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Old November 15th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #1
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Do you bother with extended warranties?

That's the question basically.

Are you of the school that if a monitor/camcorder/deck is going to have a problem, it'll probably be in the first year?

Or do you think blowing $5000 on a camera and not going the extra $150 for a Mack is silly?
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Old November 15th, 2004, 02:19 PM   #2
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I bought one for my vx. I think it's work it just for the piece of mind.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 04:50 PM   #3
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Usually if something is going to mess up, it will be a few years down the road, once the machine or equiptment has been used for a bit. Its always good to get the warranty.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 10:04 PM   #4
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If you don't buy many expensive things, then are fortunate enough to actually get good warranty service for an expensive repair/replacement, you'll be glad you got the warranty. If your equipment works flawlessy through its life but you know you wouldn't have been able to afford an out-of-warranty failure, MAYBE the extra 8-15% for an extended warranty will be worth the peace of mind it gives you.

That's not me, though. I'm probably in the minority -- I (almost) NEVER buy extended warranties on electronics or other household stuff. About the only recent exception was a Canon 20D for my wife...(sorry, Honey, you're rough on stuff so I decided to soak up a "no matter what" extended warranty -- for peace of mind vs the perceived added risk).

On balance, extended warranties exist -- and are priced -- to make the warranty SELLER money, not save the consumer money. I fairly regularly buy stuff and am able to replace it out of pocket should it fail outside of a manufacturer's warranty.

I've unquestionably come out FAR ahead over time to "take my chances." If I added up the cost of all the consumer electronics (3 frequently-tweaked home-built computers, a laptop, scanner, printers, two digital cameras including the aforementioned 20D plus its lenses and flash, GL2, XL2, accessories, HDTV, DVD players, and so forth) I have bought in the last 3 years, they probably total well over $25K. The only two things I've had fail that weren't covered under a manufacturer's warranty were a cheap old PC graphics card and an older 850-based motherboard. For the graphics card, I drove to CompUSA and picked up a new video card a little better than the one that failed for about $70 and the matter was closed inside of an hour. For the motherboard, I decided it was time for a new computer anyway and built a new one with the remaining good parts and a new mo-board, processor, and memory. At 10%, my warranties on all that stuff would have cost me an estimated $2500...versus the few hundred I put out of pocket to replace the parts that actually failed! I have had two hard drives develop problems (a Western Digital and a Maxtor hard) and both were under manufacturer warranty...zero cost.

If you're not a "spender" and you've got one shot to own a nice piece of hardware that you couldn't afford to have break, then the extended warranties might be worth the cost or peace of mind. If you're comfortable supporting your tech toy habit as I do, they're a waste of money.

That's my opinion. And it's free! ;-)

PS: I forgot -- had a flaw in the transparency on my HP 8250 ScanJet. HP overnighted a whole new ADF/sheet feeder assembly. Manufacturer warranty. No hassle. No cost!
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Old November 15th, 2004, 10:31 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Pete Bauer : On balance, extended warranties exist -- and are priced -- to make the warranty SELLER money, not save the consumer money. -->>>

That sums it up very nicely Pete; the warranties are very profitable for the vendors which is why they can be so aggressive in peddling them to you.

In my case I rarely buy them either. My VX-2000 is over 3 years old and no problems. My PDX-10 is over a year and a half old without problems. Sort of like you, I got the extended warranty on my daughter's laptop just so I wouldn't worry. A year ago I blew the power supply on my Titanium Powerbook due to some sort of grounding problem in a big video projector it was connected to. The laptop was out of warranty and this ended up being a pretty expensive repair. So when I got a new laptop for myself I decided to go for the warranty this time (AppleCare).
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Old November 15th, 2004, 10:41 PM   #6
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Never bought one in my life, nor have I ever needed one.
Usually when they try and sell me one, I tell them that if they don't have the faith that their product will last more than a year, I'm not buying it. Then they give me their speil again. Then I ask them if it will cover me throwing it on the ground then stamping it to pieces in a fit of anger. They tell me no. Conversation over.
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Old November 16th, 2004, 10:53 PM   #7
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My take is that buying an extended warranty puts you at the mercy of the company offering it to pay for and handle your repairs, and if you read the fine print they don't promise to cover everything. In fact some of them only seem to offer an extension of the manufacturer's warranty, which wouldn't necessarily cover any accidental damage. So you're out all that money for the warranty and then you still end up paying for repairs after arguing with your warranty company for several days? No thanks.

