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***Buy extended warranty or not?***

by Tech_Girl / March 27, 2005 9:27 PM PST

I'm looking in to buying a laptop soon (I've had my eye on the Toshiba M40), but am wondering: should I buy the extended warranty or not? Is it worth the expense?

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I believe in year 2 warranty but only from "mother."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 27, 2005 9:43 PM PST

My experience with non-maker warranties has been grim. HP, IBM and other maker warranties have performed well.

See if the LCD and battery is covered as well as what limitations they place on the warranty. That is, read the warranty.

One warranty offered the maker an "out" such as "if repairs exceed the warranty value, the warranty cost can be refunded to the owner" and the laptop was not repaired. Pwoof, the warranty vanished in a puff of words.


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by Tech_Girl / March 28, 2005 5:31 AM PST

buy from the laptop company? (ie: Toshiba) What about Future Shop's extended warranty? It seems good, but I've had no experience with it. Thanks.

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FS Canada?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 28, 2005 5:33 AM PST
In reply to: So..

Oh, the stories...

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Do tell........
by Tech_Girl / March 29, 2005 4:28 AM PST
In reply to: FS Canada?

What types of stories have you heard?...

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by nino88 / March 29, 2005 3:55 PM PST
In reply to: So..

The only time that extended warranty is worthed is when you buy the accidental damage coverage. This is only needed if you're extremely careless or have small kids in your house that may ruin your laptop. If there is something wrong with a new laptop, usually it will show up within the first few months and the basic manufacture warranty will still cover that.

I owned a local computer store before. Believe it or not, 80% of the people who brought in their computers for service had nothing wrong with it and yet they paid for the service fee. More often were caused by virus or spywares. If you know how to use the recovery discs, restore points and internet security software, those problems can be avoided easily.

Another advice is to buy a notebook with Pentium Centrino M processor. That thing is amazing. It's fast and runs really cool. You won't hear the cooling fan noise that often. I own a few laptops and the ones with pentium m have battery life 2-2.5x longer than other processors.

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Future Shop Canada?? NO!!!!!
by green_superman32 / March 31, 2005 4:46 AM PST

Whatever you do, do not, i repeat DO NOT get an extended warranty from Future Shop Canada they are absolutely horrible with their customers. For me it took hours of arguing with the store manager to get what I derserved according to their warranty! That is absolutely no way 2 treat a customer!

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by Tech_Girl / March 31, 2005 9:35 AM PST

What exactly happened?

I'm now thinking about possibly going with a Dell and getting their 3 yr at home service warranty...anyone have experience with that?

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by bweston_2002 / March 31, 2005 10:15 PM PST
In reply to: Really?

Dell's are very hit or miss. i my self have a dell inspiron and i love it. i couldn't ask for a better laptop. however. dell's can be garbage as well. when they ship them somtimes the mother boards aren't secured into the case(desktops), the video cards are not in the agp or pci slots. a family member recently bought a dell and it had no ram. but their servce plans tend to get great reveiws so i would go for a dell...just don't get a celeron processor. get either a centrino or a pentium M...Pentium M is the same as centrino. it has the same processor and chipset but it donesn't have the intel wireless card. which matters nothing b/c it won't hurt ur battery life or speed. I would recomend buying from Staples because they have a 150% price garuntee...if you fins a price cheaper any where else take the price from the other store or take their flyer and shop it to staples and they will match the price and beat it by 50% of the diference between staples and the other store (it is 110% in the US so beware)

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Dell home warranty
by koj / April 1, 2005 11:43 AM PST
In reply to: Really?

I bought the three year home warranty from Dell. Desktop. When I had a problem I called and was talking to someone with a heavy accent for 47 minutes on my cell phone. He had me taking things apart as he read up on it. When I requested to speak to someone else he hung up. The short story is they have to do a diagnostic on the computer before they will have someone come out. I'm still paying on a worthless warranty.

