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Poll: Flat-panel TV purchase, is an extended warranty worth it?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / July 20, 2007 3:15 AM PDT

For a flat-panel TV purchase, do you think an extended warranty is worth it?

--Yes (Please explain.)
--No (Please explain.)
--Sometimes (Please explain.)
--Absolutely! I have already used it. (Tell us about it.)
--Never again; I've bought it before and had a bad experience with it. (Tell us about it.)

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by HTHMAN / July 20, 2007 4:00 AM PDT

This is insurance and a money making item for the insurer. You do not make money by selling something for less than your expected costs. Flat panels are very reliable and I will take my chances with the Mfg warranty and any extentions I can get thru a credit card or Costco, etc.

Think of it like buying life insurance. The insurance company is betting you will not die, and you are betting that you will.

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I didn't get all you were saying
by 6_4_00 / July 31, 2007 4:18 AM PDT
In reply to: No

Tell me simply why not to get a warranty on FP TV's? Are the TV's cost-efficient?

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I think so.

I bought one for my RP TV. Cost me about 10% of purchase price and extends the warranty to 5 years. As others here, I used to think extended warranties on anything were a waste of money. I was right until about 8 years ago when I bought a 97 Lincoln Mark VIII. That experience was like Waterloo for me in a slow bleed sort of way. Because I didn't spend 1200.00 on a warranty, I ended up spending about 10,000 over the next five years. I now have a 2003 Cadillac STS that has already needed piston ring replacement but I bought it certified for about 1500.00 extra and am covered bumper to bumper for 100,000. Same story with a dryer I bought. It broke but I had the extended warranty and came out a little ahead. So, I'm starting to think they just don't make them like they used to and if you can get the warranty at a good price, say 10% of the cost of the product, its' worth it. If you pay the asking price for the warranty at a lot of the internet sites without haggling them down, it's probably not. I guess I'll know in about 5 years.


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you bought
by woodygg / July 20, 2007 6:58 AM PDT
In reply to: I think so.

an american made car and then was surprised when it broke down?

extended warranty for me? for electronics, they are not worth it based on the cost vs. the failure rates.

"Extended warranty? How could I lose?" - Homer Simpson

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Interestingly I agree....
by RustyDallas / July 20, 2007 8:54 AM PDT
In reply to: you bought

But the same size and features on foreign luxury cars with better maintenance records would have cost another 20,000. up front over what I paid buying American. So, once again, saving 20,000 and buying 1500.00 worth of extended warranty is still cost efficient.


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Buying American
by bigmike363 / July 20, 2007 11:59 AM PDT

Not only did you save 20,000,but,you kept some AMERICANS working.
I prefer to buy AMERICAN everytime I can get a product made here(even if it cost more than an imported product.


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Buying American Pt2
by dieseldrummerprl / July 20, 2007 1:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Buying American

And by buying my Honda Civic, I also kept American workers working in America and I even kept American suppliers working due to the fact that a majority of the parts in my car were made in the USA. Lets see, buy Detroit crap, or buy quality "Japanese" cars made in the USA from US parts.

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by woodygg / July 21, 2007 1:20 AM PDT

another 20K? come on...

breaking down is never worth it. way too much of a hassle. they can't reimburse you for your time.

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Yep..another 20k
by RustyDallas / July 21, 2007 3:00 AM PDT
In reply to: sigh

I could match the features for probably 10k more but I am 6 3" with broader than normal shoulders. I test drove all the Infinity and Lexus's. To get enough shoulder room so that I didn't feel pressed against the left side of the car meant going to the largest sedans with either company. So my choices were to either feel cramped in a Japanese car, pay extra 20K, or buy American. On the hassle, I agree that breakdowns with the Linclon's were a big hassle. However, this brings up quality of warranty issues. If you have never experienced Cadillac service you're missing a big treat. Their certified warranty is bumper to bumper with no deductible for 6 years or 100,000 miles. It even includes the battery and loaner car. Man, you pull in at 7:30 am, a tech sprints to your car, while you're describing the problem a little old lady shows up with a latte and a danish, they get you in a loaner with blinding speed and you're out with your coffee and latte by 7:40. So, to some up, because of superior warranty: big savings, minimum hassle, no repair bills outside of routine maintenance for the life of the car.


