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Extended Warranty.........are they worth it????

Dec 4, 2007 6:44PM PST

What's everyones opinion on the subject of purchasing extended warranties?

Discussion is locked

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Yes, No and maybe!!!
Dec 5, 2007 12:34AM PST

Extended Warranty is an insurance policy.
There are many factors to consider:
The cost of the HDTV, the cost of the warranty and the reputation of the the company providing the warranty.
With the cost of HDTVs coming down and reliability going up the need for them has gone down.
Extended warranties are a cash cow for retailers, they will sell you one on a $25 CD player.
But there are many at C-Net that have them and have had good results and some that have had bad results. John

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extended warranties
Dec 5, 2007 10:16AM PST


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Service Guarantees are worth the cost...Extended warranties
Dec 5, 2007 10:53AM PST

Warranties only cover manufacturing mistakes, Service guarantees
cover in the field degradation from USAGE, including issues from heat dust humidity, and power surges.
Service guarantees cover accessories like rechargeable batteries and power supplies, warranties usually do not.
Add up up the cost on these and you'll see the benefits.

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Extended warranties
Dec 5, 2007 2:57PM PST

Just like rebates, if the cost was in the customer's favor, the merchants wouldn't be so anxious to offer them. But the worst thing to do is buy them sometimes and not others---especially on when it's a high ticket item. That way, you have given away a lot of money for little or nothing. In the long run, they are an insurance policy and I prefer to be self-insured---and self-profitted. It would be different if I only bought one big item in my life. This makes life insurance a better deal. But not for anything else.

Having said this, I do buy the extended warranties for anything I buy for my god-daughter before she was married so long as it included a no-fault provision. She was so careless with electronic and other delicate equipment, it paid off. In one case, we went through 5 digital cameras before the warranty expired and the camera was obsolete. Happy

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Rear Projection TV
Dec 8, 2007 5:39AM PST

6 years ago i purchased a new panasonic rear projection Tv. Also bought a 3 year extended warranty
with a $1000.00 deductible. I did not know about the deductible. 2 years later my electricity
provider had a series of power surges which rendered the TV inoperable and as it turned out
unrepairable. The electric company picked up the $1000. deductible and the warranty company paid for the rest of a new TV. In this case it was worth it because the extended warranty was only $127.00 for 3 years thus the $1000.00 deductible.

Normally I don't buy an extended warranty because if an electric product is going to fail it will do so
in the first year.

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Why pay extra to guarantee the integrity of a product?
Dec 5, 2007 12:36PM PST

It should be a given that what we're buying will be defect free and well made. If I buy something that brakes soon aftwards I expect the store to take it back. If the store won't I dispute the charge with my credit card company and report that store to the Better Business Bureau.

Anything that brakes soon after I buy it I consider shoddy and I never buy that brand again. I bought a sony laptop in 2001 which died 2 years later so I switched brands for my next one. I had a problem with Circuit City 3 years ago so I never bought from them again.

If we hold manufacturers and businesses accountable and stop doing business with them when we're not pleased we won't need extended warranties.

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Absolutely right
Dec 5, 2007 3:45PM PST

I preach this all the time but the way people think is "well, if I don't get warranty, I get screwed. Let someone else fight the battle" but that someone else is YOU.

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Dec 5, 2007 5:49PM PST

You right!

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Totally agree
Dec 5, 2007 10:05PM PST

We should not subsidize anyone. The bottom line is price the product effectively, build it properly and people will buy it. The fact is out of all the extended warraties or insurance there are many "loopholes" so they won't pay anyway. Big ticket items are something you may want to deal with but nothing else. I laugh at "would you like the warranty against scrathes on that CD you are buying?" They have got to be kidding. Pure profit for companies. The same for rebates. Rebates are designed as revenue producers for the company not you. 65% of the people that try to get rebates never do on some "technicality". Again do not subsidize or give free money to manufacturers or the stores. DEMAND that they produce good products and do not buy them unless they do, and when they are bad tell all your friends. Tell everybody to hit them where it hurts-their pocketbook.

