Are furniture protection plans worth it? Recently, we were shopping for a new sectional couch, and we were having trouble deciding between a leather couch and a microfibre couch. We decided on an $1850 microfibre charcoal couch. I love leather couches but we were worried that dark wash jean stains would get on a leather couch and that there might be too much leather in our already perhaps too minimalist open floor plan. We ended up getting a microfibre couch from a local Scandanavian style furniture store.
The hierarchy of “good for kids” is Leather > Microfibre > Fabric couches.
Fabric couches in my opinion look the best because they add more warmth to the room but I don’t think they last as long (at least not as long compared to leather).
Microfibre couches are kind of annoying because you can see hand prints or maybe even butt prints but apparently you can cover those up with throws and cushions. They also attract a lot of dust so there’s probably going to be lots of vacuuming and brushing off particles that are stuck to the fabric. Leather couches can be hot and sticky in the summer and too cold in the winter and they have a bit of a sterile appearance, though are easy to clean (just wipe up the spill and you’re done!).
Apparently microfibre might be good for kids (comparable to leather), but I’ve had the Twitterverse tell me otherwise. You can see the great responses here including a jaw dropping crayon-on-microfibre-couch photo.
Twitter parents: what do you think of microfibre couches with kids?
— Genymoney.ca (@genymoneyca) May 3, 2019
In any case, the microfibre couch is a charcoal colour and hopefully will hide pen marks haha!
Anyway, here’s whether a furniture protection plan is worth it:
The Fabric Protection Plan Sales Pitch
Normally I decline all sorts of extended warranties, knowing that they are a scam and a waste of money, but the sales guy said his sales pitch and mentioned a fabric protection plan that will be eligible for up to 5 years from delivery date on up to three accidental stains on the couch.
A fabric cleaner technician would come to the home if you were not able to clean it yourself, you have to report it within 14 days, and then….
If they were not able to get the stain out, they would offer you a replacement couch for free, and if that couch was not available, they would offer you another piece of furniture that was comparable. This reminded me of the Optiom extra car insurance that I had which I liked for peace of mind and was actually very hassle free to claim.
Finally, the sales guy ended his pitch and said that if we did not use the warranty or insurance over five years, than you would get the money that you paid initially back in the form of a store credit.
Since our main worry was that our kid would end up drawing all over the couch, or there would be a terrible vomit/ spit up/ other stain that wouldn’t be able to be removed, we thought this might sound like a good idea. It sounded too good to be true.
I said to the furniture salesman skeptically:
Really? All stains? Like a vomit stain? Pen stains? Crayon stains?
Yes, he said.
We had time to mull it over.
The Fabric Protection Plan Cost
How much did this furniture and fabric protection plan cost?
The cost was $160. Which seemed quite reasonable on a $1800+ sofa spread out over the next 5 years.
Like all things too good to be true, I thought that it sounded too good to be true, so I did some digging around. We asked if we had time to think it over, and the sales person said yes, but we needed to decide when we called to arrange for delivery of the furniture.
I had a look around the Internet, and fabric protection plans do sound too good to be true.
I read the fine print over the contract terms (you can have a look at it here if you’re interested) for the specific fabric protection plan we were offered and there was nothing in it that sounded fishy. It did say accidental and it did not cover scratches from pets or other pet damage, but covered other stains.
According to Global News, the Canadian Consumers’ Association of Canada says extended warranties are usually not worth it. In the story, the customer bought the extended warranty for fabric offered by the Brick (which included accidental stains), and a few weeks later her child drew on the new couch, of course.
She contacted the Brick and they offered to replace the cushion or give her store credit for $300.
They told her they couldn’t do any more because they felt that the accidental drawing is not “accidental” and was instead WILLFULLY done and therefore she will not be reimbursed. They told her that the 2 year old toddler should not have had a pen in the first place and it should have been supervised and they could not determine whether the drawing was accidental but deemed it not to be.
Seriously. That’s just crazy if you ask me.
Basically even though the contract sounds great, they will fight tooth and nail with you about the language used and assumptions behind what “accidental” means!
Our Verdict on the Fabric Protection Plan
We saved money by buying a microfibre couch instead of a leather couch so we decided to just leave it and not buy the extra fabric protection plan insurance, even though it is only $160 over 5 years.
The hassle and anger of being denied coverage or not getting full coverage doesn’t sound appealing and sounds too much of an annoyance to deal with.
The place we are getting our furniture from is not The Brick (I am always wary of The Brick and their furniture and shark-like furniture salespeople) so I can’t say for certain whether this fabric protection plan is worth it or not. The Brick has a different warranty they use.
Have you had experience with a furniture protection plan?
Do you think fabric protection plans are worth it?
What kind of couch do you have and do you have any tips on cleaning up stains?
I’ll need all the help I can get, lol!
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.