ANY ITEM THAT IS USED DAILY, EXPENSIVE AND ELECTRONIC IS WORTH THE PRICE OF THE WARRANTY. I ALWAYS DO BUY AND USE THEM.
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I've really benefited from the extended warranty on my current (and other) laptops. Current laptop has had two hard drive replacements, a new motherboard and heat sync, all at no cost. I bought this one from Costco who provides a free 2nd year warranty and all of these repairs were made during the warranty period. So I'm a happy camper!
These are the things that make me say No.
1. Its a big money maker for retailers, that's why they push them so hard. If they are making meony then you are paying too much for it.
2. Electronics are very reliable, chances are it will not break down.
3. You have a years warranty already. If it hasn't broken in a year, then it probably won't break down in the next two, Basically you are insuring it for the most relaible part of its life.
4. Warranties are like insurance. you buy insurance which makes money for the inusrance company which pools the risk among many so in case of catastrophic loss you won't be wiped out. Most people will not be wiped out financially for the loss of a laptop.
5. You are insuring a device, that by the time the insurance kicks in, will likely be two years old. With the rate of advance you can buy a replacement for the one or two devices that break for you for all the money you spent on warranties and have money left over.
1 - 3. The extended warranty is big money for retailers 'cause customers rarely use them. The calculation that the retailers have made lead them to these sure fire profit makers for a reason -- easy, and big profits. Modern electronics simply work from day one or they fail at day one.
Also, The useful period for most computer electronics is so short, their death is often a reminder that it's time to move on. Or, in some cases, the early death of a product may be an indicator that you should have made a different choice of product. Why pay anything to extend the life of a poorly designed or built product. Move on.
For non-computer electronics my experience has been that they refuse to die. My audio-video equipment ends up on Craig's list, 7 or more years after I've used them beyond all expectations, because they refuse to die naturally. High quality electronics delivers a fair service period. Why add to the initial expense? Older speakers suffer from deterioration (the atmosphere takes a toll on adhesives,etc) and die after a decade of use.
If you can afford to replace the item, then no, don't buy an extended warranty. Accept that the company offering the warranty has calculated the odds of the product failing times the probable replacement cost to get expected value, then added a fair percentage on for their profit. If they're willing to insure your device for $x dollars, and you can afford it, then you should too.
Having said that, electronic equipment loses its value rapidly, so it's your data that you should worry about. Backup frequently, maybe even clone the system drive routinely as a disk drive is the most likely part of your computer to fail. If you clone the drive you can just snap in a clone and you're right back in business as of the day you cloned it. No need to reinstall the OS, or to wait forever to copy over your backups via USB.
No, years ago when I was replacing an office PC, I asked my local IT guy whether I should spend the money on a Dell extended warranty. His reply was no, that's why I had him around the corner. First off, he was in town, he could come to the office to do the repair- that in itself was a deal breaker on paying for an extended warranty. As it was I would have wasted the money if I'd bought the extended warranty, that computer is still in use - have expanded the RAM on it - runs XP Pro, do not want Win 8. Never needed it. I've heard horror stories about Dell computers but I'm a very happy camper, thru the years I've bought 4 laptops and 3 PCs. This is for office and home, there has been 2 other Dell PCs for the office prior to my starting the purchasing and they are still in use in various arenas. They were Win 98s and are in use for ham radio operations now. Something that doesn't require the most up to date software and little RAM so they are still in constant usage.
If you are buying an off-brand, you may wish to purchase the extended warranty - but if you are buying an off-brand, please do some hard homework on that brand before purchase to make sure that it's not just the lowest priced computer you can find, but that it will also hold up for you. You do not want to have your computer quit just when you need it the most. And as others have said, back up, back up, back up. Profs won't take the excuse that you computer crashed and lost your homework.
Having read all the comments, I would still buy extended warranty on my laptop, and no, I am not a stooge trolling as someone suggested, but a 65 yeah old grandmother. We had 3 laptops fixed or replaced thru Best Buy's Geek Squad black tie warranty. The monitor had to be replaced on an Asus after 2 yrs, the drive seized up on another Asus, and the microphone was defective on a third. Good news, all covered and either fixed or replaced, no questions asked. We back up everything on external hard drive so no working data was lost. We had another pc to use, so plugged in the external as though the defective one was still there operational. To us it was experience that made us buy the coverage, and peace of mind. Also purchased warranty on big screen tv and sound system.
