Extended warranty?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Wes_B, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. Wes_B

    Wes_B Extra

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    I purchased a PT-47wx53 from Fry's yesterday for $999. They offered an extended warranty for $100 for two years. I declined. Now I am having second thoughts. I have not taken delivery of the tv yet so I think I can go back to the store and purchase it.

    How many of you have purchased an extended warranty? Is $100 for two years a good price? TIA
     
  2. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Generally, the only people who make out on extended warranties are those selling them.

    Seriously, a lot of this depends on the quality of the device you are purchasing. If it has a poor repair history the extra money might be worth it. However, there are still other questions. How long is the "regular" warranty (I'm assuming 1 year?) If that's the case, then is the "extended" warranty for a TOTAL of two years or an ADDITIONAL two years (for a total of three years??) Many of these warranties run concurrently with the existing warranty so that you might be paying $100 for one added year.

    Finally, there is the question of who covers the warranty. Is it the manufacturer or some out-sourced 3rd party? If that's the case and the source goes out of business then you might be stuck.

    It has been my experience with most electronic equipment, either HT or computer (especially those that don't have a lot of moving parts like DVD players do) that if something is going to go wrong it usually happens in the first 90 days. If you get past that point then you are usually going to have clear sailing through any warranty period, regular or extended.

    Just my two (unwarrantied) cents.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Prentice Cotham

    Prentice Cotham Supporting Actor

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    As a part-time employee of Best Buy, I purchase it on most products. I bought the coverage for my 50" Widescreen Toshiba 2 years ago. I am now getting a brand new TV b/c the Toshiba took a crap and they couldn't fix it. I personally would buy it on an RPTV. The one little secret that at least BB doesn't tell you about the PSP (not sure on Frys), is that you can buy it at any point during the period that you are covered by the manufacturer's warranty or at least one year. I think BB charges customers $400 for a 4 year service so $100 for 2 isn't bad.
     
  4. Mike Boniferro

    Mike Boniferro Second Unit

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    $400 for 4 years is very expensive... the BB's in Canada charge that on average for 5 years and that is in Canadian dollars.

    I do believe that in most circumstances with big investments like RPTV's EW's are a good thing, but you have to look at the questions that Robert put forward. If you know that the warranty is insured through a 3rd party so that if they do go out of business you are still covered, that is a good thing. Also, if all they are offering is 2 years from the date of purchase for US$100 that is kind of pricey....
     
  5. Wes_B

    Wes_B Extra

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    Thanks for the info guys. You've been a great help. [​IMG]
     
  6. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    $100 for two years is not that bad at all, considering $369 for two years from Panasonic.

    I would buy it because I bought mine RPTV (PT-47) directly from Panasonic about 10 months ago and its been service 4 times already.

    Before my year is up, I'm going to get the extended warranty from Panasonic.

    I had all 3 guns replaced and since then no problem, but Panasonic ate the cost of the tv because each gun is about $300 plus labor.

    For $100, I would get the warranty.
     
  7. Mando-R

    Mando-R Stunt Coordinator

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    Declining an extended warranty is something that someone who THINKS they know everything would do.

    At Circuit City the extended warranty begins when the manufacturer's warranty expires. The warranty is directly insured through Circuit City and when it comes to "Out of Program" equipment, it's always best to trust the universal television technicians.

    As for the questions that the admin posted:
    Not all sets are the same. Some show their colors after a week, and some take 11 months to show. There are occasions where a television will bite the bullet a month after the warranty expires, and that's when the consumer is screwed.

    Another thing - Don't get manufacturer's warranties confused... They are limitedwarranties, and don't cover 100% parts and labor. Circuit City, and I'm sure Best Buy and Fry's, cover all parts and labor on extended warranties, because it's not just a warranty, but a "service" plan.

    An example of this is when my Playstation 2 (the first out of three) bit the bullet, and I called tech 2 months after I bought it. I sent it in, they paid for the shipping (at least) but I was crushed to find out it would cost me 45 dollars plus labor to replace the lens on the PS2 because the lens dying was part of the "natural life" of the Playstation 2. I told them that it should've lasted longer and he said, "Either way, the limited warranty doesn't cover the lens, dvd rom drive, buttons, etc etc"

    I've said it time and time on these forums, warranties are GOOD, and as with all things you spend money on, you will only know when you "get your money's worth".

    Call Fry's, buy the extended warranty, and watch the crap out of that tv and even if it runs out of juice 12 times this year, keep taking it back and getting it replaced/repaired.

    Also, we had a guy come in with some ancient projection tv but he bought 4-year ESP on it. It was 2 and a half years old and it kicked the bucket for good. No service could help the tv, and because it was discontinued, he couldn't get the exact one he bought. He paid 3000 for it when he got it, 3000 is exactly what credit he got towards a new one. Bastard went home with a DLP RPTV brand new.

