When A TV Buyer was Sold Insurance Policy as Extended Warranty!

swatkats

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Vinayak Gupta (name changed) bought a Vu brand television (TV) in May 2016 from Chembur-based Kohinoor Televideo Pvt Ltd, with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer. While buying the TV, the dealer told Mr Gupta that he could get an extended warranty for the television just by paying Rs4,523 as onetime payment. Mr Gupta bought the TV with the extended warranty, but shortly after, he realised that the so-called warranty was in fact an insurance cover to pay for any claims during the warranty period.


He says, "We were surprised to see the name of Bajaj Allianz on the final invoice received from Kohinoor but we were assured that this was the normal procedure and any problem in the TV would be taken care of during the period of four years or up to May 2020. We paid for a three year extended warranty (EW) for a sum insured of Rs32,990, applicable from 2 May 2017 till 1 May 2020.” As it happens, Mr Gupta did need to make a claim, but more about that later.

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An extended warranty is coverage for electrical or mechanical breakdown. It may or may not cover peripheral items, wear and tear. The indemnity is to cover the cost of repair and may include replacement if deemed uneconomic to repair. However, it is important for consumers to read and understand the terms and conditions offered at the point of sale. In retail consumer electronics, extended warranties cost 20% to 30% of the price, and give sales associates up to 15% commission at some retailers, says a report from WarrantyWeek.com.

Talking about its extended warranty policy, Bajaj Allianz says, “Any product that you buy comes with a manufacturer's warranty of one or two years, which covers you for any manufacturing defects of that product. Bajaj Allianz's extended warranty insurance policy lets you cover the expenses of repair or replacement of your product even after the expiration of manufacturer's warranty.”

Coming back to the Guptas, the TV worked fine till January 2019 when its screen went blank. Mr Gupta registered a complaint on the number provided by Bajaj Allianz on the policy document. He was assured that his TV would be repaired within three days and in case it could not be repaired, then Mr Gupta would get a new TV as replacement.

Next day, someone called Sarfaraz visited Mr Gupta's home. "This person claiming to be an technician from Bajaj Allianz did not show any ID. He checked the TV, and took some photos with his mobile. He left our house without giving us any copy of his report or even an acknowledgement. When asked later, Sarfraz told that he had prepared a job sheet and sent it to the insurer," Mr Gupta says.

On the very next day, Mr Gupta received three calls from same mobile number informing him that his complaint was forwarded to Vu. The callers who identified themselves as Nilesh, Sagar and Sonali, told Mr Gupta not to inform the TV company about the EW from Bajaj Allianz else they will not repair the TV. They also told him to pay visiting charges for the Vu technician, if asked that would be reimbursed.

Same day one Vinod from Vu TV visited Mr Gupta's home and checked the TV set. "He told us that he will inform his seniors and Bajaj Allianz and that he will come with some part to be replaced the next day. On 24 January 2019, he came with an electronic board. He opened the TV, replaced the board and switched it on. However the TV still did not work. He told us that he will inform his seniors and Bajaj Allianz by mail. He, however, did not give any concrete line of action or the next steps," Mr Gupta says.

When Mr Gupta called, he was told by Sonali that they have spoken with someone in Vu and the TV manufacturer is arranging for some parts to be replaced and would send a quotation. But nothing much was happening either with the insurer or the TV maker.

On 29 January 2019, Mr Gupta managed to speak with one Anil from Bajaj Allianz and Nilesh. He says, "In the afternoon, we were informed that a quotation of Rs38,000 given by Vu for the panel is very high and they can neither get the TV repaired nor they can replace it. He offered to give us Rs22,000 against the EW policy. He was not willing to give any concrete answer as to why Bajaj Allianz was unwilling to reimburse the entire insured amount. Meanwhile, Vu did not take any responsibility to get the TV in working condition."

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Mr Gupta also received claim summary cum claim form and a consent letter from Bajaj Allianz for settlement of his 'extended warranty' insurance policy. "The claim summary is filled partially and the consent letter is a completely one-sided document asking us to forgo all our rights and cancel the policy from the date of loss. The document offers a meagre amount of Rs22,267 as full and final settlement, which included the value of scrap value of the TV and close the issue forever. This would be the depreciated value of the TV," Mr Gupta says.

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Mr Gupta wanted to file a case in district consumer forum against Vu TV, the dealer who sold him the extended warranty policy and Bajaj Allianz. He along with his wife visited Moneylife Foundation's daily free guidance clinic for guidance.

After discussion, Mr Gupta was given two choices, file a case in consumer forum or accept the offer from the insurer. Filing case in a consumer forum has become a time consuming issue as the first hearing may not take place for about three months and how many days it will take for final judgement. In addition, there is no guarantee that Mr Gupta would have received his entire claim amount of Rs32,990. There is also a cost for filing complaint in consumer forum, like drafting complaint, affidavits, attaching all proof and then making multiple sets of this complaint.

Since Mr Gupta had used the TV for about two years, and with prices of new sets falling day by day, it was suggested to him that in this exceptional situation, it may make better sense to use the proceeds received from Bajaj Allianz to buy a new TV from reputed company instead.

"We discussed your suggestion among our family members and found it was practical solution that would give us peace of mind. So we agreed to the claim settlement. Bajaj Allianz collected our non-working TV set and within three days paid Rs22,267 as agreed. We will be buying a new TV set and this time would check if the extended warranty is indeed provided by the manufacturer and not an insurance company," Mr Gupta concluded.

While Mr Gupta has got away with minimal damage from a bad deal, this may not necessarily be the case with other products, which do not depreciate as rapidly or where technology improvements do not lead to better products being available a lower rates every years.

