Consumer electronics break. They go bad. They simply stop working.
In the age of iPods, iPhones, tablets, expensive laptops, and the like you are usually looking at a big expense to replace the item if it breaks or simply won’t turn on.
Discovering yet another malfunctioning electronic is frustrating to say the least. Sure, you get the latest and greatest but you have to grab your credit card once again.
On the other hand, remembering that your favorite expensive consumer product might have an extended warranty thanks to your credit card is a great feeling… but only if the warranty actually covers your item.
Filing an Extended Warranty Claim with Your Credit Card
Here are some specific steps you need to take in order to file a claim with your credit card’s extended warranty coverage.
How Do I Know If My Credit Card Warranty Covers My Item?
Before you can file a claim you need to make sure the extended warranty actually applies for the product you need to turn in a warranty claim on. Without the coverage you are stuck and will have to eat the full cost of repairs or replacement of your expensive electronic item.
For your credit card’s extended warranty coverage to cover your electronic item you must have paid for the whole purchase using the credit card. If you used a gift card, cash, or other forms of payment in addition to the credit card to pay for the item your credit card’s extended warranty coverage most likely will not cover the replacement of your item.
How can you be sure you paid for the item with your credit card? Here are three methods to help you out.
1. Check Online Statements
The first thing you can do is check your online statement for the date your purchased the item. The online statement won’t show you a breakdown of everything you bought, but it does show the total paid. If you remember how much you paid you can do some math to calculate whether you would have paid with other forms of payment. For example if you paid $199.99 for a new cell phone, your sales tax rate is 9%, and the total shown on your account statement is $217.99 then you know you paid with the credit card for the full amount.
2. Find Your Original Receipt
The absolute best thing you can do is find the original receipt from the purchase. It is wise to keep the original box and accessories for the items you purchase, and tape the receipt (or a printed copy) to the inside of the box. This will show you the complete breakdown of the purchase including the original price, any extra accessories purchased, tax charged, total paid, and method of payment.
3. Ask the Store to Reprint Your Receipt
If you can’t remember the total amount paid on the credit card based on the credit card statement, you can still use that information. Since you now have the exact date of purchase you can go back to the store to have them reprint your invoice or receipt. (Your credit card statement may also have a specific tracking number for the transaction that can help the store find your purchase in their computer systems.)
File the Claim As Soon As Possible
With the knowledge that the full purchase was 100% paid for by your credit card you need to file your claim as soon as possible. Most extended warranty programs require you to file the claim within a few weeks of the time the item was broken or stopped working. (For example, American Express’ extended warranty claims must be filed within 30 days of the incident.)
Any delay in filing the claim can result in your claim being denied. In short you can’t wait until right before the extended warranty coverage expires to file the claim from 7 months ago. (Plus, if your cell phone breaks you probably don’t wait to wait that long to buy a new phone anyways.)
Methods of Filing an Extended Warranty Claim with Your Credit Card Company
There are two methods of filing your extended warranty claim with the credit card company’s insurance.
1. Online Extended Warranty Claim Form
You do not have to call a customer service line and sit on the phone for hours. Most of the major credit card companies make filing an online extended warranty claim very simple. However, you won’t be able to complete the claim without all of the information gathered above from your receipt or invoice.
You need to know:
- when the incident occurred (what day the item stopped working)
- the original purchase date
- the original cost of the item
- the original length of the manufacturer’s warranty
- a description of what happened
There may be some other minor details needed, but these are the main points of data required.
2. On the Phone with a Claims Representative
Alternatively you can call into the credit card company’s insurance division (or operating company) and speak to a claim representative. Unlike hold times for other customer service issues, the claims department is usually set up as part of a separate insurance company and hold times are minimal. The calls they take are all related to warranty claims on the credit card which means they don’t get anywhere near the volume of calls as normal customer service.
Calling in can be beneficial because you can explain things to the claims representative and they can type up the claim using the appropriate terminology for the claim. If they need to ask you additional questions beyond what you would have put on the form, they can go ahead and ask you rather than you getting a call a few days later.
3. Wait for a Claims Decision
If the claim department doesn’t need any additional information from you then all you have to do is wait a few days for a claims decision. (If they need additional information you will get a phone call for them to gather the details needed.)
After the claims decision is made you will receive either a direct credit onto your current statement balance or instructions on how to send the item in for repairs. You should also receive a letter in the mail describing the claims decision, but if you get a statement credit you usually can see the credit online before the letter gets to you.