Furniture protection plans not worth the cost
We sent our test buyer to five retailers – Big Save Furniture, Early Settler, Freedom Furniture, Harvey Norman, and Target Furniture – to find out what their furniture protection plans offer.
At Big Save, our buyer was told that the store’s Upcare furniture plan was, “You protect something with a warranty. If something happens accidentally, everything is fine, it’s fine, it’s covered. ”
The seller said the plan covered “any tears, stains, tears, accidental damage to your fabric. So that’s like getting pets on the fabric … any stains or anything that might appear”.
However, that’s not what the fine print of the plan says. Damage caused by pets caused by “jaws and claws” as well as “unidentifiable” and “accumulated” stains is excluded. You are also not insured if you have not taken “all reasonable precautions” to avoid damage or not to use the cleaning agents provided as specified.
You are also expected to have your couch professionally cleaned every year.
At Harvey Norman, our buyer was told that their Premium Care plan “gives you a seven year warranty on the fabric”.
The seller said the plan covered one animal harm incident as well as “any stains, other cuts and burns that are also covered”. One company “comes to your house … if the stain doesn’t go away and they come and fix it for you,” they said.
However, it is only “surface damage” caused by your pet being covered, and it is limited to damage to a furniture panel. Like the Big Save plan, the Premium Care plan eliminates “unidentifiable” and “accumulated” spots.
You will also not be insured if you have not properly applied the fabric protection spray that came with the plan.
At Target, our buyer was told that their Soil Guard Fabric Care plan is a “five year warranty” and that the cleaning products are like “a stain remover and so on.” It is apparently magical ”.
But the magic isn’t fascinating. Soil Guard comes from the same company – TF Group – that is behind the Premium Care plan sold by Harvey Norman, and has the same exclusions for “unidentifiable” and “accumulated” stains. To file a claim, you must notify the company of any damage within three days.
We also found widespread exclusions in the Early Settler’s Guardsman Fabric Care Collection plan and Freedom Furniture’s Care Cover Plan.
With all plans, failure to comply with the cleaning products provided may void any claim. Damage that companies believe is due solely to “normal wear and tear” is usually excluded, along with damage that companies believe you did not take reasonable steps to prevent.