Extended Warranty.........are they worth it????
by jraggie - 12/5/07 2:44 AM
What's everyones opinion on the subject of purchasing extended warranties?
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by: jraggie December 5, 2007 2:44 AM PST
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Yes, they are ... here's why!
For the new generation HDTV units... DO NOT buy a TV without them! The failure rate on HDTV units right now is incredibly high. Another important time to buy the insurance... when buying a laptop or tablet... If you are spending $2000+ on a portable computer with all the bells and whistles, remember the ONLY people that can access the correct parts for repairs are the WARRANTY and FACTORY people. Outside of that, you are going to pay out the nose to get it repaired elsewhere. The motherboards and monitors on laptops are all proprietary, and they take specially skilled people to repair them. Same thing for HDTV sets. The quality length of life in the hdtv units is not so good.
And here's another tip... most of these companies have a 3 strikes option... if it can't be fixed in 3 trips, they send you a replacement unit. Now the replacement may be a refurb... but it does come with a warranty that will typically extend beyond your warranty by 90 days.
Desktop computers... Make sure you DEMAND that you get the recovery CD set that goes with your computer. it may cost 25 more bucks, but if your hard drive dies you will thank me. after your warranty is up... some manufacturers will sell them to you for $200 or not at all!!!
$633.00 for a warranty on a $250 .00 item
Obviously some warranties are worth having if the price is not to high. I may be wrong but I thingk that 2 times the purchase or full replacement price is just insane.
I never take one....
because it is rare that when something happens that you can just bring it to the store and a salesperson, hopefully "a knowledgeable person" tries to make it work, determines that you are not lying and gives you another since you have your bill with you all within 30mins...and for anything really expensive, the store has your info in the computer...and does the same...thats what i call costumer service.
If you know that this product is prone to X and the store does the above and the price is reasonable, maybe...
I believe that the product should have a 1 or 2 or 5 Year warranty and do the above if they think they have such a great product...
When i buy something, i look at how the warranty works, if it is vague then i try a different company... good luck. casaraku
Things to Consider
The first thing to consider about extended warranties is the fact that the profit margin for the retailer, when purchasing third party warranties, is likely at least 100% and that there is usually some relatively large commission, often about 15% of the cost, involved for the employee trying to sell them. After working for an electronics retailer that pushed them heavily that is the first thing I always tell people so they have some idea of how reliable the information is that the salesperson is providing you.
That being said I do believe in Manufacturers extended warranties and in some rare instances I also believe in third party warranties, although you have to be very careful when considering them. Read the documentation and take everything the salesperson tells you about them with at least a few grains of salt, if not the whole shaker...
It depends on how you use the item.
6 months ago I bought a $300 palm treo smartphone. I bought the insurance plus the monthly fees. Since then I've dropped the phone, soked it in water and screen craked. I went to the verizon store and traded it for a new phone.
Just today I bought the Harmon Kardon soundstick. I was asked if I wanted insurance on the item? Without hesitation I answered no. How many times am I going to take the speakers out with me? None. I know the type of craftmanship Harmon Kardon stand by. If something happens to the speaker I can use the manufacturers warranty.
Think about warranties before you decide to buy something
I'm usually a thoughtful and pragmatic shopper. I usually research and cross reference what I'm setting out to purchase. There are basically 3 levels of consumerism- 1)-Basic: occaisional use of item or for a gift for someone else that you are not sure of their level of use- on this level I don't usualy buy an extended warranty, unless this is an item which I could foresee incurring a much greater loss which applies to the situation I would be using it in, call it event insurance,(like a camera or camcorder failing during the same season my daughter graduated from high school and my son finishes college and my oldest daughter gets married and my wife and I go to her family reunion). the next level is pro-sumerism, i.e.: I use this product in my work, perhaps not as the main tool of my trade, but an important accessory-or this product is an important part of my passion or hobby- in these cases, I buy the extended warranty. I always buy the warranty if this product serves me in my work on a daily or weekly basis. if I am buying a cheapo product for a one time use or very infrequently then no, no warranty. Always ask , if someone is selling to you about the warranty provisions, what is covered. Remember this- if you buy on a credit card and the card doubles the Mfrs warranty, consider if the duration of that double period will cover your needs (and at the same time cover you during the extended warranty plan.) If a person askes you at the point of purchase and you have the time, do ask what it covers- if they are not sure, ask for info and ask if you can buy it later after you consider the plan info they provide. If you can't buy it later and only at the point of purchase and you don't have time for questions -then take your chances, evaluate your needs and do with out if it seems uneccessary. I have seen too many people pass up warranties on something they consider vital to their lives (cell phones, computers), only too come in whining about the product failing after the mfrs warranty is over, when they could have had extended protection.
