when your warranty expires

Ssomeone called me last week and asked what do about his 16-month-old monitor that had just died. He had already shown it to a dealer, and the dealer told him there would be a $500 minimum charge.

Since monitors aren’t something you can easily troubleshoot or repair, i started think about ways to avoid paying the money.

  1. If the product is just out of warranty, and it has previously been repaired, you may still be covered due to warranty tolling. the idea here is that for every day your product is in the shop being repaired, your warranty is extended by a day. As far as I can tell, warranty tolling exists in a few US states (California, Tennessee, Connecticut) and Mexico. The relevant sections of the California Civil Code are 1795.6 and 1795.7:

    1795.6. (a) Every warranty period relating to an implied or express warranty accompanying a sale or consignment for sale of consumer goods selling for fifty dollars ($50) or more shall automatically be tolled for the period from the date upon which the buyer either (1) delivers nonconforming goods to the manufacturer or seller for warranty repairs or service or (2), pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 1793.2 or Section 1793.22, notifies the manufacturer or seller of the nonconformity of the goods up to, and including, the date upon which (1) the repaired or serviced goods are delivered to the buyer, (2) the buyer is notified the goods are repaired or serviced and are available for the buyer’s possession or (3) the buyer is notified that repairs or service is completed, if repairs or service is made at the buyer’s residence.

    (b) Notwithstanding the date or conditions set for the expiration of the warranty period, such warranty period shall not be deemed expired if either or both of the following situations occur: (1) after the buyer has satisfied the requirements of subdivision (a), the warranty repairs or service has not been performed due to delays caused by circumstances beyond the control of the buyer or (2) the warranty repairs or service performed upon the nonconforming goods did not remedy the nonconformity for which such repairs or service was performed and the buyer notified the manufacturer or seller of this failure within 60 days after the repairs or service was completed. When the warranty repairs or service has been performed so as to remedy the nonconformity, the warranty period shall expire in accordance with its terms, including any extension to the warranty period for warranty repairs or service.


  2. If you purchased the product on your credit card, you may be in luck. many credit card companies will double the warranty, up to an additional year. check with your credit card company; they may cover the cost of the repair.
  3. Check with your insurance company. if you have homeowners or renter’s insurance, you may be covered. you may need a personal articles rider on your policy to cover this sort of thing. they’re cheap, however — mine costs $50/year and well worth it.

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