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Extended warranties for laptops, are they worth getting?

Question:

Extended warranties for laptops, are they worth getting?


I'm headed off to college next month and I'm in the process of
buying a laptop. I'm still undecided on the laptop, but I have a
good idea what I want. However, this question I have for you isn't
about the laptop I want, it is about the extended warranty that
the store is offering with the laptop. My dad says extended
warranties aren't worth it as it has never paid off for him when
he bought them in the past and the cost is quite hefty. On the
other hand my mom says she would feel better if I got it, because
she's the worrier of family and thinks that in the long run if
something goes wrong, it will be covered. Well, the disagreement
between my parents continues. My family isn't well off so every
penny counts these days, especially with the cost of my parents
sending me to college and I'm thankful for that. This is reason
why I'm turning to you to ask if you think it is worth it to get
one of these extended warranties for my laptop. Have you
personally bought an extended warranty for a laptop and reaped the
benefits, or was it a waste of money? Any experience or advice you
can share is welcomed and appreciated.

--Submitted by: Brad C.
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Yes but with a few exceptions

In reply to: Extended warranties for laptops, are they worth getting?

With a laptop, especially and expensive one, the extended warranty is pretty important. The reason being most repairs of any sort of physical part are expensive and generally won't need to be done until well after the first year. Also, if you get the accidental you're smart, since you are essentially buying something mobile. The way I always explain it to people is you can control how you treat your things, but you can't control all the people around you that could cause something to happen. A good example of this was a friend of mine had his laptop in his dorm room and a party was going on on his floor and someone at the party spilled a drink on the laptop but didn't tell anyone. He didn't know it had happened until the next day and was out of luck. He did not have the accidental warranty on it and had to pay out of pocket for another laptop. In college you're right every penny counts, and that is why it works out well in the long run.

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Laptops are more damage prone

In reply to: Yes but with a few exceptions

I used to work IT for a division of 3M as a contractor. It was not all that unusual to have one of our executives turn off the laptop and toss it in the backseat of their car before the hard drive had stopped spinning. The result was a spate of hard drive problems that were sometimes at the point where we had to try to retrieve the data before we trashed the hard drive. Things may have changed since that time (1999) but all it takes is a damaged hard drive or some other component and it could cost you more than what the extended warranty would be. Basically what dtr19 said is great advice. Think of the cost to replace the screen if the laptop is accidentally dropped. While the mobility is great it opens the door to additional problems and concerns. The one area where you might save money is a floor model or, better yet, last year's model that is being replaced with the 2014 example that may have few, if any changes from the 2013. Finally buy from a reputable computer store that has an experienced support staff and not from one that uses dressed up VW Beetles to drive around in.

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Laptop extended warranties

In reply to: Laptops are more damage prone

Loved minnman's comments, especially last sentence! We are a dedicated Mac clan, and always go with "Apple Care" on portable devices. Have had very positive experiences with them. Even Consumer Reports, who generally advises against extended warranties on most products, has advocated for Apple Care. Can't get more solid advice than that!

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Just a thought...

In reply to: Laptop extended warranties

It's interesting that Consumer Reports would recommend against extended warranties for most products, but "advocates for Apple Care". Could it be that most products don't need the warranty because they are made so well they will never need it -and waste your money. However, could Apple products are more prone to breakage in which case you surely do need the warranty because their product is not as reliable as those that don't need the warranty?

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Meadow117

In reply to: Just a thought...

Are u being funny? All electronics, laptops, can fail. That is why there are such things as warranties. And all I can tell you from experience is don't waste your money on Geek Squad. The worst. Do a search, you'll be amazed. I hear Square Trade is the Best.

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Well the best is buying electronics from Costco.

In reply to: Meadow117

They come with a 2 year factory warranty. Microsoft is alot better than it used to be with their stores. They have a 2 year that covers accidental and you just swap out your damaged SB for a new one.

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YES ALWAYS...

In reply to: Yes but with a few exceptions

I agree with dtr19. I will just stress buying a laptop from a company which honors the warranty with few questions asked & offers accidental damage. I have witnessed many different types of mishaps, having warranty & not. From my own personal experience with Dell & Apple, I would consider buying an extended warranty with accidental coverage. I never had any hassles and they went beyond the warranty at times. For me the ROI was phenomenal.

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"There's one born every minute"

In reply to: YES ALWAYS...

Did you ever think that "they went beyond the warranty at times" because they felt so guilty about taking you to the cleaners in the first place!?!
Happy Just sayin.

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All I can do is relate experience..

In reply to: Yes but with a few exceptions

My 1st laptop in 1985 was damaged by my NCOIC tripping on the power cord and sticking his combat boot through the keyboard. The dealership graciously warranted it, as this happened just a few weeks after purchase. However - this machine was dragged through the dust and debris of Army life for five years and survived everything I could throw at it, and luckily even a lightning strike that damaged the battery(unbeknownst to me).

