Credit cards offer many free customer benefits that protect your purchases. While many services are those expected from any credit card, such as fraud protection and no monthly fees, there are some not well advertised services that can save you a lot of money. This article describes an experience with a broken item and American Express’s Buyer’s Assurance Plan.

Warranties on electronics have been getting pretty pathetic in recent years. For example, most consoles (Xbox,PS2, and Wii) come only with a 90 day manufacturer warranty. Can a device be so unreliable that manufacturers can not stand behind their own products? Perhaps a topic for a different blog post. In 2000 I purchased JBL PB12 subwoofer, which was great on the speaker end but poor in the electronics. Its power amplifier was poorly designed and would break down soon after its warranty ended (you can read peoples’ cries here). Needless to say, it eventually broke in 2005. I decided it was more cost effective to replace the amplifier with an external amplifier, the Pyle PZR1000 professional amplifier. This too broke in 2006, a few days after the warranty ended. After much pleading, Pyle customer support said there was nothing they could do for me, it was out of warranty. What is a poor graduate student to do, abandon his dreams of deep, thunderous, bass?

The American Express Blue Card provides a free service called the Buyer’s Protection Plan that supplements purchased items with less than five year warranties with an added year. For items with only 90 day this increases is huge and helps protect customers from the unreliable products companies are churning off the assembly line. I had to fill out very little paperwork and was immediately transferred to AMEX customer support. The most surprising part is that the customer support was amazing. They were helpful, courteous and actually wanted me to get my money back. Today, they credited my account nearly two hundred dollars, which will go toward the Crown XLS402 professional amplifier that powers my subwoofer now.

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One Response to “The Beauty of AMEX Buyers Assurance Plan”  

  1. 1 Lewis

    I see it written on the American Express Buyer’s Assurance Plan frequestly asked questions page (below) that the plan will double the original manufacturer’s warranty, up to one year.

    https://www124.americanexpress.com/cards/cda/dynamic.jsp?name=BuyersAssurance_CCSG_FAQ&type=intFAQ

    This would mean:
    90 days original 90 days through AmEx
    1 year original 1 year through AmEx
    3 years original 1 year through AmEx

    I haven’t used this card benefit yet.

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