Is a getting an extended warranty worth it? at

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Old February 12th, 2006, 10:25 PM   #1
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Is a getting an extended warranty worth it?

Please share your stories and advice with me!

Who offers them and can they be obtained other than when a GL-2 is first purchased?

What sort of coverage does one get,comprehensive,partial and are there any deductibles/exclusions involved?

What's the best bang for the buck if I choose to exercise that option?

What sort of questions do I need to ask,and what do I need to know about extended warranties?Never had one before.

I'd welcome any discussion on the topic pro,con or in-between.

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Old February 13th, 2006, 03:54 AM   #2
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The extended warranty is really a service agreement with a third party, only the maker can offer a warranty. It is a form of insurance, and makes a lot of money for the reseller. The dealer typically plays less than half the retail cost; e.g., a $400 four-year agreement on an under $3500 camcorder costs the reseller about $180 when bought from a distributor.

Statistically speaking it is not worth it. For the warranty company to survive, their cost to provide and service the agreement (parts, labor, shipping, plant, taxes, etc.) must be less than what they receive for the agreement, in the above case substantially less than $180 to allow for distributor mark-up, advertising, profit, etc.

If you cannot affort to spring for a repair if the need arises, but can spring for the insurance, it may be a good idea for you. But keep in mind:

Be sure you are comfortable that the agreement company will be in business when you need it, say 3.5 years from now.

Undestand the terms and conditions (carry-in, mail in, deductables, exclusions such an no professional use, turn-around time, etc.) up front.

Most equipment failures happen during the original warranty period or near the end of the equipment's useful life when replacement is about due anyway.

Over a large number of equipment items and time the agrrements will cost most people at least 3 to 4 times the monetary benefit they receive. However, a lucky (or perhaps unlucky) few buyers will make out on the agreement.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 03:57 AM   #3
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Be very wary if you are shopping for a GL2 and you find a place selling them very inexpensively. These places will usually try to hit you up on the warranty and accessories options. A lot of them are also not at all on the honest side. FYI
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Old February 13th, 2006, 06:19 AM   #4
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Here's a thread on extended warranties in our Taking Care of Business forum:
Pete Bauer
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Old February 13th, 2006, 07:12 AM   #5
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Don makes some excellent points. Personally, I've been lucky. I've had a VX-2000 for over 4 years, a PDX-10 for 3 years and a Z1 for almost a year with absolutely no problems. A search for Mack warranties here yields some mixed reviews, so you'll have to draw your own conclusions there. The only extended warranties I've bought have been AppleCare coverage for laptop computers. These extend full Apple warranties and in one case it saved me a substantial amount on a repeated motherboard problem.

Something else to consider: some credit cards will double your manufacturer's warranty and even provide theft/breakage insurance by simply using them for the purchase. Check with your credit card company for details. American Express policy info is here:

Double Your Warranty — For example if you have a six-month manufacturer's warranty, we will add another six months. If you have a one-year manufacturer's warranty we will add one additional year.
But also read the full terms in the PDF, there are some caveats. For example, if you purchase equipment for business use with a personal card, it may not be covered.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 07:30 AM   #6
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I generally tell the sales people to go pound sand and never get extended warranties. They are just not worth the money.

However, when I bought my XL2 from B&H a while back, they offered a 4 year Mack warrantee for less than $200. That one I did take. Not only do I have an additional 4 years of coverage for most things, I have a warrantee to give to and include with a future sale. It will add value to the camera if I sell it.

Chapter one, line one. The BH.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #7
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I've had the need to make a claim with the American Express extended warranty a couple of times (on non-video items), and have been generally happy with it. However, something to be aware of: Amex coverage doesn't start until the original warranty expires. For example -- if an item breaks in November and your original manufacturer's warranty is good until the end of December, Amex will not cover the repair costs if you wait until January to file a claim with them. Keep that in mind when Amex (or any other extended warranty company) asks you "When did your (camera, washing machine, etc.) start malfunctioning?"

Last edited by Jim OMalley; February 13th, 2006 at 08:39 PM.
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