Time really is money, and as the holiday shopping season begins, a new survey shows that more than two-thirds of American consumers would be willing to spend a little more money to save time and avoid hassle when cars, appliances and electronics break down.
Almost five out of six consumers who have purchased extended warranties or service contracts for cars, electronics and other items are satisfied with that decision, according to a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted Nov. 13-19 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
“It’s clear that once consumers purchase a service contract, they see how much it can save them from a surprise expense and the stress that goes with it,” said Tim Meenan, executive director of the Service Contract Industry Council. “No one wants their holidays – or any other time of year – ruined by a big-ticket item suddenly breaking down, and for many consumers, a service contract is the best protection against that kind of unexpected aggravation.”
Among the survey’s findings:
- 67 percent of respondents would rather spend a little more money if it saves them time,
- 71 percent say it’s worth it to pay a little more to know they don’t have to deal with the hassle of repairs,
- 80 percent of those who purchased an extended warranty or service contract did so to avoid the unexpected expense, hassle or stress associated with repairs,
- 84 percent of those consumers are very or somewhat satisfied with their decision to purchase a warranty or service contract,
- 55 percent of consumers believe avoiding unexpected expenses is a major benefit of having an extended warranty on consumer electronics, appliances, home systems or car services.
Service contracts can cover everything from cell phones, dishwashers and televisions to laptops, vehicles and home air conditioning units. With a service contract, consumers know they will be able to get repairs or replacement when they need it. Service contracts covered more than 95 percent of claims in 2012 – sometimes resulting from catastrophic events, but often by routine wear and tear. Most service contracts provide 24-hour claims service to their customers, with expedited options for emergency situations.
“When you consider all these factors, it’s clear that service contracts provide a practical solution for consumers purchasing expensive items for home or personal use,” Meenan said. “The peace of mind of knowing you’re covered in any instance, combined with the benefits when repairs are necessary, certainly make a service contract the smart way to go.”
The Service Contract Industry Council offers consumer tips on buying and using extended warranties or service contracts at go-scic.com/about/#consumer.