowledge that an extended protection plan can help give you peace of mind and handle troublesome repairs, they may not always be necessary. In the case of Home Depot, picking up a protection plan along with your refrigerator might not be your best course of action. While there are numerous coverage options, the final cost and quality of repairs don't seem to match up.
Of course, every warranty package has some form of loopholes or requirements for providing repairs—if not, the companies would lose out on their money. Even so, the vast amount of complications reported by customers seems to indicate that it's much more of a hassle to receive help than it should be with an extended coverage plan, especially at this price.
We wouldn't recommend purchasing any Home Depot refrigerators warranty plan, especially if you're getting a more expensive model. You will have much better luck getting extended coverage from another company, and possibly even more benefits at a much better value. It's likely in your best interest to go to another outlet for both your unit and the protection plan.
If you've already selected for refrigerator model and are planning on purchasing from Home Depot, you should skip out on their extended coverage. You'll probably have much better luck tucking the money you would have spent into savings for emergencies, rather than counting on the warranty to take care of the details for you. Hiring a maintenance specialist yourself may be less hassle.
We will say that it seemed like Home Depot is making efforts to improve the quality of its warranty services (or is at least talking with customers to see where problems are). However, until those changes come to pass, save your effort and money.