My second laptop - despite being a very large one, because I wanted it to be capable of training presentations, survived many a fall and drop kick, and road miles as a support machine to mobile IT support. I still have both of them and they still work! Consumer Reports states that most extended warranty programs are not worth the money that is spent on them, and I tend to agree with my experience. Your mileage may vary. They way I look at it, as laptops reduce in value so rapidly that fixing them is cheaper than the warranty; but then I fix them myself - so that is a factor in my opinion here.

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Sounds like a real brainiac; how'd HE get into college?

In reply to: Yes but with a few exceptions

Really? The guy you're talking about was a COLLEGE student.....and didn't have the sense to even close the lid of his laptop...never mind put it in a drawer somewhere knowing there was gonna be a drinking party going on in his room?

The kid needs a big "life-hazard" insurance policy taken out on him..........by ME! He should be a sure payout at this rate!

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Usually not

In reply to: Extended warranties for laptops, are they worth getting?

But a students laptop gets more abuse than most. A friends daughter went through 2 laptops in her first year, that warranty didn't work because accidental damage was not covered. She bought the next laptop through the school where they offered accidental coverage for a reasonable price, but she paid more for that laptop than she would have on the outside. The second laptop was covered so for her it was worth it.

You have to decide if the cost of the insurance is worth it and make sure you compare the price the school wants with what you can get the laptop for outside. Then ask yourself if you feel lucky . . .

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Student insurance

In reply to: Extended warranties for laptops, are they worth getting?

Another option to look at is your insurance, The PC will be covered against theft, loss, damage etc so the extended warranty should not be needed - you can find numerous reports on cnet about the expense of extended warranty and they won't cover you for more than your insurance

regards

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Yes, if it includes accidental damage coverage

In reply to: Extended warranties for laptops, are they worth getting?

A laptop being used in a school setting is probably more prone to accidental damage than other situations. That being said, an extended warranty that covers drops and spills is a smart idea. The web site "squaretrade.com" offers this type of protection; the cost is based on the price you paid for the computer, offering 2 and 3 year plans. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, as well as excellent customer reviews on both Amazon and Google. I've personally purchased their plans for other types of electronic devices.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck with your decision and in college!

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Extended warranties worth buying? NO! NEVER!

In reply to: Extended warranties for laptops, are they worth getting?

They're the biggest money maker for stores since sliced bread as they're rarely if ever needed for other than 1 in a 10,000 or more consumers, which explains why every store attempts to sell you one. Digital gadgets especially are extremely reliable and if they don't fail in the first 100 hrs or so of use - which seldom happens, and even if it does the product is normally under a mfg's warranty still - they're typically good for the duration. Save your money.

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I'll have to disagree with you.

In reply to: Extended warranties worth buying? NO! NEVER!

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> While the electronics may be reliable as others have mentioned accidents happen. Also the build quality of some laptops is weak. My daughter took her new laptop to college and one of the hinges broke. The manufacturer would not cover the damage even though it was a design flaw. Fortunately I had purchased a warranty from Square Trade. They had no luck with the manufacturer either and refunded my purchase price. I will agree not to buy in the store the warranties they offer are overpriced and for shorter time.

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Extreme circumstances make great Square Trade ad

In reply to: I'll have to disagree with you.

While your situation worked out great for you, the fact remains that the average repair cost is much less than the extraordinary cost of the warranty. The previous gentleman you responded to is correct, they are a huge money maker. Invest that money into your own account, and if it breaks, you can fix it w/o having to go through the hassle of a 3rd party. Also, you get to keep it in the event nothing happens. Win Win....

What ifs are never a good reason to spend an extra 25% to 30%, because they only happen less than 10% of the time, and even then, it is usually for less than the 25%.

Don't believe me though, Google it, and research it to validate the facts

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Normally the mfg's warranty is plenty.

In reply to: Extended warranties worth buying? NO! NEVER!

Retailers hypnotize shoppers with reasons to spend more money. I surmise retail trolls write these pro [fessional] warranty comments, and thumb down laptop experienced rational contributors. I bought a used Dell on eBay, past warranty and saved 80%, I've used it 7 years now, with the AC power adapter to save the battery replacement cost. I bought a 17" HP on Black Friday about 5 years ago. I haven't installed that battery yet, or have I regretted saying, "No." to the extended the warranty from Staples. How many times do people need to pay, to understand that these extended warranties are offered to extend the retailer's profits? Some associates even get an incentive for selling them.
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HP, okay, but not for Apples.

In reply to: Normally the mfg's warranty is plenty.

Net2J said : "I've used it 7 years now, with the AC power adapter to save the battery replacement cost."
Interestingly, I've been following a thread on one of the Usenet newsgroups ("uk.comp.sys.mac" I think) started by some poor bloke who killed the battery in his Mac Powerbook laptop by leaving it on AC for years and rarely using the battery pack. When he did finally allow the pack to completely drain over a day or so the thing wouldn't charge again. The advice from the group was to buy a new pack.
Apple battery packs are, according to the group and their own literature, *incredibly* fragile and need to be babied. You might be able to keep any other PC's battery pack healthy enough even if you rarely run it through a complete discharge and charge cycle but that is very bad for Apples.
Of course, if you *never* need the HP to be mobile, it probably doesn't matter whether the pack is okay or dead as a rock but it's something to think about if anyone ever buys an Apple as I'm told many students do.