Ever since Walmart stripped off manufacturer warrantys (to sell cheaper) to a bare minimum (and nearly everyone else followed) we have had this problem. Back in the good old days most things had at least a year warranty if not more.
Remember if the product isn't essential to your quality of life or livelyhood, you may not need the extra coverage.
For my daughter's cell phone - YES!
I don't know if she has a magnetic field surrounding her or what, but my daughter can only get about a year out of a cell phone, if that. They just stop working for the most part. Of course she has dropped a few of them (that's a different "warranty" program), but we can all get the same phone, and only hers will die before our plan allows us to get new ones "free" or cheap. They always fail two or three weeks after the manufacturer's warranty runs out, so we buy her a separate warranty. The rest of us take our chances, and so far, it's working for us!
For Me Yes. After a Large $$$ Purchase for a Mitsubishi TV
My first large purchase from a high end store was a Mits 52628 DLP. I did not purchase the extended warranty. My thinking was that if nothing goes wrong within the first six months nothing will go wrong. My mistake. I purchased the set in March 2006. The set died in September of 2007. Light engine and color wheel which is the guts of the set. To replace the light engine was just a bit more than half the value of the set. For these expensive toys it is a crap shoot. I bought a Pioneer PDP 6010 and DID get the extended warranty.
Free extended warranty
Some credit cards (e.g. Canadian Tire Master Card) automatically double whatever warranty is attached to the product. Shop around.
I once had a fax machine that conked out on the very last day of the warranty.
Yes, Yes, YES
As a self employed (read: no IT Dep't) therapist and self-professed wannabe techie, it has boiled down to this... Am I gonna be cranky if I have to replace the item? If it cost more than $100 and I've had it less than two years, probably. In that category to date are a $500 HP printer, a $2000 Dell laptop (only had a 2 year warranty, lasted 2yrs, two months), an $1800 Lenovo Tablet (still causing me grief and doesn't sync with Palm) and the transmission in my 2003 Subaru (the warranty on that would've been $1500, the job plus many others have totaled over 5,000). Things I've warrantied and been able to replace: 4 Treos in the past 3 yrs, an Xbox, a GPS unit and a camera. Maybe I'm technologically hexed, maybe they just don't build 'em like they used to, or maybe it's a conspiracy. Whatever the case...fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. 10-15% is a cheap purchase price for sanity.
Would you pay $5,000 to extend the warranty on the laptop
I was not willing to pay $633.00 to extend the warrantuy 3 more years on my $289.00 (4 years ago before prices came down) DVD home entertainment center.
In the long run my experience says--no.
Over many years, I've purchased numerous products (large and small) and have never purchased extended warranties. I always try to purchase quality products with good track records--one of many reasons I read CNET reviews. My theory is that if one does breakdown, I can replace it with the money I have saved over the years. I am money ahead by far. I've made only one exception to this practice--for a leading edge technology item. It's still working great, but it was peace of mind insurance at the time.
Easy - bounce it back to the salesman:
To me the warranty - and the price thereof - are part of the package, and I _DO_ compare before I buy.
So a vendor offers me an item at a competitive price but indicates that he finds the warranty insufficient. I now have to reconsider the package including the extended warranty and - surprise - it may not be competitive anymore.
Sure, if I look at, say, two hard drives with similar features and price and one comes with 5 years manufacturer's warranty and the other one with 3 years that will influence my decision. It also reflects on the manufacturer's confidence in his product.