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by woodygg / July 21, 2007 3:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Yep..another 20k

so it's not apples to apples... it's having to go up in size.

regardless... until american car companies wake up and build better cars, i won't risk it on them. that's a seperate issue though.

and btw - i don't care if they bring me a danish if it breaks down while i'm out driving somewhere... Happy

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Yep..another 20k by RustyDallas
by terry123123 / July 31, 2007 7:20 AM PDT
In reply to: ah

Rusty in on right track, wrong thread maybe? Anyhow, I think a point to make would be the USofA car companies could 'design' better cars, I would guess that we build them just fine. We could also service better which is what Rusty discusses for better or worse. Persoannly I been screwed at the dealerships over what the warranty covers far too many times, ... warranty my sore *** ...


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The Toyota Sequoia and Toyota Tundra are both American made
by Keldawwg / November 26, 2007 12:44 AM PST
In reply to: you bought

And they are great vehicles... Designed and built in America, but not by an American car company...

I am a mechanical engineer and attended a course on designing plastic parts for assembly years ago. The instructor was a big time consultant for the auto companies, and gave us an example of a job he did for Chrysler. Their 300 series car (The top of the line for Chrysler) had a plastic intake manifold that they wanted re-designed to reduce cost (Of course) but they had a few other requirements. Namely, they wanted the manifold to fail just after the warranty expired, but the big problem was their cheaper design would go bad sitting on a warehouse shelf due to hydroscopy of the plastic. (The plastic would absorb water over time) So when the customer paid a couple thousand dollars to replace the intake manifold on their top of the line car, Chrysler would get stuck re-replacing the manifold because the replacement was going bad sitting on the shelf...

They already had a design that would last indefinitely, but they were unhappy with it because it cost a couple dollars more...

Can you imagine Toyota contracting with a consultant to design a part to fail shortly after the warranty? I didn't think so... I have a Toyota T-100 with nearly 300,000 miles on it, and it has had a grand total of $310 worth of repairs for things that broke... An EGR tube had a defective weld, and the harmonic balancer seperated... Both were flukes, and not a typical failure... All other costs for this truck have been maintenance and wear (Oil, clutch, brakes, spark plugs and plug wires, etc.) Probably the most expensive thing I have paid for on this truck over the years has been tires...

I forgot about the clutch pedal bracket... That was another $80, and I have to admit the design of that bracket is sub-par for Toyota... It didn't go bad until the truck had over 200,000 miles on it, though...

I think 100% of the problems American car companies are having these days are no one's fault but their own. The really sad part is that they are still designing cars to fail shortly after the warranty period... When will they wake up and realize that people are not going to be happy with their products when they fall apart after 7 or 8 years, tops?

There are web sites that show the reliability of all the cars available in America, and it is sad to look at how poorly American cars do compared to the Japanese... (The Escalade... Damn... An $80,000 vehicle with a 3% reliability rating...) And that's not all the bad news, because all the Korean car companies are passing us in reliability... (Not extremely surprising since a lot of them use Japanese engines and transmissions... They buy the entire factory from Nissan or Mazda and move it to Korea... Happy )

In a couple of years, the competition will also include a lot of Chinese cars... Very cheap, but from what I hear they will not be bad cars...

300,000 miles, and no squeaks, rattles, or things that don't work any more... I expect the thing to last for another 200,000 miles or so before I have any really major problem with it... How many Fords, Chevy's or Chrysler products can say that?

Uh.... None.

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The rear projection is NOT a flat screen.
by NM_Bill / July 20, 2007 12:39 PM PDT
In reply to: I think so.

Flat screens have acceptably low repair rates & don't warrant an extended warranty unless it is reasonably priced & offered by the manufacturer, not a third party insurance company. Rear projectors repair rate is considerably higher than flat screens & deserve some kind of insurance.

My prior generation made a good living working in the auto industry. Things aren't the same nowadays. Bad management of the dinosaur companies doomed them to second rate. My last two American label cars had three engine rebuilds between them. I (& many others) were betrayed.

I negotiate good deals on Hondas & Toyotas which have been very reliable with good gas mileage & resulting good trade in value. Two sons work in the tool & die industry. I just tell them to make sure their boss is bidding on those contracts for the stateside factories of them.

Dryers? Online quickly has information that JD Powers highest customer satisfaction for dryers is Bosch. Yes, a German company. Germany is one of the few countries which has a negative trade balance with the US. Yes, they buy more of our stuff than we of theirs. They are not the ones who are bleeding us dry.

The worship of highest return on investment is what pushes everything offshore. If Americans paid attention to the source of the majority of stuff in WalMart, money would talk loudly. But it doesn't because people just like those low prices.