Yet, most consumers who can afford it, happily pay up for an EW, which may often be hard-sold by an insurance company whose way of evaluating a claim is completely different from what should happen in a straight-forward EW purchase.

Matters like this ought to be adjudicated upon by court or have clear rules prescribed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. But that will be another battle for someone else to take up.


Source: https://www.moneylife.in/article/when-a-tv-buyer-was-sold-insurance-policy-as-extended-warranty/56620.html
 

6pack

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extended warranty is a scam if its not from the tv company. Even if it is from the tv company, they will try their best to not honor such deals since all are in it for the easy money. Better to just repair the tv from local shops or dump it and buy a new one.

I remember my cousin got a 50 inch Videocon from vijay sales with warranty. tv went bad in a few months time and they brainwashed him to accept a smaller 40 inch tv in return. The smaller tv too had problem with the speakers going bad. The repair company just took the speakers and left. so they got a soundbar and haven heard anything of the speakers till now.

This is the state in which noobs find themselves in India. Get shafted from everyone they deal with. Unless you make a huge fuss and shout at people they wont bother even looking at you like a customer.
 
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yashvisent

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I have a VU TV since last 5 years and I always call the company's customer support to get my warranty extended year after year.

Once a white line had developed in the center of the screen. They changed the entire TV within a day after the complaint.
 
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nRiTeCh

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What about extended warranties offered by Vijay Sales?
Their extended warranties is from their own ends either involving the brand or vijay sales themselves but no third parties like bajaj. I think they are safe.

Also, mostly the VU, Mi etc. tvs failing within months or few years down is it safe to avoid these cheap chinese brands?
I think it makes sense to better opt for experienced brands like Samsung, Sony, LG by paying more but investing in a true brand.
 

mk76

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Add Chroma to that.
Few years ago they sold THEIR own warranty in the name of brand warranty. I'm sure their policy hasn't changed.
 

raksrules

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And here I am who risked 1 Lakh Rupees back in 2010 and bought a Sony Z Series 46 Inch from Gray Market (Thailand Import I guess) from a shop in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, with no warranty. It is still running today. My dad was saying he wants a 55 Inch now but I honestly don't see any reason to change this. It just works fine. It is not 4K but it is Full HD.
 
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nRiTeCh

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I have a VU TV since last 5 years and I always call the company's customer support to get my warranty extended year after year.

Once a white line had developed in the center of the screen. They changed the entire TV within a day after the complaint.
Hows that possible?
Do you pay anything extra for every year to get an extension?
 

Lord Nemesis

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It's probably an AMC, not extended warranty. You need to pay each year for it.

Depending on the contract terms the service covers the cost of repairs and in many cases, the cost of spares as well. If they cannot fuilfil this for any reason, their liability is to only return the amc cost. They are usually not liable to replace the product or pay you it's equivalent value.
 
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Arv90

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Wonder what was Jeeves was selling me in 2016. Have been thinking lately to buy an hassle-less AMC but still not able to make up my mind
 

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princeoo7

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Yea claims are horrifying some times. Take LG, my first rma was withing 7 days for new panel. But when the 2 rma came, it was just 6 days just from warranty left but lucky I registered it. The whole process was like 4 months for just refund as they followed the same process of brain washing me with a sentence - VGA is new technology and is better then HDMI i just stood for a replacement or refund. And I was supried to see that they offered full refund. It was painfull but fruit full too I hope viewsonic don't give me such pain
 

Chaos

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This is pretty standard. All extended warranties are underwritten by an insurance company and require approval from the same when something goes wrong. Its the same deal - be it cars, TVs, mobiles or whatever else.
 

yashvisent

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So EW can be extended before expiring previous one?
Hows that possible?
Do you pay anything extra for every year to get an extension?
By rules YES you have to make the payment before the expiry of the previous warranty, but I have paid them 2 to 3 months after the expiry of the warranty and they have accepted it. I deal with VU directly and they issue the invoice for extended warranty from the date of the cheque issued.

They have the complete record of my tv from the date of purchase.

At the time of installation I was offered a scheme of Rs. 3600 for 2 years extended warranty i.e. 3 years total and after that they charge me Rs.3600 per year.

I dont have to pay anything extra for spares and technician visit fees all is covered. not a single paisa extra.

I am from Mumbai and here their service is good.
 

nRiTeCh

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By rules YES you have to make the payment before the expiry of the previous warranty, but I have paid them 2 to 3 months after the expiry of the warranty and they have accepted it. I deal with VU directly and they issue the invoice for extended warranty from the date of the cheque issued.

They have the complete record of my tv from the date of purchase.

At the time of installation I was offered a scheme of Rs. 3600 for 2 years extended warranty i.e. 3 years total and after that they charge me Rs.3600 per year.

I dont have to pay anything extra for spares and technician visit fees all is covered. not a single paisa extra.

I am from Mumbai and here their service is good.
Thats awesome. And this is Directly from VU right without involvement of any 3rd party insurer like Bajaj etc.
 

yashvisent

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Thats awesome. And this is Directly from VU right without involvement of any 3rd party insurer like Bajaj etc.
Yes Directly from VU no 3rd party involvement.

Given below is my invoice copy, and actually my warranty expired in 1 week of august 2018

Also in the end of this message is the attached PDF file with warranty terms and conditions. please go thru it as well



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adventureguy

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Yea claims are horrifying some times. Take LG, my first rma was withing 7 days for new panel. But when the 2 rma came, it was just 6 days just from warranty left but lucky I registered it. The whole process was like 4 months for just refund as they followed the same process of brain washing me with a sentence - VGA is new technology and is better then HDMI i just stood for a replacement or refund. And I was supried to see that they offered full refund. It was painfull but fruit full too I hope viewsonic don't give me such pain
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