An extended warranty offered as an option outside of the price I used to compare this offering with others can only be seen as an attempt to rip me off while I am not paying attention.
My recommendation: Add the price in and recompare. I am sure in practically all cases you will walk away because the package now is no longer competitive.
Another spin on the same discussion - I actually had a warranty case on a hard drive just before it expired at the 5 year mark. So I got a replacement drive of 500MB at a time where all my computers had 20GB or better drives in them ...
Admittedly this was a special case - otherwise I would not have pursued it at all. The drive started to sound like a jet engine 6 months into its life, but the manufacturer didn't want to swap it out: "as long as it reads and writes okay it isn't a warranty case" - so the drive was relegated to a server room where its noise was like that of a tree falling in the forest with no-one listening.
When I sent it in I wondered if they would still have drives of that capacity around - believe me, they did! The replacement drive had a number of bad sectors but after a low level format it still runs today and is kept around as a possible spare for my irrigation computer (Pentium 1, 16MB of memory, running exactly one Quick Basic application in the garage where I can't hear it). The replacement drive still is rather a bit on the noisy side and runs much hotter than it should, but it can still be of some use. It is also much heavier than contemporary 3.5" drives, so it may still have a bright future as a paperweight as well - and it certainly is the last one of this brand I will ever buy ...
But the story also shows that there is such a thing as an absurdly long warranty period for some of the modern day consumer goods. Maybe vendors or manufacturers should concentrate more on upgrade offers - bring back your 3 megapixel camera and we will give you a good discount on the latest 8 megapixel model ...
I used to swear by the extended warranty but these days two things happen. The product you bought is obsolete within 6 months so when you go back to get a replacement the goofy sales person, the kid who gets the actual job of trying to honour the warranty, a)never heard of ya b)notes that that old thing in your hand was discontinued six months after you bought it.
Secondly, the place you bought the extended warranty, ie Radio Shack in Canada, completely shuts down, becomes something called THE SOURCE and says they a)don;t carry those products anymore or b)don;t know who you are, maybe go to the original store you bought it from. the store was closed down 6 months ago.
Even on big ticket items i don;t trust the extended warranty anymore because electronics companies don;t stay in business, get eaten up by larger companies, or the model you have doesn't exist anymore.
never buy an extended warranty. ever. anymore. they were great in the 90s. they suck in the 08
The old saying is true. The contract is only as good as the paper it's written on. Most extended warranties have dozens of "Exclusionary Clauses" that let the insurance company walk.
They know you will never take the time to read the fine print. They're counting on it. Literally.
depends on item. For my situation, overall, NO
as almost everyone has already pointed out, it depends on what the item is, where you live (e.g. in Europe, or EU countries, manufacturers are required to provide 2 yrs warr on most items, even if that manuf only provides one yr for the same item sold in the US), how "handy" are you in electronics (e.g. you can buy your own new hd and swap it from your desktop yourself), your budget, among many other factors. If you wanted a general answer. There it is. Else, you'll want to be more specific next time
My personal answer is NO. I have not bought any big ticket items unlike others. I have NOT purchased items over $500 for a long time now, out of necessity to save up for buying a house. Closest things I have bought over the many years that come close would be a $2000 Dell desktop PC years ago, $200 widescreen LCD monitor, $250 GPS device, $140 digital camera, $100 ipod, and $250 PDA. Many of these items were either used so they came w/no warr or at a Black Friday sale where on that one day, employees do not push ext warr on customers, I supp out of surviving the mad crowd of shoopers.
When it comes time for a new desktop or HDTV, I'll consider it. If my GPS device, digicam, or ipod breaks, I'll happily use that as an excuse to get new, better model
==========some of my tales in ext warranties
I had an extended warranty for my Palm Zire 71 PDA.