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Dell Extended Warranty
by CoachSteve / April 2, 2005 4:10 AM PST
In reply to: Dell home warranty

In February 2005 I purchased a new dell inspiron 8600 laptop for about $1400. Previously I had a compaq laptop for about 5 years, no hardware problems ever. Maybe I was just lucky. Anyway, in Nov. 2004 my LCD burned out on my 8600 & luckily it was still under warranty, so dell replaced it for no charge. The LCD is probably one of the most expensive parts on a laptop. After that I decided to purchase the extended dell warranty before the 1 year dell warranty ran out. After a $75 rebate, it cost me about $190(about 10% of purchase price) for two add'tl. yrs. For someone like me, who uses & relies on his laptop on a day to day basis (e-mail communication, music, movies, letters, etc.) and knows very little about fixing a laptop when something goes wrong, it is an important 'peace of mind'. Just like an insurance policy, you're dealing with a fixed cost. If something breaks down the road, you have no idea how much it will cost you. In today's economy, probably more than the $190 that I paid. By the way, whatever happened to the good old days when pc m'frs. offered (3) yr. warranties as a std. part of purchase. I guess whatever they make now on extended warranties is just gravy for them. I hope my personal experience helps someone.

Coach Steve

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by shrly77 / April 3, 2005 11:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Really?

I have a dell notebook, bought in 2000, and had the 3 yr. warranty and got very good service from dell. I only had the cords and pcmcia card go bad but they replaced them immediatly after calling and verifying the problem. I think they had very good service for whatever problem came up. Plus this year they replaced the power cord and it is not even in warranty, but they found out there was a defect in them.

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by Momo26 / August 2, 2005 2:09 AM PDT

I've actually had good experiences with Futureshop Canada, but it wasn't regarding a laptop...

- Mo

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Future Shop Extended warranty??? PSP Exchange???? BAH!!!!
by trivesty / August 31, 2007 11:27 AM PDT

Should one buy the extended warranty future shop offers on their electronic products?? Only if you plan on getting your money back at sometime in the future when they refuse to honor their policies. Here is the long and happy ending story of a sorts.

On December 12, 2005 I purchased a monitor with all the bells and whistle on sale for $599.96 (it was regularly almost $900 but it was an open box store demo) and a 5 year warranty for $169.99. About 4 weeks ago the DVI input died and I took the monitor in (hoping to get a replacement that day). No such luck. So I was without a monitor for almost 4 weeks. Today I receive a call from future shop saying that the monitor can?ft be repaired and the will do a PSP Exchange (from what the person on the phone said, it was to be exchanged for a monitor with similar features). So far so good. So I go down to the store and find that the features I had on my monitor are not available on any monitor lower than a 27?? (not even the 27?? had all the features my old 21?? had it but had the most important ones that I needed). So the sales person is all set to do the exchange but tells me that the product warranty can?ft be transfered to the new monitor and it will cost me an extra $300 even though it was good until December 2010 (so I figure that is not too bad). Just as we are about to get everything finalized, the manager comes over and says ?gNope, we can?ft give you the 27?? monitor for in the place for the one you have?h. The sales person mentions that it is their policy to exchange feature for feature and this one is the closest they have that has all the features my old monitor had, but in the end gives in and tells me ?gSorry Ash has the final say?h. So at this point I demand a refund and they are offering me a store credit (like I will shop there again), which I refuse and ask for a full refund which about 20 minutes later (and I actually had to argue with them to get my refund and not a store credit or some other such nonsense). What was the refund amount you may ask?? $885.45.

So lets due some math here:

1. the 27?? monitor was retailing for $999 (not on sale or anything which means that the cost was likely less than the $885.45 they refunded me in the end)
2. the warranty would have costed me an extra $300 (which would have been a sale for future shop and a satisfied customer which would have bought stuff later at their store (over the past year I spend an excess of $4000 at future shop and was planning on buying a notebook, along with a digital SLR, in the very near future).

instead the result was

3. me walking out of there with a refund on $885.45, a bitter customer who will not shop there again,

Basically for a couple of hundred dollars a manager costed the store thousands in future sales and I will tell my story to whoever chooses to listen advising them to chose wisely where they chose to shop.

I still want to know what PSP Exchange means as I still own a few products which has another 3-4 years warranty on them. Being the stupid consumer I am, and trusty of the warranties offered by future shop, I purchased an extended warranty on every electronic product over $200 that I ever purchased from future shop and this was the first time I ever need to use it and what happens??? Bad bad experience with their warranty plans.