When I first got my present computer, I bought the extended warranty which added an additional 2 years to the 1 year warranty. The keyboard that came with my computer was replaced twice under warranty, the hard drive was replaced once under warranty. The computer is no longer under warranty and I am using an even older keyboard with my computer. The replacement hard drive is still working and I have had no other problems. I'd say if the manufacturer offers an extended warranty and it fits your budget, it can't hurt. However, if you want to skip the extended warranty, then try to save up the money that it would take to replace whatever might need replacing after the initial warranty ends.
I buy them on TVs only because I used the extended on two of them. On one, the model was not in stock any more and they didn't want to fix it so I got more than an equivalent model as a replacement. I really made out on that one because the replacement was about $300 more than the one I had originally purchased.
If it is the kind of warranty that will repair or replace for accidental damage, I evaluate the cost of the insurance against the likelihood of damage and/or the cost of personal replacement. A tablet or an expensive smartphone--probably yes, because they seem to be very prone to "OOPSS!!" accidents. Laptop, probably not. Camera--maybe.
I also have bought Apple's extended warranties on macbook pros in the past, simply because the darn things are so expensive to replace or repair, after the warranty runs out. And when I was first learning to use Macs, it was helpful to have that three years of additional tech support.
However, if it is only an extended repair warranty in case of manufacturer defect on something like a Windows laptop, I probably would not spend the money. If it's a decent machine, it ought to last. If it is so cheap it breaks down easily, then I probably would rather replace it with something better, anyway, even out of my own pocket.
Since the only thing I have used through a paid warranty was tech support, I don't know if they are really worth the extra money for the warranty, and if you buy good stuff, simply use it frequently and maintain it well, the products can last for what seems like an eternity. I'm still using an Acer Aspire Timeline I got for less than $650 four years ago from TigerDirect with no extended warranty, and I'm still very happy with it.
But I will tell you, I have had two tablets replaced that were dropped, and one smartphone that happened to slide off the top of my books and into a sink of hot dishwater. In those cases, it really paid off.
And one of my Macbooks had its hard drive replaced five months after the normal warranty ran out, because of the extended warranty.
Then again, I've bought one without ever having to use it.
It's like life insurance. When you buy life insurance, it's sort of a warped thought. You are betting against the insurance company that you will die earlier than they think you will, and the only way you can win the bet, is if you lose your life.
I never buy extended warranties - if the manufacturer was really concerned about the peace of mind for the consumer, they would GIVE US the extended warranty. The exception was an extended warranty that covered a flat screen tv through 3 years that cost like 10 bucks. If you are spending serious money for an extended warranty then you are simply increasing the bottom line of the manufacturer and warranty company: they don't sell stuff to lose money.
I seldom buy extended warranties.
For California all sales come with a 30 day return/exchange. Costco does 90 day. Manufactures typically have 1 year and most electronics has 3 year warranties. If electronics break down they will usually do so in the first year. Otherwise they will last years if not mistreated.
These warranties do not cover damage. Only failure.
A extended warranty that does not cover damage is not worth buying.
I have bought extended warranties on 3 pieces of electronic merchandise, due to delicate nature and/or cost of replacement my manufacturer/carrier.
The 3 items were:
1) iPhone 4, extending warranty after I had to go back & forth with iphone3g problems and they tried to nail me past warranty (4 days). I had kept extensive records and kept business cards so AT&T and Apple couldn't blame each other. Well worth it - phone was replaced with new one
2) iPad Wi Fi no carrier - fortunately have not had to use this.
3 )Kindle Keyboard - glad I did; sad mine broke. Not sure I like replacement of Touch but does have 3G/WiFi & Audio which Paperwhite does not - Amazon Service Net replaced Kindle in under one week.
My 1st laptop cost twice what current laptop did so I am not sure extended warranty is worth it because they always seem pricey! I guess it depends on tech support you have available
So my answer is yes and no.
Laptops maybe. I purchased an Acer AS 8950G 18.4" screen for around 1200 3 years ago. I bought 1 year extended which was like 70. I had planned to modify the configuration and Acer doesn't sell configurable system in the USA. I added a SSD, memory and a Intel wireless card. In year 2 all of a sudden the screen went blank but it would display to an external screen. I had moved the HD to the second pay so when I sent it back to a 3rd party warranty company I removed the SSD drive I had added to get it back to how it was when I purchased. Now I hear MSI puts tabs on their laptops that if you break the warranty is voided. So if I buy MSI I would make sure I get the configuration I wanted when i bought it if i purchased the warranty. Every company has their own policy on opening the case affecting warrenty. So its a good idea to find out before you buy.