On the 10th October 2013 John Lewis will offer a 2 year guarantee on all electronic and electrical products they sell. They have said that they want to clear up the confusion on which products they do and do not offer the extended guarantee on. The cover will be extended to all electronic and electrical products which were not already covered with a 2 year guarantee. Products which were previously excluded were games consoles, cameras, audio equipment and small appliances. Most manufacturers cover their products for 1 year so John Lewis will just need to provide the second year.
Mechanical breakdown not accidental damage
The 2 year guarantee will cover the product for manufacturing faults and mechanical break down which occur during normal use. For you to get accidental damage cover you will need to purchase an additional protection product from one of the number of suppliers who cover accidental damage for consumer electrical goods. No other retailer or manufacturer offers accidental damage cover for free as standard on their products either.
John Lewis price matching
John Lewis also offer a price matching service however they will not match internet only stores such as Amazon. They only match stores which offer the same level of service. What they mean by the same level of service is not clearly defined.
Why are they doing it?
John Lewis buying director for electricals and home technology, Ed Connolly, said;
“A lack of transparency around warranties and guarantees had left consumers’ confused. We’re making it our mission to bring the John Lewis level of excellence and trust to electrical guarantees, which is why we’re introducing a minimum two-year guarantee on all our products at no extra cost.”
Or perhaps because….
This move is also possibly to enable them to operate with a higher profit margins where necessary. The price matching service that they offer extends to high street competitors where the product is “sold with the same service conditions”. They offer a free two year guarantee which none of the big high street retailers such as Currys, Argos etc do.
This is from their website:
We don’t expect you to find a lower price at another high street competitor for the same individual product, sold with the same service conditions – but if you can, we’ll match the price when you buy, or refund the difference for up to 28 days after you’ve purchased from us when you make a price match claim.
We have shops, call centres and a website giving you flexibility in how and when you buy from us. The level of service we offer can’t therefore be equalled by online or mail-order only retailers such as Amazon or Play.com – and it’s for this reason we don’t match their prices.
It is understandable how a retailer would want to differentiate themselves on providing a better service rather than just the cheapest price. Always being the cheapest can be a recipe for failure.
So is this a good or a bad thing?
If this is their game plan then it is not a bad thing, however consumers need to take in to consideration the total cost of the product and the extended cover provided. If John Lewis are to charge the same or similar for a product but offer an extra year cover then it is great for a consumer. If they are going to charge more than the other retailers then consumers need to shop around and compare the best deals they can find for both the product and the extended cover.
If you are buying an extended warranty then check out our guides (updated to include the new John Lewis information).
- General extended warranties
- Laptop extended warranties
- Television extended warranties
- Washing machine extended warranties