Why buy a service plan?
What is it?
Essentially a Service Plan is an insurance contract covering your appliance or gadget against any problem affecting the operation of it. It's different to the inclusive guarantees we give you on most electricals, which cover you for any mechanical/operational fault with your purchase for a certain amount of time. You buy your Service Plan to run alongside the guarantee, but it continues beyond the expiry of that guarantee. It means you get the additional benefits of the plan from the moment you take the product out of the box.
Why do I need one?
Buying a Service Plan takes the risk element out of your purchase for whatever length of time you choose - you know that if anything goes wrong with it, from day one it will be sorted without further expense. Accidental damage, for example, is quite a risk with any portable gadget, so if you're worried about dropping your camera, or spilling coffee in your laptop, a Service Plan protects you against what can be a sizeable repair bill.
It avoids the hassle and inconvenience of finding, arranging and paying for a repair engineer, with no need to claim on house insurance, lose any no claims discount or even pay an excess. If you have a fridge/freezer or freezer, frozen food loss can be claimed for up to £300 per claim, £600 in total throughout the duration of the plan.
When it comes to covering the cost of replacing the item if it can't be repaired or isn't economic to do so, we'll organise that for you too.
Whats the average price?
It's difficult to be exact as each product is rated separately, depending on historically how reliable the product is, how likely it is to get damaged, and the cost of repair – but here are a few examples. An extra year's cover on a digital camera costs from £25 to £35 (including accidental damage). An additional year on a laptop would range from £135 - £199, while a desktop computer can range from £50 to £70. Three years' cover on a washing machine can start at £99, with a tumble dryer and dishwasher at £65 and £70 respectively. To put this in context, repair charges tend to start at £60 to £70, and that's just to get an engineer to inspect the item, before any parts and so on.
What does a Service Plan cover?
First, all our Service Plans cover mechanical breakdown, so if the belt went on a washing machine for example, we'd come out and repair it with no bills for you to pay. Second, accidental damage is covered when it affects the operation of the item – so if you buy cover for your camera or MP3 player, you then drop it and it stops working, we'd repair it. Third, for freezers and fridge freezers you'd be covered against the loss of frozen food.
If we can't repair a product covered under warranty for any reason, we aim to replace with the very same product. If that's no longer available, we'll discuss with you the closest available replacement. In that instance, we don't apply any depreciation factor, and we take the entire cost of the replacement - unless of course you want to upgrade from the original, in which case you'd be responsible for the difference.
More importantly, what doesn't it cover?
Not a lot to be honest, but there are three things worth mentioning. It doesn't cover cosmetic damage to the product; so for example if you accidentally scratched your stainless steel fridge, that wouldn't be covered as it's still functioning. It also doesn't cover misuse/willful damage, so if you took your camera into the sea without the waterproof casing that wouldn't be covered.
Finally it doesn't cover computer viruses or other external factors like lightning strikes. If you buy a Service Plan we'll provide full terms and conditions, but you can take a look here.
How do I get one?
Service Plans can be bought in store, online at the time of product purchase, or up to 30 days afterwards by calling 0844 871 7771 or by completing this form. You can cancel the plan within 45 days of taking it out should you change your mind.
Insurance is provided by London General, and if you've bought a large domestic appliance but decided against an Service Plan they'll contact you at the end of the free guarantee period to offer you cover – but this is usually more expensive than buying it at the same time as the appliance.
Please note that extended warranties are also available from alternative providers such as manufacturers and insurers. Your household contents insurance may also provide cover against accident, fire or theft.
What do I do if I need to claim?
It's really simple - all you need to do is ring 0844 871 7771 with your policy details to hand, and the John Lewis Service team will talk you through the process to get your product repaired as soon as possible. They're open Monday to Friday, 8am - 8pm, and 9am - 4pm on Saturdays.
We abide by guidelines from the Association of British Insurers on the provision of service contracts. Find out more here (opens in a new window).