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Dec 6, 2007 6:29AM PST

although i'd prefer a discount over a rebate, if the best price is available through rebate, i have no issues with rebates. i've gone through this process literally hundreds of times and have received every single rebate.

when i worked at circuit city, the people who complained about not getting their rebate always did not follow the instructions (Which really aren't that complicated to anyone who can read). they all basically require the same things:

purchase a product within a set date range
mail in the rebate by a specified time
include UPC code and copy of receipt

and one thing i always told customers - always write down the rebate company's contact information (1-800 # and address).

if you have any questions, you can always ask for help.

if you don't get a rebate, it's really no one's fault but your own.

i don't know where you got the 65% based on a technicality, but i don't believe that. most people that don't get their rebates either forget to send it in or didn't follow the instructions.

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"Build it right and people will buy it" thats why all the good companies that made high quality electronics in the USA are either out of business or had to outsource labor. Cause you cheap ******** wont buy quality. People dont want quality. They want cheap **** thats going to break in a couple of years. Thats why Visio sells so many TV's.

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breaking soon is different than an extended warranty
Dec 6, 2007 6:24AM PST

breaking soon after you buy it is different issue than the service plans. they cover wear and tear, they cover if you get a power surge. accidental things. that's why some people buy them.

yes, electronics should last at least a short time after you buy it, that's why manufacturers offer their warranty. but with so many moving parts and lasers and delicate chips, it's easy for things to go wrong. it's an insurance policy. worth it to some, not worth it to others.

sony are some of the best laptops out there (although overpriced), so i am surprised you had bad luck with them.

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I'm with you
Dec 6, 2007 11:25AM PST

I give manufacturers and retailers 1 chance to keep me. there are plenty of them so they should be begging for my business. I dont shop at walmart, blockbuster, lowe's kohl's and several other places that dont deserve my business. And I dont mind paying a little more to avoid their hassles.

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Extended warrantees
Dec 7, 2007 6:43PM PST

Very well attention people!

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Why pay extra to guarantee the integrity of a product?
Dec 7, 2007 8:09PM PST

I happen to agree with you 100%. We do need to stop buying certain brands or shopping at certain stores when we're not pleased. That would hurt the buisness's pockets where it counts.

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Dec 9, 2007 11:58AM PST

"I bought a sony laptop in 2001 which died 2 years later...If we hold manufacturers and businesses accountable and stop doing business with them when we're not pleased we won't need extended warranties."

If stores or manufacturers replaced products which died after two years, most all of the stores would go out of business. Furthermore, the cost of computers to places like Circuit City and Best Buy are typically more than what a consumer will pay for them.

Perhaps the businesses should hold consumers more responsible. If you were told of an extended service policy and declined it, then all liability should be yours. Try telling a story you'll demand a replacement in two years if your product is faulty and see how many laugh you out.

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Mar 21, 2008 1:04AM PDT

I agree 100%. Years ago Circuit City screwed me on a printer return. They lots several years of business from me. I've just now started checking them when comparing prices but still have yet to buy anything from them. And, I still remember that jerk manager.

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Chances are they didnt screw you. The return policy is on the back of a receipt, If you were past your 30 days and you wanted to return it, they didnt screw you. Being able to return a product to a store is a PRIVILEGE not a right like most people think it is.

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Figure the odds
Dec 5, 2007 11:44AM PST

A consumer magazine once wrote that if you took all the money you would spend on extended warrantees and put it in the bank instead, you would have enough money to repair about any item that broke, or to replace it with the latest model.

In addition, purchasing that expensive electronic gizmo with your credit card usually doubles your warranty, up to an additional year, so many times you're actually buying nothing.

Finally, many of the computers and big ticket electronics at places such as Costco are covered by their "Concierge Service" which extends the manufacturers' one year warranty to two years. Just check Costco on line for details if you're a member. Sam's Club might have similar offers.

So, why pay for something you don't need just to line a store and salesman's pockets?

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we dont make that much
Dec 5, 2007 2:10PM PST

i think i make like $.80 off of a $44.99 warranty

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Stores make A LOT of money on service plans, but good idea
Dec 6, 2007 9:36AM PST

I worked at a major "neighborhood electronics retailer" and the stores actually make 58% profit on the service plans. I personally think they're a good idea in some circumstances. If the item you're buying comes with a rechargable battery, like a cell phone, get the service plan! By the time you replace your battery once, you've got your money. Replace it the second year, and you've got your money back twice. Headphones you use a lot are also a good thing to get them on. Less expensive items I would not worry about too much. Computers: absolutely. Especially laptops! Laptops and computers: get the longest warranty available. I've seen 5 year ones REALLY pay off! And, USE THE SERVICE PLAN! That's what you bought it for! It seems simple, but some forget about them or delay getting a problem solved and then the plan is expired. Once it's expired, there's basically no recourse. Hope this advice helps from a guy that worked 5 years in electronics retail!