On the plus side Gateway is offering the exact monitor I had for $479 so I will likely order it from them and I?fll be back to a happy person

A dis-satisfied customer from the store on 50 Gateway Park Drive in Kitchener, Ontario.

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extended warranty
by rottlady52 / March 31, 2005 7:19 PM PST

An extended warrany is great, if it is in home repair, and comes from the manufacturer, not the store where you purchased your computer.

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Warranty or Not
by pmstern / March 31, 2005 8:14 PM PST

Warranties are generally grossly overpriced, and a high profit item for retailers working with a very close mark up. But the worst part is the sub-par service that they may offer. Frequently, unless the repair is made by the manufacturer or is a complete replacement of the item with a brand new one (not "refurbished"), the problem may actually remain or worsen in a not so obvious form, or a new problem (or problems) may have been created in the course of the work. Generally, repair personnel is simply not up to the complexity of the product, and unless the components are modular, the service company may not have the ability to match the configuration and quality of the original work, especially when the product's components are tightly installed in very close quarters.

Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, is the steady advance of new technology coupled with decreasing prices for same. By the time your DVD drive is repaired and hopefully operating properly, you can purchase an external higher speed double layer one with all the required software for considerably less than your original. While we abhor built in obsolescence and "disposability", who's storing files or data on floppies today or even using 100mb zip drives in the face of CD-R/RW?

For the above reasons, I generally avoid purchasing repair or service contracts, except for very expensive items with highly sophisticated technology, and then, I carefully choose only an established and competent provider which is hopefully supplied or authorized by the manufacturer.

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by richbivin / March 31, 2005 8:21 PM PST

A extended warranty can be a good thing. They have replaced my mother board 3 times over the last 4 years. Also a hard drive. I wouldn't think of getting a computer without one. I paid less than $150 for a four year. Good luck.

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life of product
by hogan / March 31, 2005 8:34 PM PST
In reply to: warranty

Electronic components are mass produced with error rates measured in parts per billion and better. Lots of electronc products are just tested to see if they complete a circuit, with no other functional testing after manufacture. Basically, if it lights up, then it's okay for its lifetime. If you get a bad piece of kit, it will be worth getting a warranty but the chances are that if it works when it leaves the factory, it will go on working for you.

Also worth remembering that if the company did not make a profit on extended warranties, it wouldn't offer them. HP, Toshiba, TI etc, do not manage their own repairs either, these are contracted to a third party now, which is why you get hit for 50 dollar inspection fee.

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Extended Warranties
by mmolnar / March 31, 2005 8:36 PM PST


I have worked at several big bix retail stores before owning my own small businness and I can give you several reasons not to buy those warranties. First many stores do not fix your problem if they feel it wasn't caused by one of their stated problems. Second if they do fix it it may take up to 3 or 4 weeks to get it back because many of them outsource their repairs. When I worked at one unnamed yellow box store, they were more concerned that we sold the warranty than the accual product. It is sick how much they make off the warranty 50% of the cost is pure profit with no overhead. I hope this helps!!!!!!!

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I am in the middle
by Terryana / March 31, 2005 9:34 PM PST

I usually do not get an extended warranty, especially on lower ticket items but I am buying a 3000.00 laptop and have heard so many bad things about HP service not to mention that I would have to pack it up and send it to them.....future shop here in Toronto, does repairs on site, I have dealt with the tech people in two locations and they seem like they know what they are doing...I also like the lemon guarantee.....three times in and you get a new machine..they may not do it easily however, at least I have an actual place and an actual store manager to fight with to get my way than an operator on the end of a phone line....who has no motivation to help me.

The life of your laptop may be 4-5 years before you need to upgrade so you have to decide if it is worth it to you! My Sony has been great for the last 4 years, only now showing signs of trouble.....hard decision!