$250 + $80 for ext warr
Lim 1yr to 2yr at Staples. Compared to ext from Palm, it was better in I could deal with a person face to face at a local Staples store. It was NOT beter in where Palm's ext warr would'v extended phone tech supp from 30 days to 1 or 2 yrs. I later figured out the hard way that Staples contract stated that for the first year, Palm would cover warr issues while Staples got the 2nd year. In other words, Staples would just cover the remainder of the ext warr i got from them. I didn't wanna be w/o a PDA for weeks, so I ended up figuring out how to fix things on my own.
That gave me the confidence to troubleshoot my own problems with PDAs. I don't anymore since my Tungsten T3 has been bought used and isn't available anywhere else new and retail.
I once spent almost $3 to insure a set of $15 headphones from RadioShack that never broke. Still working fine after almost 5 years. That lowest cost for ext warranty was my biggest regret ever
Dell desktop PC back in end of '03
no longer provide 3yr lim warr. Now it was only 1yr lim warr. That's about right for desktops. If i were to get a new Dell today with 30day warr, I'd spring for 1yr, but def not to 3 or 4.
On a similar note, IF i were ot get a laptop, then I'd get 3 to 4 yr warr since they're mcuh more prone to problems
It really comes down to the individual. If you feel reasonably confident that you can sort out what might be-fall the item in question, don't take the extended warranty.
About a year ago I purchased a Samsung refrigerator. I thought for the price it seemed like a good deal.When I got it home and running I noticed a few things I wasn't happy about.The shelving was in clear plastic. Very "pretty" but sagged under the smallest load.Sure enough, 2 weeks later 2 of the shelves cracked.1 fell in 2 pieces the other held but with an un-sightly crack in the center.I contacted the shop I purchased it from and they refered me to a service agency in the same town. The service center offered to sell me new shelves at $50 each. I asked if the new ones were re-inforced as the present ones were obviously a "design-flaw".They asked how I knew that to which I replied "I'm a refrigeration/air conditioning engineer" and these shelves would normally be made in plastic coated metal. These, whilst being "aesthetically" appealing, are "crap"! They refered me to the importer, who passed me from one department to another without resolving the issue.Meanhile, I had used some clear fiber-glass resin with matt and re-inforced the buggers myself. Since that time I discovered the refrigerator has an internal condesor.Not suitable for tropical climates.
If you are a "practically-inclined" bod, and enjoy understanding "how things work", don't go for the extended warranty.If you're the type who has no desire or interest and lots of money, go for the extended warranty. I'm on my 3rd computer now, the first 2 are still going strong and I've thoroughly enjoyed learning how to sevice them. The company I work for sent all the refrigeration service employees on a course for Windows 98 in 2000.This was due to the fact that an increasing number of central refrigeration/air conditioning systems were being installed with a central microprocessor control.We can monitor hotel refrigeration systems from the office and either send one of our service personel or contact the hotels maintenance department to see if the "door has been left open" or someone on the evening shift switched off the cold room "cause it wuz f-ing cold" and forgot to switch to switch it on again.
And when I'm not fixing refrigeration systems, check-out "The Romaurie-Effect" on youTube.Vacuumed aquarium systems.
No - they are worth it only to the insurer.
Extended warranties and casino gambling have something in common - the house always comes out ahead. Extended warrantees make money based on the fact that whatever you buy will not cost the insurance company more than you have paid. I figure if it is good enough for them to make money on it is bad enough for me not to lose money on.
I have only bought an extended warranty once - and never used it. I have only once had a product that died beyond the manufacturers warranty and within an extended warranty period.
You can tell how much money is being made by how hard and persistant the sales people push these things. Yes, you may get "lucky" and get to use your warrantee, but the odds are against you from the beginning.
I have only purchased an extended warranty once and that was for a 32" RCA colour TV through Sears. This was a console model and very heavy. Almost as soon as the manufacturer's warranty ended the TV quit. It seemed that RCA had a problem with overheating on this model and the solder in some of the electronics boards would melt and short out. This happened 4 times and the repairs were done in my home at no cost to me thanks to the extended warranty. By the way , the warranty extension for 3 years cost me $90.00( a lot of money at that time ) but the bills for the home visits and repaits were well over $450.00. Funny thing though, I've never purchased an extended warranty since and I never will!. Al in Alberta, Canada
Speaking from experience
I believe that there are two important factors that determine whether or not to buy an extended warranty: The product you are buying and your personal experiences with that product.
