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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gil D, Aug 27, 2002.
Does anyone have experience with the CC warranty on RPTV's and can recommend for or against it?
As a general rule, those extended warranties on MOST applicances, electronics products, etc., are NOT a wise investment. If you run the numbers and do the math, and factor in the percentage of items which never need work, as well as those which break down during the first 30 days, and those that break down during the regular 90-day or 1-year warranty, they end up being almost pure profit for the seller. So, USUALLY, I avoid them.
The one exception I made (and you should consider) is for a RPTV. There are repairs on these big sets which can easily run $400, $600, and approach $1000. (Note that this is usually not the case for most other items, especially in our throwaway society.) So, I would recommend you strongly consider an extended warranty on a large RPTV set.
That said, most of the warranties tend to be pretty similar. None of them cover the so-called "burn-in" issue. They do cover most other things that go wrong, in-home.
There is one exception -- a few have some sort of scheme where part of your money is refunded IF you do not use any warranty work at all. However, these tend to be the most expensive ones, and are simply chargin you more up front, so they can return that difference later (IF you haven't forgotten to ask for it, IF the company is still around, IF you haven't dies in an accident in the meantime, etc.)
I have no experience with Circuit City's, so I cannot comment on it, other than to say that they are all pretty much the same, except for the difference noted above.
And, the price of the extended warranties in most Mom and Pop dealers (and even in a few chains) is negotiable. Using a price match, I managed to get my 5 year extended warranty on my 65" RPTV for only $199.99. The dealer originally was asking $425. I had talked them down to $350. Then, I came in with written price match, and they went for it. It cannot hurt to at least TRY to make the seller come down. (I realize that in many chains the salespeople are not authorized to "negotiate" at all.)
These are just my opinions,
-Bruce in Chi-Town
I agree with what Bruce said; a warranty plan on a RPTV is always worth considering. Your typical 4-5 year warranty should be in the neighborhood of 10% of the cost of the TV. Most RPTVs don't need a repair in the first 5 years, but if yours does need fixing the bill can be astronomical. TV repairmen charge as much per hour as your mechanic, and in most cases you've got to pay a guy $150 just to knock on your door and open his toolbox... a repair bill of $500-$1000 is not out of the ordinary for a RPTV.
Kinda off topic, but the other thing for which a warranty of some sort isn't a bad idea is a camcorder. They can cost a lot to repair and they break more often because they're thrown in suitcases, taken to the beach, etc. Plus they're one of the few things for which the "cleaning" the warranties offer to do for you is actually beneficial.
Many places cannot drop the price of their warranties. Contrary to popular belief, companies do not rake it in on extended warranties. Sure, it's $200 of "pure profit," but if you buy a $200 warranty and it covers a $1000 repair, then the company's service department just took $800 of "pure loss." Or to put it another way, they have to sell four more warranties to cover your repair bill.
Another common myth is that sales people make more money selling you the warranty than they do the equipment it covers... warranties do usually pay a salesperson at a different rate than the gear itself, but selling a $400 warranty on a nice RPTV TV might make the guy an extra $35-40, when he's likely to make much more than that on the TV itself.
Anyway, the point I was getting at is that most places with commissioned sales staff may not be able to drop the price of the warranty, but they will be more likely to give you a better deal on the TV (or whatever) you are buying if you agree to purchase the warranty they are offering with it. If you trust the store and the salesperson and have a good rapport with him, and you see the value in the warranty, ask for a better deal. That's a buying sign, and you're likely to get the deal you ask for. Good luck!
I work at sears and can tell you that in some cases the warranties do pay more than the item we sell. BTW. I work in the Tv department. Some of these items pay as low as .5 % or 1% the highest paying item we have is an hitachi RPTV which pays 6.5% while the warranties always pay 10 %. So in some cases the warranty pays more than the item sold.
*Still temporarily working at CC.
I would buy the CC warranty. It is a performance guarantee which says the TV will work like new till the warranty is over. No where in the warranty does it mention burn-in. CC is good w/ customer service in this area. If you have a problem they will do their best or replace it as long as you have the warranty. It's a good buy on most tv's, camcorders, cell phones, and subwoofers. "Most" of the other stuff doesn't need it.
I used to work at CC & could tell you for what you pay for there performance guarantee on RPTV's keep your money & use it to get a good calibration done by a professional after you get a little time on it. IMHO there guarantee is decent but if something was to happen to your set it will most likely happen after the coverage period or before the factory warranty. Getting it calibrated would be a much better investment IMO, & can actually help the service life of the set.
I got the CC warranty for 3 years on my Hitachi 43UWX10b for one reason -- LIGHTNING. I live in hurricane central, and I've had more stuff hit by lightning than I can bear to tell you.
However, it came in handy when the first set I got turned blue at the edges and the second set died after 3 hours. One thing though -- the service guy they sent the first time was a moron, and didn't know as much about the service menu as I did. He didn't even know how to do a manual convergence on the set. I complained to Hitachi and they said they were going to remove him from their list of authorized techs, so hopefully I won't run into him again.