There’s no better feeling than coming home with a brand new expensive “toy,” whether it’s a computer, mobile phone, table, HDTV, or even a new car. In our elation over walking out the door with this new toy, we’re often talked into buying an extended warranty just in case the product breaks before we we can get our money’s worth.
The question: Is buying an extended warranty worth the price that we pay? It’s a hard decision to buy a big-ticket item anyway, then once you tack on even more money to buy the warranty it’s an even harder pill to swallow. Are the warranties even worth that extra money or is it better just to hedge our bets and hope for the best?
Here is what our writers feel about extended warranty:
For my money it depends on what I’m buying and the company’s reputation, whether it’s through the the manufacturer, the reseller, or a company that specializes in warranties. I’ve been burned before when a company who has sold me an extended warranty has gone out of business, and I’ve wasted my money. When I’m buying computer products, I’m usually buying Apple, and they offer and extended AppleCare warranty ($249-$349 on MacBooks, $149-$169 on iMac and Mac Mini), and are known for their customer service. It’s saved me from costly repairs on both a laptop and a desktop. Cars factor into the equation in the same manner. With a larger item like that, that seven-year warranty is more than worth it.
I don’t bother to buy an extended warranty on my iPhones and iPads ($99), though, because I’m replacing them every year or two anyway, so there doesn’t seem to be a point of buying a warranty that extends past the first year, especially when the standard extended warranty doesn’t even cover water damage.
Emmanuel feels the same, believing that it’s needed on “certain, big box items like televisions and computers.” But in regards to iPhones, his thought is to “just slap on a sturdy case and be careful after your complimentary warranty is up.”
Ruji also considers the brand of the merchandise. She, too, had an Apple computer and wished she had opted for the extended warranty. She currently has a Lenovo ThinkPad, and did opt for the extended warranty (Price unpublished, but they extend and upgrade standard warranties), but isn’t sure whether it is worth it or not, as “their customer support has been pretty abysmal so far.” This is despite the fact that it does cover hardware replacement and accidental damage and that it also offers next-day on-site support. Ruji appreciates the on-site support over having to ship the computer out to a factory to be serviced. Ultimately for her, it comes down to how long she plans on using the item and her confidence in fixing problems herself.
Trevor looks at his extended warranty options the same way. The only time he considers an add-on warranty or service plan is when he knows he “will really be pushing the item to the limit physically” or knows “it will be in an environment where it could easily be damaged.” He doesn’t typically purchase the warranties for tablets or laptops but has for items like speakers.
Damien and Soumen:
Both MTE editor-in-chief Damien and writer Soumen avoid extended warranties altogether. Damien considers how quickly electronic products become obsolete, making him realize “there is no point in getting the product repaired when there is a better and cheaper alternative in the market.” Soumen waits until later on to decide how likely he is to keep a product before deciding whether to purchase an add-on warranty or not.
This all comes down, of course, to a realization of your own personal use of the product coupled with the reputation of the manufacturer. If you know yourself to be really hard on products, then extended warranties are definitely something for you to consider. If the manufacturer doesn’t have a good reputation for carrying through on their promises, it might not be a good idea to make that investment into buying an extended warranty, realizing that you’ll just need to cut your losses when your computer, phone, or tablet experiences some type of mishap.
Back to you, will you buy an extended warranty for the products you have just purchased?
Image credit: Hand and stamp Warranty by BigStockPhoto