Call Kurtis Investigates: Are You Wasting Your Money On Product Warranties

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Jackie Lacey, a Sacramento mom of four, says it’s a neverending story cleaning up after the kids.

When it was time to buy a new vacuum at Walmart, she paid extra money for the peace of mind protection plan.

Dishing out the extra cash to make sure that if any mechanical or electrical breakdowns happened, her investment was covered for three years.

It seemed like a good after the vacuum quit working.

“It’s collecting dust instead of picking up dust,” said Lacey.

She’s owned the vacuum for more than two years and says she’s had to send it back three different times because it won’t pick anything up.

When Lacey turns it on after 30 seconds, it dies, forcing her to use a broom to sweep the carpet.

“There’s obviously something wrong with this vacuum,” she said, “I want a vacuum cleaner,” that works.

After sending the vacuum cleaner out for repair on several occasions, shelling out the extra cash and still not have it operational, we turned to Consumer Reports for the low-down.

Simply put, they do not recommend throwing money at these types of plans.

“Take the money you would spend on the plan, put it in the bank,” said Tony Georgianni with Consumer Reports.

He adds if you are on the other side of what Lacey is experiencing and never have a problem with a product.

“Why pay in advance for a repair that you might not have,” said Georgianni.

He says products rarely break within the service plan window and you may have protection free through your credit card, which many extend manufacturer warranties by a year or more.

Once we reached out to Walmart, and it’s care plan company Asurion, they overnighted a check for the cost of the vacuum and the care plan to Lacey.

Walmart sent us an email saying, “We’d like to thank CBS13 for bringing Ms. Lacey’s situation to our attention so we could resolve the matter quickly.”

Asurion told us, “It will use the case for training “to determine how we can ensure no other customer experiences this delay.”

Lacey was thrilled to buy a replacement vacuum that works and is back in business picking up after the kids.

However, she has a message for the company’s that made her jump through hoops. “Either stand by your product or standby your warranty,” she said.

Consumer Reports says repairs usually are not that expensive, costing a few dollars more than the warranty.

Adding just because something is out of warranty you may still be able to get it covered.

They recommend going online to see if others are having the same problem if so, point that out to the company and tell them you are a good customer and they just might fix it for you.

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