Consumers who are wary of their appliances breaking down after the warranty has expired can now get them fixed for a flat annual fee. And it does not matter how old the appliances are, their brand or where they were bought.
This is now possible under a new appliance repair and maintenance programme for home owners, a partnership between interior design magazine Home & Decor and The Warranty Group, a global company that offers warranty solutions.
Called LoveHome, the scheme provides coverage for five appliance categories - refrigerators; washing machines; water heaters; air-conditioners; and ovens, cooker or hoods.
Home owners pay a promotional price of $399 for a year-long cover of up to five appliances. The usual price is $499. Each appliance can be repaired at up to a cost of $1,500 during the term of service.
Mr Lee Shyong, Singapore head of sales for The Warranty Group, says LoveHome helps home owners keep a good appliance for longer.
He adds: "It's a way to extend the usefulness of these items, especially the older ones. Apart from being more cost-efficient than buying new appliances, (getting the items repaired) is also eco-friendly and helps cut down trash."
Before the programme kicks in, a technician will check the appliances that are to be covered to ensure they are in good working condition.
During the period of cover, home owners can call the LoveHome hotline when an appliance breaks down. A service technician will be sent to repair it.
If the faulty appliance has to be replaced, LoveHome will offer a brand and model of equivalent value, depending on how much is left on the service limit amount of $1,500.
Mr Lee declines to reveal the number of sign-ups since LoveHome was officially launched on Wednesday.
Typically, appliance brands offer manufacturer's warranty coverage from a year to a few years, depending on the appliance. Once the warranty lapses, consumers would usually have to fork out the full repair costs, which can sometimes cost the same as a new appliance.
Some retailers such as Courts, Harvey Norman and Best Denki offer extended warranty programmes for appliances and electronic items.
An extended warranty protects a product after its manufacturer's warranty has expired. However, only appliances purchased from these retailers are covered.
The Courts Cover Warranties, which was launched in 1998, covers hardware repairs on large domestic appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators and cooking hobs, for three to five years. The warranty plans cost $29 to $569. Courts Singapore says "slightly more than one in six customers purchase extended warranties".
With LoveHome, consumers now have another option for warranty coverage.
Home owner Nur Arfah Octavia, 35, says she may consider subscribing to LoveHome for her Smeg refrigerator after its manufacturer's warranty expires. She bought it in 2014 and hopes it can be repaired if it breaks down in the future.
She lives in a four-room HDB flat in Woodlands with her husband and the yellow fridge, which cost $2,000, was one of the first things they bought for their home.
The human resources and administrative executive officer says: "I chose it for its colour and it fits our home decor. I want to keep it as long as I can, so a scheme like LoveHome would be helpful."