My personal experience with warranties has been a bad one. I am one of those super careful people who fills out all the little forms, sends in the warranty, and files it away in a well-organized cabinet. However, not once has a warranty still been valid when the product failed. The last time I bought a laptop I finally said, “Forget it!” Am I alone in this experience?
Due to increasing complexity and mobility of any high-tech devices, manufacturer’s warranty periods have become shorter and shorter. Extended warranties can be pricey but often make sense. But do you get what you pay for?
What the Numbers Say
Finding out how companies actually fulfill their warranties is tricky. There isn’t any kind of standardization, regulation or reporting on any of this. However, here’s what a few recent surveys have shown. In 2005, consumers spent over $16 billion on warranties according to the website Warranty Week.
A PCWorld customer survey of about 2000 people showed that 63% purchased extended warranties. 90% said the warranty was honored by the company with either replacement or service. 80% said they were happy with the service they received. On the other side, the 37% who didn’t buy warranties said they are not regretting it. Only 23% of those who didn’t want warranties said they wished they had.
What Is The Secret?
How can the opinions be so fractured? Well, a big piece of the puzzle is where you get the warranty from. Here are some important factors to consider to help you decide if a warranty is worth it or not.
Retail companies make a killing off extended warranties. Usually more than they make off selling you the actual product. They pocket half the cost and turn it over to a third-party company to manage. If a warranty sounds great because Joe the sales guy told you it is, you might want to think twice.
Its important to understand exactly what is covered by the warranty. Sometimes only certain types of damage or wear and tear will be covered. A lot of extended warranties offer no service level agreement, meaning the company can take as long as they feel like to help you. Using deals like hp promo codes offers can help get the overall cost down and still make the warranty affordable.
Many high-end credit cards automatically extend manufacturers warranties by several months to a year. Companies like CostCo also extend warranties on many of their pricier items. Make sure you aren’t buying something you already have.
The internet certainly gives us lots of opinions. Using Angie’s List or Better Business Bureau can help you find out if the extended warranty provider has a good track record. This kind of investigation is well worth it.