December 5, 2007
Dear CNET members,
Here's a situation I'm sure many people have encountered: You're at local retailer. After a long conversation with a helpful salesperson, you've made the decision to buy the product. You're ready to check out when suddenly the salesperson blindsides you with the pitch, "Would you like the extended warranty with that?" Your first reaction is to say no, but the salesperson starts going on and on about the benefits and the things that could go wrong with the product. You frantically try to rationalize purchasing the extended warranty, but because you're on the spot and don't have much time to think, you accept. Then you go home and think: "Did I make the right decision to buy that extended warranty?"
Does this sound familiar?
Well, you're not alone as I'm sure many of you have been in this situation. I've personally been there plenty of times and I can remember only one instance where my extended warranty paid off. The rest weren't well-thought-out decisions. So in your opinion, do you think extended warranties are worth the extra protection, or are they simply a rip-off? To me it always feels like an extended warranty purchase applies to Murphy's Law, where if you buy it, then the product never seems to fail or fails right after the extended warranty expires; or, conversely, you don't buy it and the product fails right after the manufacture warranty expires. Either way you're stuck between a rock and hard place. When it comes with high-ticketed price items like my washing machine or plasma TV, I'm personally always in a bind when it comes to deciding. So do you have some sound advice when it comes to picking an extended warranty? When is it a good investment and when is it not? Got a good or bad extended warranty story to share with us? We're all ears, so step right up and share.
Hey folks, just a reminder that if you are shopping for a digital camera and need some buying advice or have any questions related to digital cameras, come join us tomorrow in the Ask the Editors Live chat event. It will be running from 11 a.m. to noon Pacific on December 6. And our special host will be CNET Senior Editor Lori Grunin, who will be handing out advice like presents to all. So please come join and have your digital camera questions ready.
This week's hot topic:
Are extended warranties worth it?
When buying consumer electronics, is it worth shelling out extra for an extended warranty? That's the question member jraggie asked in the CNET Home audio and video forum, and some of you offered your insights.
"Yes, no, and maybe!!!"
"Extended Warranty is an insurance policy. There are many factors to consider: the cost of the HDTV, the cost of the warranty, and the reputation of the company providing the warranty. With the cost of HDTVs coming down and reliability going up, the need for them has gone down...." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member jcrobso"Obviously this has gone around before. It is risk vs..."
"...insurance thing. And extended warranties need to be read and understood line by line as some have cop-out clauses for them and no real protection for you. So cost is a factor, too. Is it reasonable considering coverage and value of the item? Manufacturer extended warranties are the best if available. Third-party extended warranties are indeed profit cows for sellers. You will need to know what they cover, and judge according to price and factors like who does the work and where...." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member NM_Bill"Only thing I would add is..."
""...that the price of warranties is negotiable just like the appliance is. If you type in the name of any third-party warranty on the Net, you will get a huge variance in what companies are charging for them. You DO NOT have to buy the warranty from the same company that sells you the TV, receiver, etc. I also agree that the manufacturer's warranty may be the best deal, but if you have to go third party, they..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member RustyDallasSpeak up!
Now it's time for you to speak up. The bottom line question: Are extended warranties worth it to you? Have you bought an extended warranty where it paid off? Or bought one and never used it? We want to here what you have to say, and if you have some tips to offer your fellow members about considering an extended warranty, post them right here.
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