There are many Walmart shoppers who are not aware of the fact that they can purchase an warranty and protection plan. Some who are asked if they would like to make this purchase at the sales counter decline it because they simply have never heard about it before and they don't have enough information about it to make a decision to purchase on the spot.
Some are pleased with the extra coverage for guaranteeing the merchandise that they purchase, particularly with electronics and other high dollar items, while others believe that it's not worth the cost.
There are pros and cons associated with the Walmart Warranty and Protection plan, and before you can decide if it's worth the cost, you must have the facts along with the benefits, so here is everything that you need to know about the coverage.
What is the Walmart Warranty and Protection plan?
Most retailers offer some type of extended warranty and care plan and consumers tend to be wary of these because of all of the limitations and restrictions that makes it not worth the cost to buy.
Some companies are notorious for finding loopholes around getting out of honoring these plans, but does Walmart fit into this category or do they really make good on their promises?
First, let's take a look at the actual plan that they offer their customers. The Walmart Care plan is issued to customers through a company that is called Asurion. This insurer is located in Nashville Tennessee and their primary function is to fulfill extended warranties. They offer two ways for consumers to report claims.
One is through their online program called the 'Solutions Hub" and the other is by calling them directly and speaking with a representative to file a warranty claim over the phone. Some customers have reported that Asurion is fast to handle legitimate claims on extended warranties.
They don't fuss with small details and even when an electronic device can more inexpensively be repaired by a local shop, their preference is to have you ship it back as a return and they will send you a new item in perfect condition. The boxes they use as shipping containers are large and well padded to ensure that there is no damage to the item during the shipping process. In some cases, Asurion will make repairs but this is left to their discretion.
Advantages of the Walmart Warranty and Protection plan
One of the things that we really liked about the Walmart warranty plan is that you have the option of calling them by telephone and talking to a real live person. The telephone number is 877-968-6391, for their customer service department. There may or may not be a wait depending upon the time of day that you call.
The customer service hours are also geared towards customer satisfaction with representatives manning the phones 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can call any time, and all that they ask is that you are prepared to give them the facts when they answer so they can process your information quickly.
The best way to connect with an agent quickly is to bypass the automated system by pressing the 2, then the 2 again and then the zero and pound sign, then zero and pound again and then 1 and 3. Speaking to a real person is much more comforting than relying on technology to convey your concerns for most people.
There is even a call back option available, so if you're put on an extended wait time you can use this option and a representative from customer service will call you back in the order that the call was received. Having the warranty and protection plan can help to give you peace of mind.
This is especially true when you're purchasing an item that is expensive. It's good to know that if there is some defect, or if something goes wrong shortly after the manufacturer's warranty expires, you are covered.
There are a lot of different items which are eligible for Walmart's protection plan coverage. These include jewelry items, televisions, computers and other electronic devices and much more.
If you've made a purchase within the last 30 days for which you didn't buy the protection plan, but you've changed your mind about it, that's not a problem. Walmart gives you 30 days to decide and if you still have the receipt from your purchase you can purchase a plan for the item.
If you are giving an eligible item as a gift, you can purchase a protection plan. Even if you received a gift, you can opt to purchase an extended warranty plan but you must know the purchase price and the date of the purchase. Another great benefit of Walmart protection is that you can manage the plan from the support hub portion of the website.
This not only allows you to file a claim, but you can also track the progress of the claim that you filed and receive updates so you'll know how it's being handled and when you can expect to receive an item that is either being repaired or replaced.
Your responsibilities under the protection plan
Any time that you purchase the Walmart protection plan, it's important that you remember to save a copy of the receipt for the covered item.
You will need this if you have to file a claim. This is the best way to get an instant response and to expedite the services. Aside from this, all you are required to do is to tell the customer service representative why you're calling, the nature of the problem or complete the claims form that is found on the website.
It's important that you are honest with the representative with information that is accurate to the best of your knowledge about how the item became damaged. It's also important to file your claim as soon as possible after you become aware that the product is broken, damaged or in some other way defective.