    You know why only employee's buy the extended warranties? Because we work there, and we know what happens when you don't buy them. It's not just because we get the warranties at a discounted price... It's more like a rule of thumb. If you had to pick between a 65inch RPTV, and a 57inch RPTV with extended warranty... You go with the 57.
     
  8. Dave McC

    Dave McC Auditioning

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    I have worked at Best Buy in HT for about a year now. I can't say how many people have come into my department looking for a new tv because their farely new tv broke on them. I had one guy almost break down on me because his 40' XBR broke and wasn't covered under the warranty. I'll just say that certain things should have a service plan such as a RPTV. On the other hand, I know BB offers a 49.99 PSP on DVD players! What a joke, I dont even offer it. I will only offer the 2 year PSP for 29.99. It's your money, why not spend 299.99 for a RPTV now then 1,000 or 4,000 in two years?
     
  9. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I stand by my statements that you have to know the equipment you are purchasing (its track record on failure) and, of course, the nature of the warranty. Warranties have a way of changing and the smart consumer should read the fine print. If something is guaranteed for only 30 or 90 days then, of course, it might be wise to purchase an extended warranty. However, if another product is covered in full for 1 year or more, then you have to look at the cost of the warranty vs. the cost of the equipment. I have to laugh every time I'm in a store and they are asking someone to pay $20 to extend the warranty on a $60 item (can you say "Radio Shack?") On the other hand, if you just spent $3000 on a monitor and you can extend the warranty for a substantial time for minimal cost (especially when the tube might cost $1500 to replace) then this might be a wise choice. In almost 50 years of purchasing equipment I find that 1 year is a good shakedown period for most components and computer equipment - especially in the solid state age.

    And on the question of "universal television technicians" this is another area where there is a changing scenario. Back in the 50's your local TV repairman was a skilled technician (if you found a good one.) As printed circuits and then microcomponents became the norm, this became a "replacement technology" rather than a "repair technology" so skill as a technician wasn't as important as it once was. However, there is still a lot to be said for dealing with an authorized service center and not one of these "one brand, all brands" universal places. The service center that specializes in one or two brands is much more likely to have the needed repair parts in stock and, therefore will offer you a better turn-around time. They are also more likely to know the inside of their product lines than the general shop. The "universal" center may feature "universal" waiting.

    Finally, I find that many of the larger chain stores have many employees whose knowledge of HT equipment is suspect at best (with rare exception. There are always a few diamonds in the rough). If they don't give good advice on the equipment why should I trust them to give good advice on service?

    I've been told by people in the business that one of the biggest moneymakers is the extended warranty business and that's why they push it. Yes, you can find a few cases where extended warranties are warranted (no pun intended) but do your homework and do the math before blindly jumping on some sales pitch. After all, think about it. On one hand you are being told how great a particular piece of equipment is and on the other hand you are being told to purchase an extended warranty to protect yourself from disaster.

    CAVEAT EMPTOR!
     
  10. WayneG

    WayneG Stunt Coordinator

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  11. david stark

    david stark Second Unit

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    I'd agree with you Wayne. I've never bought any of these warranties and never had to take anything back in the extra period that it would have covered.

    There was a hort programme investigating these things in the UK several years ago (like 5 to 10 years ago). It turned out that many shops (including large chains) actually made more money through these warranties than they did through selling actual physical products. Obviously sales assistants get bonuses on each one they sell hence the push for them.

    In the programme they also mentioned some other companies also offered these extended warranties. Once you had purchased the equipment you just had to ring them and arrange it and most of the time they were alot cheaper than the shops version.
     
  12. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Agreed! While some people may feel more secure by having an extended warranty and that might justify the cost to them, I like to consider the option of "self insuring." As was pointed out, if you add up all the costs of these extended warranties and figure out the cost of the rare repairs that you had out of pocket expenses for during what would have been the "extended" time, most of the time you will come out ahead without paying the money up front.

    In all my years of purchasing equipment I only purchased an EW one time - back in the '80s I paid about $2300 for a then new SONY XBR console TV and was able to extend the 1 year warranty out to 5 years for $150 from SONY. Since there had been some problems with the $1500 (to replace) picture tube on these units (mine's still going fine after over 15 years) I felt it was worth a little under $40 a year to make sure. Besides, I wasn't about to bring this 320 lb. unit into a shop, so I felt better about having an in-home service agreement direct from SONY.

    Yes, I realize that there is the occasional horror story about a unit failing a couple of days after the warranty expires, but these garner all the attention. It is far more common for the equipment to outlive the warranty, extended or not. And I would suggest that if a person has equipment that breaks down at a rate much higher than the average that they concentrate on purchasing items with a good repair record.

