TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers considering whether to buy an extended warranty for their important back-to-school purchases now have a convenient, free tool to help them make good choices. The Service Contract Industry Council (SCIC) is offering a simple and handy pocket buying guide with key questions that consumers should ask when considering a warranty.
The pocket buying guides can be downloaded free of charge from SCIC's website. The cards are small enough to fit in a wallet so consumers can easily carry them into a store to review before making a final purchase decision.
"Electronic tools offer today's students a level of access to information that couldn't be imagined by kids just a generation ago," said Tim Meenan, Executive Director of the SCIC. "Because of these advances, electronics are becoming necessities on parents' back-to-school shopping lists."
"Unfortunately, just because these educational tools are more sophisticated doesn't mean our kids are any better at taking care of them, and a service contract may be parents' best way to protect their investment," Meenan said. "However, parents should be prepared with the right questions to ask when it comes to protecting their family's laptops, cell phones, printers and other essential electronics."
The National Retail Federation conducted a survey in 2012 about parents' predicted back-to-school shopping expenses. The survey found that six in 10 parents would invest in some kind of electronic. Also, parents estimated they would be spending $217.88 on electronics. These expensive items can have high repair rates.
According to Consumer Reports, laptop computers are among the most service-prone consumer purchases – about one in three laptops and desktops require repair within four years. With repairs sometimes costing more than replacement, extended warranties provide an alternative to throwing the product out and spending money out-of-pocket for a replacement.
"We hope these cards will help people be smarter consumers and better shoppers," said Meenan. "We designed this tool with consumers in mind, to help customers make informed choices to protect their valued purchases."
The card lists seven questions about the length of the warranty, what it covers and what cancellation and refund rights a consumer has. The answers to these questions will help the consumer decide whether a particular extended warranty is a wise investment.
SCIC's goal is to educate consumers so they can avoid the pitfalls that can arise from buying a service contract without understanding it. The pocket guide can help ensure that consumers are knowledgeable about common questions concerning extended warranties.
Visit www.go-scic.com to download a pocket buying card or to find out more information about extended warranties.
The Service Contract Industry Council is a national trade association whose member companies collectively offer approximately 80 percent of the service contracts sold in the U.S. for home, auto and consumer goods. The SCIC educates consumers about service contracts, encourages its members to pursue high standards of customer satisfaction, and has developed and promoted model legislation to regulate the industry with standards designed to protect the consumer and the industry.
SOURCE Service Contract Industry Council