Ashley Furniture extended warranty plans aren't the same at every store. In fact, the claim process and actual coverage can be significantly different from one store to another.
Ashley Furniture Stores
It helps to understand the structure of the company and the stores, so you can be aware of how the coverage works.
Licensees and Corporate HomeStores
Most people assume when they see the furniture store's sign that it's directly connected to the other Ashely stores by all practices and policies. It's often assumed that the company has opened the store location(s), like other businesses do in an effort to expand their market presence.
Independently Owned and Operated
However, Ashley HomeStore is a retail chain of independently owned and operated stores. Ashley HomeStore is a registered trademark of the company and these stores are licensees, not to be confused with franchise owners.
Licensee versus Franchise
A licensee store owner is different from a franchise store owner.
Companies often license their brand and products the way Ashley does. The advantage is they don't have to oversee, control or be liable for the company holding the license. Most licensees agree to purchase and sell the company's product(s). It's also an unregulated industry with greater leeway for how much or how little can be included in the licensing. Both parties benefit from this method of entrepreneurship.
A regulated industry, franchising is a safer investment for some entrepreneurs who rely upon using the company's business model and ongoing support and mentoring.
Purchasing HomeStore Extended Warranty Plans
As an independently owned and operated business, your local Ashley store may offer any type of additional warranty plans based on their business model. These add-ons can range from a 5-year extended warranty to an extension for a fabric warranty. Some add-ons can be for accidental tears/rips while others may address specific things, like furniture mechanisms or cushioning.
Third Party Warranty Companies
This type of non-manufacturer coverage is typically provided by a third-party company, but some stores may offer the add-on themselves. Check with the store and read the entire warranty so you fully understand the type of coverage. Ask questions about anything you don't understand.
An example of this type of third party plan that some furniture stores offer for select Ashley furniture is Guardian, a five-year furniture protection plan that covers things such as stains, breakage and cracking or peeling.
Ashley Furniture Industries Not Responsible
The Ashley Furniture Industries website explains who is liable for these extended coverages, stating, "Ashley shall not be liable under any extended or additional warranties offered by any retailer or through a third-party under any circumstances."
Understanding Coverage Limitations
There can be various limitations with any add-on that customers might miss. For example, Ashley Furniture HomeStore website addresses filing a claim and states, "Please note: your warranty is no longer valid if you moved from the original place of delivery." This statement is self-explanatory since damage can occur during a whole house move. Understandably, some customers might miss that fact or simply forget over time.
Reviews for HomeStore Plans
The types of 5-year or other extended warranties are a possible mixed bag and how those claims are processed/honored can be just as mixed. Some negative reviews from dissatisfied customers cite instances where they didn't receive the protection they believed they'd purchased.
Some complaints about extended warranties include:
- Several customers complained about couch seats sinking after one or two years of use and having difficulty with their claims.
- A few others complained about furniture cleaning warranties not being honored.
These and other reviews are posted on Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as well as review sites. In fairness, few people write to either of these groups with praise, since the consumer focus is typically one of complaint.
Local Reviews and Reputation
Purchasing any additional coverage is a personal decision. You should fully understand what is covered, but more importantly, what isn't covered, prior to buying. Look for reviews about your local store. If possible, talk to local customers who've purchased extended warranties and later filed claims.
To Buy or Not to Buy
An extended warranty can be a good investment as long as you understand what isn't covered, and the store has a reputation of honoring its warranties. Keep in mind that with Ashley HomeStores you are dealing with individual store owners and not a large corporation. If you have a problem with a claim for any add-on coverage, the resolution will need to come from the store where you purchased the furniture.