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Shoppers Want Extended Warranties: Study

San Diego – The availability of extended-service contracts (ESCs) is a key consideration in the purchase of CE, majaps and other products, a new study shows.

According to a recent survey by Fulcrum, a New York-based analytics and marketing technology firm, consumers view an ESC offer as a positive option that enhances and extends the life of the products they purchase.

The findings, released this week at the Warranty Chain Management Conference, here, show that the majority of consumers who purchased a digital camera, external hard drive or major appliance considered ESC availability as important as product reviews and financial incentives.

Specifically, more than half of consumers who purchased a digital camera (60 percent) and major appliance (64 percent) in 2012 said the ability to buy extra protection for their device was important in their purchase decision.

The results were similarly high for power sports equipment (57 percent) and outdoor power equipment (60 percent).

“Consumers in our survey clearly indicated that the availability of an extended-service contract is not an admission of a product quality problem; in fact 90 percent or more believe it’s a strong benefit that will extend their length of product ownership,” said Fulcrum senior VP Tara Piazza.

The online survey, conducted last month among 678 respondents, showed that most consumers (56 percent) purchase an ESC at the point of sale, 23 percent do so shortly after the product purchase, another 16 percent wait until the manufacturer’s warranty nears expiration, and 16 percent hold off until after it has expired.

Respondents also showed a strong preference for a manufacturer’s branded ESC over that of an extended-service provider, even though the OEM contracts are often underwritten and/or administered by the same third-party providers. Indeed, 89 percent of appliance purchasers expressed preference for a manufacturer’s plan.

Similarly, the majority of respondents said they prefer manufacturer-provided servicing, although upward of 48 percent reported that they would consider service from a third party.