Extended warranties and bankruptcy

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By Donna Rosato, senior writer

NEW YORK (Money Magazine) -- Q. I bought a plasma TV from Circuit City last year and paid for an extended warranty. Now that the company is going out of business, what happens to the warranty? - Brad Singleterry, Houston

Donna Rosato, senior writer, says ...

A. Most large retailers that have gone out of business have honored their extended warranties, and Circuit City is no exception. Circuit City's so-called Advantage Protection Plans are handled by a third party company, Assurant Solutions.

If you have a problem with your TV, you can contact Assurant at 800-878-1167 (and be prepared to wait - when I called, it took half an hour to reach a customer service rep). If you have a product such as a computer or a camera under warranty, there is a different number to call (see the FAQ page at circuitcity.com or assurantsolutions.com).

For future reference, keep in mind that extended warranties rarely pay off. They usually come with lots of restrictions, and they're expensive. In most cases you're better off taking the risk that you might have to pay for a replacement product.

Got a financial dilemma? Go to cnnmoney.com/helpdesk to submit questions, read the Help Desk archive, and check out Help Desk videos. And tune in to CNN's Newsroom Tuesdays and Fridays, when Gerri Willis and other experts answer your questions. To top of page

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