    I'm not trying to insult anyone here and I realize that there could be extenuating circumstances. For example, a relative of mine is on her 7th DVD player in five years! She buys good stuff but it's also a fact that her small children are allowed access to the equipment and don't exactly use prudent handling procedures for the player and the media. If she insists on allowing the kids to use the equipment then maybe EWs are cost effective for her.
     
  13. Mike Boniferro

    Mike Boniferro Second Unit

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    Their are really 2 main reasons why companies make so much money off of EWP's: first, most people forget that they have them and so they don't use them and second because the cost of fixing something is a lot less than the cost to the consumer of having it fixed.
    Some risk adversed people just feel safe knowing that they are going to get at *least* a certain amount of time out of a purchase even if the purchase costs them a little more. It's the same reason why some people purchase renters insurance and others don't, some put every insurance possible on vehicles and others don't etc etc. Everyone who offers these services (retailers, insurance companies, manufacturers) all make money off of them, but there economic reasons why some people will choose to purchase them at $XX and some will not...
    if it makes you feel better, then go for it! [​IMG]
     
  14. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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  15. Mark Hamilton

    Mark Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

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    I am a supporter of EW, well, on somethings.

    We got a Sony KP-53V45 from Sears in 1997 with the extended warranty. It died twice and they replaced it with a new KP-53V45. That one died and they tried fixing it then replaced it with a KP-53V75, which died a year later. They gutted the chassis, rebuilt it and it's been fine since. Regardless, the warranty we bought has saved us thousands and thousands and ended up getting us a new, and far superior, RPTV.

    I bought it in on Xbox. The machine has died outright 3 times. All 3 times I got a brand new Xbox, no questions asked. Where would I be without the extended warranty?

    I bought it on my laptop. Two weeks after the factory warranty ended the TFT screen and the DVD-ROM drive both died. Compaq laughed at me. The EW company repaired both and had the machine back to me in a week.

    At the same time, I'v bought EW on my PocketPC, a digital camera, and a few other things which I'v never used. But even if I piled all my EWs together it would still be less than cost of fixing my RPTV once.
     
  16. Tim Jin

    Tim Jin Supporting Actor

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    Wow, it sounds like you had no luck at all.

    What are you buying next [​IMG]
     
  17. Mark Hamilton

    Mark Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

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    Just bought a Toshiba 34HF83. [​IMG] I don't anticipate any problems since it's an established CRT technology, but the nice shoppe keeper offered me a 5 year in home service agreement I couldn't resist. [​IMG]
     
  18. Wes_B

    Wes_B Extra

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    Since this thread resurfaced, I'll fill everyone in on what happened. My Panasonic 47wx53 exploded. It snapped and popped one Sunday and then I smelled burning electronics. The guy from Fry's came out and said it was shot. They were going to replace the tv since I was in Fry's 30 day replacement policy. Had I been outside that, since I didn't buy the extended warranty, I would have had to deal with Panasonic.

    I ended up switching tv's since they could not get a Panasonic in outside of a month. I had to renegotiate prices since I bought the Panasonic on sale. I bought the Mitsubishi 48413 for nearly $600 of normal price. This time, I am getting the extended warranty. I am too paranoid now with these tv's to not do that.
     
  19. JohnKings

    JohnKings Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a touchy subject among big-ticket electronics consumers. I have rarely purchased EWs, but I have found them useful in two instances:

    1. If you plan to sell the item you are purchasing in the warranty period, the EW (if transferrable - most are)adds value to the item. I know if I hadn't purchase an EW with my 36" Samsung Analog TV I would not have been able to sell it for anywhere near what it was worth. I made the price of the EW back in the sale of the TV. I probably wouldn't have even been able to sell the TV for more than $100 without it. I got ~$300 for it.

    2. I am a very anal retentive person and I expect items I pay alot for to perform flawlessy. That said, I went through 5 different RPTVs before I found the one I was looking for. Some of these Tvs I had in my house for in excess of 45 days before I realized something was not quite right. Because I purchased my RPTV at sears with the EW, Sears was willing to make the exchange until I found the set I was happy with (this ofcourse required that I have a sears technician attempt to resolve the issue which they were invariably unable to do).

    This leads me to my final thought on the issue and that is don't by the EW for the value it brings for potential repairs. As I have alluded to above, many issues may not be able to be addressed by the technicians to the satisfaction of the consumer and this is where the real value of the EW comes in - replacement!

    By the way, I recommend Sears highly. They really seem to be completely dedicated to customer service (YMMV). If you shop wisely and take advantage of savings where possible (Price-matching, rebates, etc.) you can propbably save more than the cost of the EW anyway.
    Best of luck,
    John
     
  20. Rudolph V

    Rudolph V Extra

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    Or... just buy the item with your American Express Blue card. They (Amex) automatically double the duration of your manufacturers warranty at no extra charge.
     

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