Just as a data point: I have a ten year old Sony laptop that is rarely off the mains. The last time it was, the pack was fine. I think I'll test it someday soon just out of interest.

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Power Cord Replaced TWICE ALREADY, Hard Drive Replaced Once

In reply to: HP, okay, but not for Apples.

My MacAir extended warranty has covered TWO replacement power cords! These cords are fragile at the connection point and fray. I had the first replacement just after one year of use. The second replacement after second year of use. The extended warranty covered both replacements. The cost of these power cords: very pricey. The extended warranty has paid for itself. So I highly recommend extended warranty with Apple products. Now in my third year, I am not worried if another power cord breaks down or if anything else goes wrong - I'm covered.

My iMac experienced problems with the hard drive. Ultimately, that too, had to be replaced. Now that cost would have been really expensive without the extended warranty. Not only that, but Apple express lane staff is always very helpful when you are under warranty.

So for me, extended warranty with Apple was worth having. BTW, it was recommended that I purchase this by TWO friends that also used their warranties with their Apple laptops.

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battery pack health

In reply to: HP, okay, but not for Apples.

I removed the Dell battery, after I found out it was almost gone when I bought it used.
The HP battery has never been installed. Perhaps, if I wanted mobility, I could buy a Dell
replacement on eBay. The HP battery may
still have life in it. I do not need mobility, yet.
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Extended warranties are largely not value for money

In reply to: Extended warranties worth buying? NO! NEVER!

Like bwhit88 said, "they're the biggest money maker for stores". In Australia every product is covered 12 months warranty by law. Manufacturers are now often provided 2, 3 even 5 year warranties. The store dishonestly sold me a 3 year extended warranty when my Acer laptop already had a manufacturers 3 year warranty (which I only discovered on the warranty card inside the carton when I got home). They sheepishly refunded my money when I came back. How punters don't spot this? The extended warranties 3-5 years are too expensive considering the likelihood of you claiming. Moreover they don't cover things most likely to give up first: such as the laptop battery, your remote control, etc. You usually have to pay pricey freight charges both ways to get it repaired. Often not worth it.

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Extended warranties worth buying?

In reply to: Extended warranties are largely not value for money

Most home owners/renters policies have a computer rider available at very reasonable rates. Ours covered tripping over the power cord & breaking the connector on an HP I used to own. I was only out the length of time to get the repair completed.

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An extended warranty saved my a ton of money

In reply to: Extended warranties worth buying? NO! NEVER!

I bought a Mac Book Pro Retina Display last winter and when I got home I started having weird, intermittent problems which required my calling Apple support almost right away. After the second "fix" by them, the support tech suggested that maybe I might consider an extended warranty just in case something else happened after the initial warranty ran out and I decided it might be worth money. That was just a gut feeling because I usually don't buy extended warranties but since I had just shelled out $2200+ and had had problems I went ahead and purchased it. You can do that in the first 30 days from purchase with an Apple product. Since that time I have had to have the whole top (clamshell) and screen replaced, two fans, the boards, etc. The computer got so hot one day while it was not in use that I had to pick it up with potholders and it wouldn't turn on for three hours. Evidently I just got a "lemon" from the start, which is rare but can happen and I have not paid a penney for these repairs because of the warranty.

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YES! ALWAYS!

In reply to: Extended warranties worth buying? NO! NEVER!

And I suppose laptops won't have something spilled on them or get dropped after the first 100 hours or so of use?

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Try this

In reply to: Extended warranties for laptops, are they worth getting?

Some stores offer an extended warranty where , if you don't have any problems and don't need to use the warranty, they give you a store credit for the amount of $ the extended warranty cost. Visions has that policy. I use it on any big items I buy (tv, stereo, laptop) from them.

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I got this ...

In reply to: Try this

from Staples and, after 3 years, just got back a store credit for the $90 cost of the plan. If I had needed to use this it would have covered 24/7 tech support & customer service, protection against normal wear and tear as well as mechanical and electrical failure, 100% parts-and-labor, and one-time replacement if unrepairable. Accidental Damage Plan also available for netbooks and laptops. Price based on purchase price of the unit.

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That's impressive.

In reply to: I got this ...

Any plan that offers that level of coverage for $90 for 3 years and then offers a 100% store credit refund if unused is phenomenal and unheard of.

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Wow! Staples

In reply to: I got this ...

Does anyone know how reilable they are in keeping with their agreement? You said you just got a refund of the $90? How does that work? That's more than great. My experience with Best Buy/Geek Squad is the opposite. So going to Staples and paying more is worth it, shuold you get a "lemon", as I did.

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Didn't get reminders from Staples

In reply to: Wow! Staples

I had to keep track of the date myself. You have 30 days after the 3rd anniversary of the purchase, so I put it into my calendar program to get a reminder and also kept the brochure and receipt handy on my desk. The refund was handled online with no hassle.

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Store credit

In reply to: I got this ...

Warranties with a store credit would be the only feasible, and practical one to purchase. That is, as long as there are no loop holes that make it easy to lapse, or void out the credit addition.

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