Want to make a small difference? Research & buy intelligently. Buy once & buy right. Avoid contributing unnecessarily to the landfill. Have the courage & conviction to live below your means. Debt will enslave you.

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by jmarkross / July 20, 2007 1:35 PM PDT
In reply to: I think so.

What are you doing to these cars---drag racing?

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they were american made...
by woodygg / July 21, 2007 1:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Hmmmmm...

starting them would be enough for them to break down....

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(NT) (NT) lol! Sad, but true.
by misterguy / July 22, 2007 11:44 AM PDT
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Depends on the coverage offered
by supermanx1a / November 24, 2007 12:36 AM PST

I work for a very large national electronics chain and let me tell you that the protection from extended warranties differ widely according to the product. For eg: computer components are exchanged over the counter [Buy it!]. TV's and cameras are only repaired with a delay of 4 to 6 weeks [don't bother!] Large TV's are repaired at home, not taken to the shop [Buy it!]. As you can see, it depends on the item and the coverage. Mfrs guarantee their products for a period during which they do not expect repairs or returns, usually 90 days to 1 year. After that you are on your own.

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yes, you should take that into consideration...
by woodygg / November 25, 2007 11:25 AM PST

but it makes no difference upon where it's repaired - i'm still not wasting my money on a tv extended warranty just because they come to my house.

"Mfrs guarantee their products for a period during which they do not expect repairs or returns, usually 90 days to 1 year."

this statement is absolutely false. IF an electronic product is going to break, it's MUCH more likely to break sooner as opposed to later.

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I Know What You Mean...
by wakewop / July 20, 2007 11:37 PM PDT
In reply to: I think so.

First off, comparing autos to electronics is doing the apples and oranges bit. Unlike a used car, electronic manufacturers provide somewhat decent warranties without having to purchase additional coverage.

I stepped out of my mode and bought a used 1999 American made Ford Winstar just last year and did not purchase an extended warranty. From January until now, we have spent more on repairs on this junk then what we paid for it last July.

It's back to imports for me. Thankfully, many if not most of the components of today's electronic products are made in Asian factories. I hate to sound unpatriotic, but when you get hit so hard in the wallet, you have to re-consider your priorities.

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Yes, No and maybe!!!
by jcrobso / July 20, 2007 6:32 AM PDT

A Lot Depends on the "set" and the cost of warranty/TV life insurance.
When I bought my HDTV from Sam's a 3 year contract was $70 for a $1000 HDTV.
If you have a PR-HDTV set that has a $250 lamp that will burn out a contract could be a good idea if the cost is less or = to the cost of the lamp. John

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Plasma / LCD No
by kcfvegas / July 20, 2007 12:23 PM PDT

The question is for flat panel TVs, so the answer for me is no, because of the reliability factor. For a little extra peace of mind I will buy at Costco because of their two year free warranty, or use a credit card that will double the sets warranty.

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COSTCO Yes, Best Buy big fat NO
by JoeBos / July 23, 2007 5:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Plasma / LCD No

The extended warranty at Best Buy was totally useless. Their scam is that adjustments are not covered and you have to prove to them that it is a solderable component that needs relacement. The salesperson lied about so many aspects of the extended warranty that it was astonishing how he could have kept a straight face. Now I'm out $300 for the warranty and have to put up with green curvey lines on my three-year old (expensive)Sony. Next TV will be a non-name brand at COSTCO.

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Sometimes .....
by Watzman / July 20, 2007 12:34 PM PDT

It depends both on the technology and on what the warranty covers.

For example: For sets using projection technology (DLP, LCD PROJECTION, and LCoS), if the warranty covers lamps, it's probably worth it. Most of these lamps are $200 to $600, which may exceed the cost of the entire extended warranty. Even if there are limitations (Best Buy's 4-year extended warranty on a JVC LCoS costs $350 and includes ONE lamp replacement (lamp cost = $200)), that means that the entire rest of the 4-year warranty is effectively $150 ... probably a good buy.

The technology also matters in the LCD direct view has relatively few repairs, Plasma more, and DLP quite a bit more. So I'd be more inclined to go with an extended warranty on a DLP set than on a direct view LCD set.

Repairs on these sets can be extremely expensive, $600 to $1,000 is not that unusual, so it's definitely worth considering. It's an insurance policy, of course, so you have to weigh the cost vs. the liklihood you will need it and the cost if you have a failure and no service plan. It's definitely worth considering, it's not always a good idea, but it clearly is in some cases.

