Should I take out a Miele extended warranty?

Q and A I received the following question today asking advice about taking out a 5 year extended warranty on a Miele washing machine. This decision is harder than normal because the washing machine in question has a reputation for outstanding build quality and reliability, and already has a 5 year warranty –

I purchased a Miele washing machine with a 5 year guarantee. I’ve just received an offer to extend the guarantee a further 5 years for £199.00. Is this in your opinion good value for money? Or, is the machine that good that it wouldn’t need more money spent on it? The price we paid was £529. With the extra it does bump it up to £759.


My reply

It’s a bit paradoxical isn’t it? You’ve bought one of the most reliable washing machines available and they are trying to sell you an extra warranty.

It’s a tough one because you worry that if you choose not to and it does break down you might kick yourself.

Although the Miele is very reliable, you do have to bear in mind that if faults do occur they can be very expensive to fix because obviously they need expensive, quality parts.

The odds are quite high that you won’t need the cover though and it’s worth bearing in mind that consumer groups like Which? don’t recommend extended warranties either.

Another thing to bear in mind is that extended warranties don’t cover wear and tear, so if a part breaks down because it’s worn out it isn’t covered. In the first 5 years parts should be OK (apart from on cheap washing machines) but the period between 5 and 10 years is when parts can definitely start to fail because of wear. However, this is far more relevant on more ordinary washing machines and you should expect the Miele to stand up to a lot of wear because it’s designed to last at least 20 years.


Unfortunately in this case it isn’t good value for money because other Miele models such as the one I use (Miele W 3740) have a lot of extra features and already come with a 10 year warranty (NOTE: These extended warranties are used promotionally by Miele and subject to change). The price of the W 3740 is no more expensive than the combined Premier 520 and extra warranty.

So if you took out the warranty you’d end up paying the same as a W 3740 but with no Honeycomb drum and other worthwhile features.

Want longer guarantees?

Therefore, an important rule of thumb would be that if you are interested in a longer than normal guarantee you should really buy a washing machine that has it included in the price.

If the reason you didn’t go for a model costing over £700 with the 10 year warranty included is because you didn’t really want to spend that much or just couldn’t afford it then unless you’ve had a change of heart I’d bear that in mind.

At the end of the day there’s a lot of money to be made insuring reliable products, and of course any product can break down so it boils down to individual fears, and how much comfort and security an individual receives by insuring products against breakdown.


When it comes to cold hard logical facts it’s pointless insuring the vast majority of appliances in my opinion. Ironically it’s the least well off people that potentially benefit most by such insurances simply because they can least afford a big unexpected repair bill so they at least get some psychological relief from genuine fears by being insured.

It’s sad that many of these people spend their lives trapped in a circle of spending money they can ill afford because of the fear of a big unexpected repair bill, which then leaves them much worse off financially over the big picture of large periods of time because it will almost certainly be cheaper to pay for repairs in the long run than to insure everything.

If you are rich enough to be able to handle the odd big bill though (or wise enough to have savings put aside) then you don’t have a fear of them, so you don’t need to insure against breakdowns and can just pay out for the odd repair every so often instead of paying out increasing premiums every year for ever.


Summary

The Miele extra warranty is different to third party warranties because it’s run by Miele themselves. This cuts out the middleman and of course it’s geared up specifically for Miele washing machines. I understand you could take it out later, maybe even much later. If you like the idea of being covered from 5 – 10 years it could be something worth considering in the future after recovering from the shock to your wallet.

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6 thoughts on “Should I take out a Miele extended warranty?”

  1. Andy,
    Thanks very much for your reply. I’ll not be taking out the extra warranty. I’m willing to take a chance on the build quaility of this particular machine. My wife is religiously mopping out the residue of water in the drum rubber fold after every wash so hopefully this will give this item a longer life. Ha!
    Once again, thanks for taking the time to reply and I hope this answers anybody else in the same dilemma.

    Robert

  2. Thanks David: The guarantee is different to our statutory rights. The guarantee is included in the price and lasts for 12 months or sometimes longer. Our statutory rights however are our rights for a product to be fit for purpose and to last a “reasonable” time. However, to enforce them you have to take a seller to court if the seller won’t comply.

    “UK consumer law allows up to 6 years from purchase (5 in Scotland) to take legal action against a seller. Therefore it is possible to claim that your washing machine was inherently faulty if it suffers a major fault even at 5 or 6 years old. All circumstances must be taken into account and it may need a court to decide. The amount of use the washing machine has had is one factor, and the amount the washing machine cost may be another. It’s possible that a court could decide a washing machine costing a mere £200 has lasted a reasonable time if it expires after 5 or 6 years, whereas the same conclusion would be surprising about a washing machine costing £500.”

