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QotD: Extended Warranties

Question: Do you buy extended warranties?

My Answer: This question comes from Gizmodo. I answered "Rarely" because my wife and I bought the expensive extended warranty on our rear-projection LCD TV (60"). It has two bulbs that dim over time and will be replaced under the warranty. Shortly before the warranty expires, I'll call Circuit City and say "the picture is dimmer now, please replace the bulbs" and they will.

But for an iPod? My Mac Pro? My phones, my car, my pool table, my dishwasher, my clothes dryer, etc.? No, no thanks. If it's going to break, it's going to do so very quickly or very late. Almost no electronics products "wear down" and break somewhere outside of a year but inside of five.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

7 Responses to "QotD: Extended Warranties"

  1. The only thing I get the warranties for are my Mac computers - I've used mine several times for issues with my iMac, ranging from Superdrive issues to replacement keyboards. The $119 I spent is less than I would have had to pay for a replacement Superdrive and 3 keyboards.

  2. I rarely buy extended warranties (I've got enough insurance already thanks) but I always make an exception on laptops and recently on iMacs.

  3. Ahh, speaking of warranties...

    iPods and Mac laptops are the only things I buy warranties on.

    My iPod just died yesterday, 18 months after I bought it (and it's the third replacement one...apparently I break iPods by using them). And my iBook G4 has been great, but after my iBook G3 (you know, the Logic Board / Hinge Break iBook?), I felt compelled to buy it.

    So now, instead of shelling out the 49 bucks a few months back for the iPod warranty, I've gotta buy a new one. :-\

  4. I always get AppleCare on my Apple portable stuff. "Electronics" won't wear down, but all the various moving parts in laptops and iPods certainly do.

    I'm on my third iPod (40GB click wheel), and it's already showing signs that I'll need a forth before the AppleCare is up (really slow boot up, increasing skipping in songs, occasionally stopping in the middle of a track and moving to the next). Likewise, A/C all but rebuilt my 1GHz AlBook after the inverter, logic board, and LCD went at about 14 months. The inverter was probably a defect in manufacturing that took a while to show, the LCD gradually gained bad pixels over time since Apple seems to like cheap panels, and the logic board was probably due to the various flexation that happens from normal laptop use.

    My only non-portable Apple at the moment is a second hand Sawtooth G4, so no A/C there. I'm honestly not sure what I'll do when I finally get around to getting a MacPro. I do agree in general that *stationary* electronics are either broken from the start or darn near immortal (I *heart* my Sawtooth). On the other hand, ask the folks with the leaky G5 water coolers about the kinds of non-electronic moving parts that computers have to fail.

    I guess I've got a minimum of one year to decide (and I'm definitely not buying one tomorrow. I'd be a dead man when I got home!)

  5. I don't usually go for the extended warranty, except for in the case of my PowerBook. I bought the AppleCare for it and it has 'paid' for itself already. Still got another ten months before it expires too.

  6. As with most of the commenters, always on computers and iPods. With my PowerBook, for example, I got the combo drive replaced, then the hard drive. Things ran fine for another year, then the fans and power adaptor needed replacement. Then the logic board, and by the time they were returning it to me (broken), I was given a replacement when I asked. A brand new PowerBook. All of that well exceeded the AppleCare price.

    My iPod was replaced, too, when it was under the initial warranty. I bought the extended warranty, but never actually used it before it expired.

    A friend's iBook needs a new hard drive. The cost of a new drive, as well as the labor to replace it, is more than she can afford right now. I wish she would have gone for the warranty, as I had originally suggested. Heck, we've got a mutual friend willing to give her a hard drive - but an iBook G4 requires just about everything to be removed, before you can get to the HD. Neither of us are looking forward to swapping that drive.

    I agree with the original sentiment though, not everything requires an extended warranty...but my Macs and iPods will always get one.

  7. Only on three items have I ever purchased extended warranties:

    Projector. It's an expensive item, and one I'm likely to have for several years. The extended warranty was thrown in for free by a salesman who really wanted a sale.Video Camera. These things break easy. Thrown in almost for free, by a salesman who wanted a sale :)Most recent cellphone. Because WirelessWave have a deal where if you buy the warranty in a years time they'll take the phone back and give you it's purchase price as a credit on a new phone.

    I never get AppleCare - The longest I've kept a laptop as a primary machine was 18 months. Not long enough to get of warranty & care about it.


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