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Sears Will No Longer Automatically Add Warranties to Cart

Updated
By , dealnews Copy Editor

Last week, ConsumerWorld.org released a report that criticized Sears for padding online large appliance purchases by automatically tacking on 5-year warranty policies that cost an additional $100 to $550. A shopper need only remove the warranty from his cart, but the publication was concerned that consumers might miss the unnecessary charge. With the practice now exposed, Sears decided to change its policy.

According to the report, the Sears website was automatically tacking on 5-year service contracts whenever a major appliance was added to a shopper's cart. Edgar Dworsky, ConsumerWorld.org founder, used the example of a $1,299 GE refrigerator that jumped to $1,774 in-cart, with the addition of an unrequested $469.99 extended warranty and a $4.98 water hose.

Sears began tacking on 1-year warranties to appliance purchases since 2010, pursuing a default opt-in policy. Recently, the store began adding the most expensive Sears service plan. Dworsky said he believed that consumers "shouldn't have to go through their cart and eliminate things that retailers slipped in there," and urged Sears to change its policy.

Which is exactly what the store did. While Sears' PR Director, Larry Costello explained to MSNBC that Sears had received "very little negative customer feedback" about the in-cart warranties, he said that Sears has revised its default option regarding service plans; a shopper will now need to manually select a warranty.

Do you think a default opt-in policy for service plans and warranties is an acceptable practice? Or is it misleading? Has this kind of up-sell stopped you from buying from a specific merchant before? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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2 comments
riggarob
Handimandad, K-mart bought Sears, that's how bad it is !!
Handimandad
This is what happens when a icon we grew up with is heading for chapter 11 struggling to keep it's head above water buying K-mart and thinking this would turn things around? Only to dig the grave a little deeper the products under Craftsman name is the same made like junk, everything is made in china now and if you get a year out of it your lucky and I know I have purchased more things from sears that no longer work and they seem to fail shortly after the warranty is up. This is all about someone getting rich driving the company into the ground and leaving with a fat pension and so will another big name retailer eventually disappear.
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