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Not Worth It ! If it was for ten years, Yes.
by fliersrr / July 20, 2007 12:59 PM PDT

Extended contracts on almost anything are not worth the money, esecialt a Plasma. They have a life expectacy of 6 years. Extended contracts are usualy 3-4 max. Put the money in the bank and in 6 years go get another. By that time they will be even cheaper.

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Flat TV extended warranty

Yes, always have an extended warranty, unless you have substantial disposable income. I owned a 32 inch TV for 16 years. I took out an extended waraanty for five years at a cost of $100. During that time I had three service calls only. However, the cost to repair or replacer the failed parts was far in excess of $100. With a Flat TV, more technical areas are modular and thererfore there are less parts. When one of these parts develops a fault it will cost a lot more to replace than the small failed items in an old style TV.Therrefore it is, in my opinion, foolish not to pay a little to ensure no large payouts later. Do you insure your car??? Do you have life insurance?
Everything breaks.

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Bad financial advice
by woodygg / July 21, 2007 2:00 AM PDT

You cannot compare purchasing auto and life insurance to an extended warranty where you're downside is very limited to the cost of the item. You don't compare being in an automobile accident and potentially having almost unlimited liability with your $1,500 television crapping out!!!!!! You don't compare leaving you're wife in decent financial shape by having life insurance to your television breaking down!!!!

Any decent financial planner will tell you not to insure specific small dollar items (riders, etc) - like you're jewelry, etc. Insurance is for catstrophic events.

I have a background in finance and work for an electronics mfg. One of my jobs is to estimate our warranty liability and to cost out extended warranties. I know how this business works, and I KNOW that they make a profit margin that would make your head spin. I have yet to ever buy an extended warranty (of course, I buy japanese cars as well) and have yet to ever need one. With the money I've saved by not buying extended warranties, I could purchase four brand new HDTV's!

IF a high tech product is going to break, it will almost always break quickly - that is the nature of electronics. Bad solder joints, defective component, etc - they will generally show up right away while they're under warranty. The failure rate drops down until you get out to about 6 or 7 years (generally speaking) then rises... the chart looks like a bathtub...

tip - the worst thing you can do to your electronics is turn them on and off often. this is what can wear them out - heating up/expanding - cooling off/contracting... the best example is a light buld. when does it almost always burn out? right when you turn it on. a friend of mine had been a tv/appliance repairman earlier in his life - when i'd turn on his tv at his house, he'd always tell me to leave it on and he'd turn it off at the end of the day. of course, i won't even touch the issue of electricity use...

Of course, it's been pointed out, that if you can buy it cheap enough, it might be worth it. Someone mentioned they purchased a two or three year warranty from Sam's club for $70 on an HDTV - for that price, I'd probably be tempted as well. You are essentially purchasing insurance - VERY EXPENSIVE insurance. Check with your credit card company, some offer extended warranties if you use their card to purchase the item.

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Japanese cars are better but...
by RustyDallas / July 21, 2007 3:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Bad financial advice

You didn't need a better warranty but you paid a substantially higher price for the car up front, so either way, you insured yourself against breakdown expense. Don't know if you financed or not but if you did, that premium was the very last thing you paid off. So, don't forget the interest add in. You may have paid cash but most don't.


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i only buy
by woodygg / July 21, 2007 3:11 AM PDT

used... and that i get wholesale at the dealer auctions.. and i pay cash. (my friend owns a number of dealerships so i'm able to get in to the auctions). i save a boat load of money.

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I know
by RustyDallas / July 21, 2007 3:20 AM PDT
In reply to: i only buy

That's how I got my Lincolns too (my only access was to Ford dealer auctions) but that's irrelavant to the warranty issue unless you can only buy Japanese from the auctions and not American cars. My points are stil valid. You and me may have special access to purchased items and may be able to pay cash but most of the people on this board are probably not in our special circumstances.

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there is no but...
by woodygg / July 21, 2007 3:14 AM PDT

i keep my cars for a good 10 years... in addition, there is no $$ difference - you are using a very specific instance that doesn't generally apply. i can buy a camry or accord for the same price as the equivalent US car.

the longer you keep it, the less that $$ difference makes over that amount of time - buying warranties into that time frame would be very, very expensive -

my time is way too valuable to sit around having old ladies bring me danishes....

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