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I'm affraid that I have to disagree with everything you said
Dec 6, 2007 11:00AM PST

"If the item you're buying comes with a rechargable battery, like a cell phone, get the service plan!"

(You can get most batteries for for $20-30 dollars, cheaper on ebay, and they last about two years, the phones themselves only last about two years before they start wearing out anyway, and every two years the providers will let you replace your phone for almost free anyway. Why is insurance a good decision in this case? I don't see it.)

"Headphones you use a lot are also a good thing to get them on. Less expensive items I would not worry about too much."

(Less expensive than earphones? I've owned 10-15 pair of earphones in my life...I've broken maybe two pair. They only cost 10-30 dollars. Why is this insurance a good idea in this case?)

"Computers: absolutely. Especially laptops! Laptops and computers: get the longest warranty available. I've seen 5 year ones REALLY pay off!"

(In two years, the Laptop will be obsolete. Do you really want to use a laptop for 5 years? How much does this 5 year insurance cost? Probably 300-500 dollars. In 4-5 years you will be able to replace this computer for $50 at a yard sale or off Ebay, but for some reason it is a good idea to give someone $500 to replace it in five years....just in case it fails (I.E. Very little chance that you will get your $500 worth of replacement back out of them)).

So this is interesting. It would seem that the guys that work in retail really believe this stuff? Must be brainwashing or something.

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yes or no
Dec 6, 2007 11:16AM PST

well it depends on exactly what u do with that laptop. I have a 6 year old laptop that works great as a back up computer. I use it a few times a month (like sitting on the deck in the sun). I also used it a few times when I wanted to do a bunch of directions with my map program and I didnt want to waste paper because I wasnt sure where I was going and from which location (I was winging it-we waste enough trees at my work, I dont kill trees for no reason). worked great. I could change roads and everything. and the screen is bigger than a gps (plus, gps's were over $1000 then). so yeah, lots of things do become obsolete quickly. shoppers should be smart and not buy retail anyway for stuff like electronics. my ext warranty for my dvr came in handy and it was only $50.I bought it online and got it brand new for 1/2 the price of retail, so the $50 was worth it and only $22 shipping. I buy online way before retail with big ticket items (like my HDTV in april-$300 less than retail). Happy

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(NT) Different strokes for different folks
Dec 7, 2007 9:17AM PST
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Unless you're with Bank of America
Dec 5, 2007 3:47PM PST

My visa with them does NOT buy me extended warranty and I spend a shi*load of money with them. This year alone I've spent over 40k on my card


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straight from the horses mouth
Dec 5, 2007 2:05PM PST

i know this situation all too well being one of those salesmen who offers it to you. honestly, i hate to ask it as much as you hate hearing it. unfortuatly if i want to keep my unpaying job i have to. i know, especially at this time of year, you want to get in and get out but theres that cashier asking a million questions. name, address, phone number, do you want a charge card?, want that extended warranty?, the list goes on. all i can say is "sorry, but i need this job".

all that being said there are times when it is worth it just as there are times when its not. any plan that covers a rechargable battery is usually a good bet, especially on things like ipods. those repair labor costs are crazy! other then that though, unless its a high ticket item or something you know is going to break, you might as well just hand the store some extra money

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extended warrenty
Dec 6, 2007 9:33AM PST

Well in my case we have used the extended warranty several times. This is computer #5 and all have had at one time or another something go bad that the extended warranty covered. We travel and use 110v power inverters and run off battery's and the rv and truck are comfortable but can get jarred or sled around and things happen. The Sony had hard drives go bad and the motherboard.The Toshiba had motherboard and cd/dvd burners go bad. The Compaq had three motherboards and one battery and in the end it had a screen and hard drive. The HP my wife has had the power cord so far....My Dell so far has had a cd/dvd and the hard drive go bad and is currently starting to give me cd/dvd drive problems. I have saved just on all the motherboards alone enough to buy another computer! For us, I would say Yes, they are an important part of the buy. Laptops can catch all kinds of problems. If we had a home system it may have had less issues as in our case the hard drives and cd/dvd roms have vibration problems and the motherboards have overheating issues as we are in the south areas and inside temps can climb up over 100+ and even outside under the awning it can get that hot and then add the heat from the processors and "there it is". I'd say Yes, in our case!!

