Take care when buying extended warranties

Date published: 27 November 2019

If you're planning to snap up bargains on gadgets and other electrical goods before Christmas or in the January sales, do your homework if you're thinking about buying a warranty. Extended warranties can be expensive, particularly if you're buying in the sales.

Don't feel under pressure to buy

When you buy goods, particularly electrical goods, you're often offered the option of an extended warranty over and above the standard manufacturer’s guarantee for peace of mind in the event that the item becomes defective.

Some extended warranties are insurance policies and others are service agreements.

In many cases, sales staff will push the sale of warranties to gain commission or meet sales targets.

Any business selling an extended warranty:

  • must make sure it doesn't give false information or give information in a misleading way
  • must not leave out or hide important information - all information must be clear and prominent

For example, you should be told about any important things that might not be covered, such as cosmetic damage.

However, you shouldn’t feel under pressure to buy a warranty. This is  optional and you don’t have to decide there and then - you can always buy one later.

You can get more information about buying goods at this link:

Statutory rights

It's important to remember that you can still use your statutory rights. You may be entitled to a refund, repair or replacement if something is faulty.

Any warranty is in addition to these statutory rights and can never take them away.

Think carefully about your options and make an informed decision - don’t end up spending a lot more than you expected.

Take your time

Take your time if thinking about buying a warranty and remember:

  • you might be covered already so check other insurance policies such as home contents
  • there may be cheaper options - for example, if you have lots of gadgets, it might cheaper in the long run to buy multiple item insurance
  • check what the warranty covers – know what you are buying
  • check the cost of the warranty against buying a replacement product - it might be cheaper to do this if needed
  • most appliances come with a 12-month manufacturer’s warranty which might be enough for your needs
  • you can shop around - check comparison sites for the best price and features

If you're mis-sold a warranty

If you think you’ve been mis-sold an extended warranty, or want further advice, you can contact Consumerline online or by phone on 0300 123 6262.

More useful links

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.