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by bweston_2002 / March 31, 2005 10:19 PM PST
In reply to: I am in the middle

the do in house but there is service fees, thare won't fix if they think it is your i the way to go. i work there as you can tell by previous posts. when i started i was thinking that theis ESP was like the others and with desktops it is about the same as other stores but laptops are the best service plan out there.....see my post of service plans

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by bweston_2002 / March 31, 2005 10:03 PM PST

OK, i donno if your in the US or Canada so this will vary slightly depending on that. At Future Shop and Best Buy and Circut City when you buy an extended warranty you are getting a one year manufactuer's warrenty then you 2 or 3 yr extention. depending on the store you buy it at you have two possible out comes. 1) you walk out the door and you have a 1 yr manufactueing warrenty and when that runs out your extended warrenty kicks in so if you have a 2 yr additional plan your plan is really 3 yrs. 2) you walk out the door and you have your 1 yr and your 2 yr running at the same time. so you paid extra for 2 extra yrs but the first yr of the plan from the store is running with the plan that is from toshiba. SOLUTION: Buy you laptop @ Staples. they offer the extended service plan. it is a 2 or 3 yr ADDITIONAL plan with the price varying depending on the cost of the system. sounds just like the others right? well the staples ESP covers your battery, the other electronics stores don't! so if your battery starts dying in the 3 or 4th yr of you big deal because it is covered (unlimited) under the ESP and it will save you half the cost of ordering the battery your self. secondly and just as important staples covers the hinges of the screen and the actual LCD monitor....the others again don't. Third, Staples ESP is all in house, not shipped out, there are no extra fees for shipping and receiving of parts. and finally, a last minor, but important to some, point is if your laptop needs repair under the manufacture's warranty, Staples will deal with them for you. they will pay the shipping to send it to toshiba, hp, compaq, avaretec...etc. that will save you time money and the hassel od sending it away.

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Excellent Information
by rkelly72 / April 2, 2005 2:15 AM PST

Now, bwesten, that is good information. It is enough for me to buy from Staples. I've had enough of HP's so-called extended warranties, rebates, and other 'don't work' products.

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You are Wrong
by rocks3906 / April 7, 2005 3:42 PM PDT

Im guessing your either a new salesman for Staples or victim of a dishonest saleman. If i were you i would go out and do some actual research before you get screwed over. Best Buy does cover batteries, they do cover the hinges, they do cover the display screen. Does your staples store physically have techs on site to repair laptops? Also Staples "service plans" only cover power surge protection up to $1000. Does this mean if i buy a $1500 laptop and buy a $200 service plan that i have to fork over another $500 should a surge destroy my laptop? Best Buys service plan covers 100% of any type of power surge damage. Do your research, take a service plan brochure home and read it line for line.

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by garyp2003 / August 2, 2005 1:43 AM PDT

This post is almost entirely inaccurate...

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by Momo26 / August 2, 2005 2:19 AM PDT

Which post is inaccurate? Who is right/wrong?..

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Original Post is Inaccurate
by garyp2003 / August 2, 2005 3:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Huh?...

The original post which speaks to batteries and service being handled in-house by Staples is incorrect. Whoever wrote the post has incorrect information.

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Oh okay.
by Momo26 / August 2, 2005 4:34 AM PDT

However, would you recommend buying from a actual store appose to online, whereby if one were in need of repairs they would have to send away appose to in-store consultation?...

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by Momo26 / August 2, 2005 2:17 AM PDT

I didn't see Dell on that Staples list. Does Staples sell Dell laptops? (& maybe it was just the location, but a Staples I went to had a scarce sellection of laptops) I will check out again..

It would be nice to not have to send away...

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Re: Extended Warranties
by mudhawaii / March 31, 2005 11:49 PM PST

First and formost before buying any electronic device, unless it's brand new to the market, check on the reported failures, (local repair shops, online evaluators, etc.).
What type of environment/condition is it going to be maintained in, (on a desk all the time, in class rooms, traveling, etc.)?
Lastly, is it a brand new, reconditioned, overhauled or used unit?
If you can answer yes to these conditions: it's going to sit on a desk and not move, brand new and doesn't have very many or expensive repairs(<20% of original cost for repair) I'd buy the extended warranty.

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by rc1005 / April 1, 2005 12:24 AM PST

I worked at one of the top retailers that had their "Service Plan/Extended Warranty" I wasn't a salesmen I was in their service department. Make sure you read what the extended warranty covers. Does it just extend the mfg warranty or do you get a bonus like covering the rechargable batteries. Some retailers do some don't. Batteries are a big deal with laptops. Even the Lithium-Ion go bad and it's $100+ for a replacement. Also the actual charging systems are very prone to failure.

Is there a no-lemon policy? What happens if your laptop is in repair constantly.

Hope this helps with your decision.

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