    My washing machine is now out of guarantee, but I don’t think I should have to pay for a repair

  3. I’ve just received a letter from Miele offering to extend the warranty on my Fridge/Freezer from 2 to 5 years at a cost of £99.90. They’ll take one payment or 10 x £9.90 by direct debit.

    I usually dismiss such warranties as a waste of money, preferring to cover repair bills if they arise (which hasn’t happened yet). However, I’m worried that the cost to call someone out, never mind cover the parts, will be considerably more than £100. The FF cost me £500.

    What I found ironic was the letter starts with ‘Miele products are designed and tested to last for twenty years’, then goes on to say how I should pay this extra money to cover it if it breaks down as it gets older!

    Being able to spread the cost over 10 months will make paying for the warranty easier to stomach, but still I’m in two minds.

    I have a Miele washing machine and vacuum cleaner and they have both performed admirably (touch wood).

  4. Sponge, if the odds were that you will need to use this insurance then it would not exist because they would lose money on it. It exists, and remains profitable because you are fairly unlikely to need to use it. It’s the basis of all insurance that the majority of people will not need it. However, my view is that insurances that insure against very serious (even if extremely unlikely) events such as death, car accidents etc are a very different matter and should be taken out. It’s insuring against relatively trivial events that I personally find pretty unnecessary. With all the things we have to worry about why should we insure against potentially having to pay out a couple of hundred pounds? It borders on paranoia to me and the insurance companies love it.

    You could need it, as presumably a small minority end up doing, but what about your washing machine and vacuum cleaner? What about your cooker, hob, television and all your other appliances? They could all equally break down so are we supposed to insure all of them? If we need to insure one then why not the others?

    If you insure all of them and continue to do so I’d bet you’ll spend a fortune during your life. If peace of mind is worth a lot of money to you and you can afford it then fair enough but I would also think if you can afford to insure all your appliances indefinitely you can obviously afford to just deal with any repairs if and when they pop up. If you are considering it as a potential money saving venture I think the strong odds are that you will spend considerably more insuring than saving money in the long run.

    Even if the worst happens and within the next 4 years your fridge freezer does break down and you had to fork out a few hundred on a repair you will soon recoup that back in saved insurance payments over the following few years. You’d already have £100 toward the bill in the saved premium so if you had to find £200 you’d only really be £100 worse off.

    The cover is only £99.90 now because the next 4 years are the years it’s least likely to break down. After 5 years the cost goes up a lot more. Most people take it out when it’s cheap, during the first 5 years when they don’t really need it and many problems would be covered under the Sale of Goods Act anyway but after 5 years, when the price starts going much higher they drop it because it’s too expensive even though they are more likely to need it (which is why the price goes up).

    In my opinion, if you buy a Miele product and it needs expensive repairs within the first 5 years you’d have a strong case against the seller anyway under the Sale of Goods Act claiming that the product didn’t last a reasonable time or was not the expected quality – especially as it’s a premium quality brand. However, you would probably need to fight for that right and threaten the seller with small claims court action to get it.

  5. To add to the mix:

    The FF wasn’t technically bought ‘new’. It was bought from a local retailer that specialises in new & graded goods. (I can supply the web address if required.) As far as I can tell, and was led to believe at the time, the FF is ‘as new’: It came with a few cosmetic blemishes (a very small scratch) and a sticker on the front that still hasn’t fully come off after 2 years of trying!

    I don’t know if buying in such a way precludes me from actually taking out the extended warranty. From their terms & conditions:

    1.2 apply only to purchases of new Miele appliances from authorised Miele specialist dealers…

    I registered the FF with Miele within a week of buying it and it wasn’t flagged up as outwith their warranty.

    My washing machine came with Miele’s ‘free’ 10 year warranty. They’ve been out to it once, to replace a circuit board.

    As for my vacuum cleaner, I actually bought the extended warranty for that as it worked out very cheap. At the time it included a years supply of bags, delivered free every year and a service. After deducting the cost of the bags, the warranty worked out at only a couple of quid. Just before the warranty expired I sent it away with a ‘funny noise’ and they serviced it, found no fault, replaced a broken hinge in the lid and returned it all shiny in it’s own little Miele bag. So I think I got my moneys worth out of that policy. :D

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