Perhaps some people have gotten value out of extended warranties, but I've heard horror stories too.
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Old November 16th, 2004, 10:59 PM   #8
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I basically agree with your sentiments Dylan and Kevin. However in the case of the laptops I got AppleCare which is handled directly through Apple. Their service has always been excellent.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 03:27 PM   #9
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Check with your Visa or MC policy.

My visa card doubles the time period of the original warranty if purchased with the card.
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Old November 21st, 2004, 06:18 AM   #10
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I once had a Sony Hi-8, 3 chip camcorder, "top of the line" in those days. I bought the extended service. A little over three years later the Sony started giving me problems. It went into the shop numerous times before they finally admitted that they could not correct the problem and the store replaced the "top of the line" H1-8 with there new top of the line Sony digital vx-1000. All this took about 5 months. Also, I believe that under the extended service warrenty it goes to the stores service center, and not to Canon Authorized Service Center (at least that is what happened to me with my Sony).

I then got a Canon XL-1 and added it to my Homeowners insurance policy. Four years later it got totaled in an accident. My Insurance company had me into an XL-1s in less than a week. My advise, buy a good replacememt insurance policy. bob
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Old November 21st, 2004, 02:01 PM   #11
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Thanks Bob, that's excellent advice. That about settles it for me for "extended warranties."
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Old November 21st, 2004, 02:21 PM   #12
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The only thing that I've bought an extended warreny on, and for good reason, is a laptop. Knowing that I can't fix it myself and repair shops will generally charge more than the computer is worth to repair it, I chose to spend 400 on an extended warrenty. I ended up getting a free laptop about a year and a half later when the computer died :)

With regular computers and less expensive electronics, I'd rather just save my money and buy a new one if nessasary. With high priced digital cameras and camcorders, I'd rather take my chances and pay to send them in for repair if necessary. Those Mac warrenties only cover manufacturer's defects and those should be apparent within the first year.

Also, you should consider how long you plan on keeping the camera. You may not want to use the camera for more than a year before you upgrade to something else.
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Old November 26th, 2004, 06:36 PM   #13
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I don't mess with em.
As a matter of fact, I just bought over 10 grand worth of used gear on ebay.

Ya gotta roll the dice to gamble, man.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 06:59 AM   #14
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I typically don't ever buy waranties but for my camera's I did get the 4 year Mack's. My very first camcorders, ever, were the two PD170's that I now own and just not knowing much about them, or about failure rates, or if I could attempt repairs myself, etc. left me feeling rather exposed. Added to that was the fact that I live in the absolute boonies with no significant camera shop (that I know of) within 200 miles. All of this uncertainty made the extra $150 worth the added peace of mind. Would I do it again???? I would not be nearly as likely to do it now since I have a bit more experience with and confidence in the equipment.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 01:15 PM   #15
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My camcorder extended warranty includes a once-a year head cleaning. If I remember to do it and can stand to be without camera for that long, it might make the warranty come out almost free. Time will tell.

My 52 inch projection TV will get serviced once a year, and new lamps as often as they let me do it. If I get one set of lamps it pays for warrany.

My extended warranty of my last Dodge car saved me about $5000 in air conditioing repairs, not to mention a $300 water pump and a $700 headlamp replacement. Best $1000 I ever spent. I have yet to use ext warranty on my Jeep at 55k miles.
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