In the summer of 2006 I bought a Cyberhome DVD burner. The thing never worked; it was a primitive model that ran on "firmware" that had to be downloaded and installed by the user. I took it back to Circuit City and got my money back. That fall I purchased a Toshiba unit from QVC. It worked for about 5 months and then went bad. QVC exchanged it with a different Toshiba model, but that one NEVER worked. QVC refunded my money, and I later went back to Circuit City and bought a Panasonic unit that is a sweetheart. When the salesman asked me if I wanted to purchase an extended warranty, it was a no-brainer. I said YES!!!
My two cents...
I see that I am one of many to post here; so I will keep this short.
I buy them only from certain stores. When the warranty replaces the unit , not repair it, even for accidental damage, I will even ask for it. I know that sounds crazy, but those kinds of warrant do exist. The best example of this is the warranty at the store you can buy the "MAXimum of amount of OFFICE supplies."
So there it is; my two cents take it or leave it!
Never used any...
Well, it seems with all big ticket items I have bought over the years and chose the extended warranty-- never paid off. Nadda... not one... Do I still purchase them? Yep, cause it is like Murphy's Law... just the once I don't, will be when I need it!
Careful when buying extended warranties for electronics
When the salesperson offers you the extended warranty first ask for a hard copy so you can read carefully what it covers and what it won't. Take your time usually you have 14 to 30 days to take a decision if you want to add it to your purchased item.
Remember when it says it covers the replacement of the part for the item also read and ask if labor cost are included, since I have seen many companies dropping it from their warranties and you end up paying hefty labor fees when something goes bad.( I got to many customer complaining on that part)
Never buy a extended warranty on items less then $100. There I would rather go to a store exchange warranty that in most cases it's covered by the manufacture. Here also read the time of warranty. Today many electronic items have a manufacture warranty of 30 days for smaller items and 3-6 months for medium size items and 1 year for bigger items, but again read it up since it varies from manufacture to manufacture.
If you have a big HDTV or projection TV I would rather recommend to insure it separately, ask your home/rental insurance if they can add it to your policy. Since natural disasters, lighting, electrical power outage can damage the unit and is not covered in the extended or manufactures warranty. And if you have small kids in the house I would highly recommend for those that have a projection TV's
With home audio devices (I had hardly any complains) 90% of the calls I got, I solved by phone. From lose wires, defective wires or jammed CD/DVD. So I would say: stay with the manufactures warranty.
And last but not least. If service is included in the warranty make sure to verify that service is available in your area. (Don't ask the salesperson they don't know) Ask the warranty department or ask technical support.
Hope this helps to make an informed and wise decision .
A Former US Electronic Technical support staff
Extended Warranty on a Mac
I know very little about computers, when I bought a Mac I also bought the extended warranty. In total I had three years of warranty plus over the phone tech assistances.
The first Mac was an Emac. I liked it and found the tech assistance okay. One month short of 2 years the Emac crashed. Brought it to an authorized Appple Mac store. They couldn't fix it and replaced that almost 2 year old computer with a brand new Imac, that was 2 models better!
For me the warranty did pay off. I ended up with a better computer with lots of different gizmos that the Emac didn't have and more capacity! Win, win, win for me! (They credited me for the unused portion of my original Apple warranty and I purchased another Apple warranty!)
Warranties give you peace of mind
I think the only way to actually look at this issue is that it gives you peace of mind that you are ok if the product goes out. Most of these warranties cover dust, heat, humidity, power surge, normal wear and tear, and normal usage. There aren't to many other things that can break a product that doesn't fall under those categories, especially if you know how to talk to the manager at the store.
So after saying that, I would say to just buy them on the stuff that your life revolves around a lot; such as computers, TVs, or video game systems (everyone is different). If your life revolves around that product, and it goes out, what are you going to do? Also simply because they are cash cows for retailers doesn't mean they should have a negative notation with it. Does anyone know how much cables are marked up in almost every store? In conclusion, I would say, yes most of the time they are worth it, and they can be evenly compared to something like AAA roadside assistance.