Some of the covered situations include power surge damage that can happen when there is an electrical spike in your utility service and if you've purchased the extended warranty on a computer, television, kitchen or laundry appliance that has been damaged in this manner, you're covered.
Mechanical and electrical failures are also covered. If you have accidental damage from handling in your plan it will cover electronics which are damaged due to drops, spilling beverages on the item an cracked screens on phones and laptops and other portable electronics.
Televisions which experience pixel failure or burn in are also covered. This is identified by a small spot on the screen that shouldn't be there. The warranty plan can also cover some kinds of wear and tear if it doesn't hold up during normal use during the period covered under the extended warranty plan.
You can even purchase an extended warranty plan on many of the eligible refurbished items to give you additional peace of mind on an item that has been restored before you buy it.
Read the fine print and ask questions
Another responsibility under the plan is to read the fine print and make certain that you understand the terms and the conditions of the coverage that you're purchasing.
If you're not sure about what you're told when the offer for an extended warranty is made, then ask questions until you are satisfied. Some important facts to be aware of are, what is covered and what is not.
Some warranties are limited so you need to make sure that it is worth the cost to receive the extension of guarantee. For example, is the power cord covered, is it covered if you drop it or if it sustains water damage, etc? Become familiar with the scope of the coverage being offered because this can vary from one item to another.
Another limitation that you need to be aware of is the expiration date of the warranty. This is another factor that can help you to decide if the cost is worth the potential benefits. Extended warranties are much like insurance, because that's what they are, and you hope that you won't need to use them but if you do, it's nice to have a solid warranty and protection plan in place.
Consumer reviews of the Walmart Warranty and Protection plan
Before you make your decision about whether the Walmart Warranty and Protection plan is worth the cost, it's a good idea to find out what others who have actually purchased the plan and filed claims have to say about their personal experiences.
We checked with several reviewers to learn more about actual customer experiences and at Pissed Consumer.com, consumers gave the plan an overall score of 2.4 out of a possible 5 stars.
This site gathered information from 37 customers who rated the plan on three factors. The cumulative scores for price affordability was 3 out of 5 stars which means that it's reasonably affordable or a little above average on the affordability scale.
The product or service quality received a low 2 stars and the value for the money also received a 2 out of 5. A few of the most glaring complaints included terrible customer service, not handling or processing their claim in a timely manner, and in some cases, not at all, and one consumer complained that the item covered under warranty was sent out for repairs and was returned in damaged condition when the experts in charge of the claim stated that the item was fine, and the consumer disagreed with this decision. Some consumers have even gone as far as to recommend not purchasing the plan because they do not honor claims.
This is not the case for all reviews of the plan though. The Consumer Affairs website tells a completely different story. While rather negative reviews were posted by actual consumers, the sample group was just 37 consumers.
Consumer Affairs gathered information from a much larger group from an annual rating class of 5,571 consumers. out of this group, the overall satisfaction ratings were extremely high. Out of this number, just 419 gave Asurion, the group handling warranties a 1 out of 5 rating.
57 gave them 2 stars, 183 gave them 3 stars, 571 gave them a 4 star rating and 4,341 gave them the thumbs up with 5 star ratings for an overall satisfaction rating of 3.5 out of 5 which is well above average. Asurion also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Is the Walmart Warranty and Protection plan worth the money?
There are some consumers who have had negative experiences with the plan and if you ask them for their opinions some will tell you that it's not worth the paper it's printed on, but there are far more who would disagree with this assessment.
In any large corporation, there are likely to be issues with some of the staff who handle the claims processing and from what we gathered, there were a few consumers who did not receive satisfaction from their warranty plans, but we also read the reviews of a much higher percentage of satisfied consumers who were very pleased with the process and were happy to report that everything went off without a hassle and Asurion was prompt and courteous when it came to the handling of their claims.
From the data we've analyzed, it is our firm belief that the warranty and protection plan that Walmart offers is one that has far more benefits if you experience a failure in an eligible item and gauging our opinions strictly upon a review of the available information about consumer satisfaction, we believe that it's peace of mind that is worth the cost in case it's needed.
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Written by Dana Hanson
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