Monday, March 03, 2008

Extended Warranty

        We've entered the land of the extended warranty!  Anyone who reads any of the RVing magazines has heard about problems with extended warranties and about some companies that offer such warranties going out of business.  In 2003, when we bought our Montana, we also purchased a five-year extended warranty that started in 2004 when the one-year manufacturer's warranty expired. It is good till July 2009.  We never buy extended warranties, but paid out the $1700 because, in this case, if we didn't use the warranty, we would get our money back at the end of five years.


        Until this February, we hadn't used the warranty.  Last summer, when we were afraid the refrigerator was going out, we thought about using it—those appliances cost $800 or more.  But luckily the fix was simple.  However, when we were looking for a repairman, we called the warranty company to get some referrals.  We were relieved to learn they were still in business.


        Then, last week we took the trailer in for maintenance before leaving in late March for seven months or more of travel.  The dealer service department called to tell us the hydraulic system that operates the slides was leaking and needs repair.  We already knew that.  We had to do some repairs in 2004 while in Alaska.  At that time, John did most of the work with some help from a local man—recommended by the RV park in Valdez—who didn't charge us for his advice and help.  Since then we have noticed some hydraulic fluid leaking, but not enough to necessitate adding fluid to the hydraulic pump reservoir.


        When I asked the dealer what would happen if we didn't get the leak repaired, the service manager said that at some point we wouldn't be able to open or close the slides.  That sounds like a horror story to anyone who lives in their RV as much as we do, so we asked him to contact the warranty company for authorization to repair the leak—there goes our $1700 refund in 2009.  And that's when the real problems started.


        Yes, the repair is covered.  No, they won't pay for all the hours the dealer says it will take to make the repairs.  He asked us to call the warranty company and appeal.  We did.  They didn't budge.  I found another dealer that said the job could be done in much less time—meaning the authorized repair amount would cover the work.  However, they were at least two hours away from the first dealer.  At $3.28 a gallon for diesel fuel (that's today's cost, who knows what it will be later this week), the four hours of driving to pick up the RV, deliver it to the second dealer, and drive back home would cost almost as much as we would save by making the move.  Late Friday afternoon, I called and said, "Go ahead with the job.  How much will you work with us on the part we have to pay?"  Watch for the next post to find out how we came out. 

No comments:

Post a Comment