Bought it one time and was glad we did.
I believe paying with Amex, Visa or MasterCard extends any manufacturer's warranty by a year or two. And that's usually good enough for me. Only Extended Warranty I would buy is Apple because besides covering hardware, it gives me 3 years of phone support instead of 3 months. So I basically buy it for the support and get hardware warranty free. That came in might handy when our iBook G3 had problems after a year and Apple replaced it with G4 iBook. That one paid for itself and when we trade up from my old desktop G4, I'll probably spring for AppleCare again.
extended warranties vs service contracts
Extended warranties are not worth it in my opinion. To extend what the manufacturer gives you (defects only) is worthless.
Where do you go that you can haggle on the price of new merchandise? Haven't been to a major retailer that does that yet. Price matching of course.
The stores sell the merchandise, they don't make it why should they be responsible if it fails too soon? They offer a service to their customers for peace of mind.
Service contracts like the Sears Protection Agreement are worth it.
TV purchased died 2 years after purchase. Sears wasn't able to repair because parts weren't available so it was replaced. No hassles. Why pass that up? Only paid 80 dollars to protect it for 3 years. I know not everyone believes its worth it but for the purchases I have made it has saved me money. They even come to you once a year to check the product at no cost to you. Not to sound like a salesperson but...buy the service contracts, forget the extended warranties.
I have paid for them and have NEVER used them.
Certain Warranties are worth it.
After having worked on Windows computers for over 12 years, I was introduced to an Apple computer in the form of an iBook. Nice, solid little machines. And with specs that were half that of my AMD powered Windows machine, it ran circles around the Windows computer, so I seriously upgraded and bought a Quad G5 Apple.
The computer along with a few extras, cost me roughly $2500+ at the time. I was offered a 3 year, in home warranty that covered *everything*. They wanted something like $250 or $300 for the warranty. I told them that if they sold me the Warranty for $100, I'd do it. And they did.
That was from an Apple Store. They are semi-flexible on the warranties , and they are *so* worth it. I had a hard-drive starting to go out, so they sent me a new one. In year 2, my video card, having been really seriously abused, went out, and they drove a guy over an hour to get here, he worked on the computer, gave me a new video card, and voila. Fixed.
Given that most computer technical places charge $75-100 an hour, plus parts costs, that $100 3 year warranty is worth its weight in gold. They put in a new $200 video card, a new $250 hard drive, not to mention the time the tech put in, and the driving. And I still have a year left on the warranty!
Now, extended warranties aren't always good. I bought an extended warranty on my leather office chair, for $50, and it turned out to be a rip off. The chair had a 1 year limited warranty. The extended warranty is a 1 year warranty that was supposed to start AFTER the manufacturers warranty. But as it turns out, in tiny fine-print on the back of the warranty, it started the day you buy it, and is NOT effective if there is any manufacturers warranty remaining. So in otherwords, the $50 went right down the drain, non-refundable.
So basically, buyer beware. READ THE FINE PRINT. Some warranties will be worth it (car warranties for instance, some are great!).
I always work salesman for the best price, I will even talk to the Sales Manager, and work him. I understand the game, because I am a Sales Manager for a large retail company. Once I have covered the price of the waranty, I will always buy it. And yes my company sells extended waranties as well, so I understand the game from both angles. Here is my score so far...........
Big Screen TV..........2 repairs/worth it!!!
Washer and Dryer.......3 repairs/worth it!!!
Sub Woofer.............1 repair(2weeks short of the 5 years) worth it!
Speakers...............1 repair/worth it!!
Cordless Phone.........1 replacement/worth it!!
Passed it up on......
Vehicle................Power windows and trans. $3200.00/I lost
DVD Player.............2 years $650.00/I lost
Surround Receiver......3 years and DB Digital went out $1100.00/lost
My recomendation is to make your purchace when there is a sale or, if the purchace is large enough, push for a discount that will cover the diff. and get the warranty. Then you have nothing to loose, and your covered!