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That was my point also, John
Dec 5, 2007 7:02PM PST

I only buy extended warranties on high-risk items and laptops are a high risk item in my book. I don't buy extended warranties on anything else.

I've heard people say that keeping the warranty money can offer you enough to purchase a new item for one gone bad. That is negating the fact that maybe more than one item may go bad. LOL It has also been said that purchasing a high quality item is better than an average item plus warranty. Who makes a better quality item without including the cost of the warranty without giving us the warranty? A question more than a point of fact. That is, higher quality costs more to start with but the factory warranty is still one year plus what ammenity a creditcard company may give you. So what have you gained by paying more when a power surge/lightning strike takes out your power supply after the normal warranty period? Homeowners insurance hardly covers computer part damaged if you have $500 deductible, often the case. Lightning damage can be subtle without a trace, a blown capicator and/or micro-resistor in the power supply.
Yes, John - there is a lot to give consideration to and I think some people make good choices taking an extended warranty on certain items, but surely not every item they buy.

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extended warranties AppleCare
Dec 6, 2007 3:45AM PST

I encountered the current wisdom that lap tops are an exception to the rule that you should never buy extended warranties on electronics. You're definitely just adding to the retailer's revenue since electronic prices go down so quickly and it's just a way to cover really crappy products.
So I bought AppleCare when i bought an iBook a couple years ago. Just like the warranties on cars, when something broke, it wasn't covered. Not only was it not covered, but when my LCD cracked while opening the lid, I was informed that the LCD was considered a "Level 4" repair, which cost me $800. This was less than a year after purchase and Apple had released the new Intel versions and Power books, so that price then put me in the dilemma of deciding whether to buy a new one. They do this on purpose. Just like on cars. It sounds like you're covered, but they know way more than you do about the product and they know what will break first and what won't. They cover things that won't break, take your money for the warranty, then take your money again for the necessary repair.

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I agree, but decide for yourself...
Dec 5, 2007 9:43PM PST

Example 1: A couple of years ago, I purchased a "floor sample" Phillips DVD recorder from Circuit city. Even though It was a "demo", it came with a standard Manufacturer's warranty and before the 1 year period was up, it developed a problem. Phillips honored the warranty and accepted it for service at no charge. No sooner than I had received it back, the extended warranty sales department sent me a solicitation offering me a 3 year extended plan for about $60. The sales pitch listed two of the most common repairs priced out at over $200 each and then proceeded to extol the virtues and value of this $60 "investment", so I took the bait & went for it... Fast forward 2.5 years into this 3 year extended period & I realized that the original repair had not been done properly (I checked it out when I got it back, but had never actually used it). I thought to myself: "no problem" I called the phone number listed on my warranty contract and was told that Phillips WILL NOT service my unit. They did not say that they could not service it, they stated that they WOULD NOT. They also stated that my particular model had been discontinued, so they could not replace it either. Instead, they offered me a "comparable" refurbished unit. At first, I thought this was a good thing. The customer service rep. sent me the specs & I decided to browse C/net for reviews and comments. It turns out that the model that I was offered was riddled with problems, not to mention the fact that recordings did not conform to standard DVD format. So, I rejected the offer and asked for a different model. The customer service rep told me that internet reviews were not valid as reason to reject this unit & basically told me to "take it or leave it" I was incensed by this poor customer service & went to the Phillips website to find the head of Customer service. Instead, I came across the name & E-mail address of the CEO, so I wrote to him detailing this whole ordeal, starting with bad repair job. He wrote me back telling me that he was forwarding my claim to the "escalated issue" department where I was offered a "buyback of my $60 contract + $60 which I could use to either repair my existing unit or buy a new one. I took the offer, but was then harassed by the warranty department to send them the broken unit.
which I did at their expense.

Example 2: I purchased a Creative labs Zen from an Ebay dealer & was offered an extended warranty from SquareTrade. I decided that the $22 they were charging was a worthwhile investment. Since it was a small, portable electronic device, I thought that it would probably fail within a year. So far, it's been about 15 months and still going strong with no problems. However, one of my friends bought the same device for her daughter, but did not buy the extended warranty & hers failed just outside of the manufacturers warranty period. Total cost of out-of-warranty repair, was in excess of $100

The moral of this long winded story is that in many cases, products are discontinued and the service centers will no longer repair them, thus making extended warranty service difficult to collect. As stated in one of the other posts, READ THE TERMS CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING UP.