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Now-a-days whenever you buy anything, you’re offered a maintenance plan, for a fee of course. I was once offered a maintenance plan for a $20 iPad case. Sorry, no.
Most of the time I turn down these offers. I’d prefer to keep my money where it can earn interest for me, and just keep in mind that things wear out and need to be replaced.
However, there are some times when a maintenance plan is completely worth it, and can save you a ton of time and hassle.
For example, when we bought our house in 2009 it came with the original boiler from 1986. Our home inspector told us that it was working fine, but that we should probably set aside money to replace it soon. We did that, but we also decided to pay for our oil company’s service plan.
The service plan is $285 a year, which is a lot of money to people who just paid a bunch of money for a house.
The service plan included a yearly tune-up of our boiler, which is necessary when you have a 25-year-old piece of machinery. The normal out-of-pocket fee for this tune-up is $250! So basically we were getting an insurance plan for our decades-old boiler for $35 a year.
The other part of the service plan gave us free access to a serviceman 24 hours a day. Given that we’d been told our boiler was on its last legs and could die at any moment, that is a very big deal.
It’s now been 7 years and our boiler is still running, thanks to our annual tune-ups and our service plan. We’ve had guys out in snowstorms to get us up and running again. We’ve had embarrassing homeowner moments when one repairman showed us that all we needed was to press the bright red restart button on the front. We’ve had that bright red button replaced when it broke, and most recently a serviceman replaced our entire motor.
So while I accept that our boiler won’t last forever, our $285 a year has been a great investment and allowed us to hang on to our money far longer than we could have without it.
When do you think it’s a good idea to spring for the maintenance plan? Share in the comments.