WootBot


quality posts: 14 Private Messages WootBot

Staff

Woot is researching Extended Warranty partners and offers for specific products as an add-on or post-purchase offer for members. If you have an opinion share on this topic (and I hope you do), please take a minute or two to scan over my own (mostly negative) notions on extended warranties below:

I was shocked a year or two ago reading a well known consumer advocate magazine to see a serious recommendation that folks should consider buying extended warranties for notebook computers.

Essentially, the blurb said, the high value, repair frequency and high cost of potential repair can make the insurance a reasonable bet. I had always enjoyed vigorously turning down extended warranty offers whenever pitched at the time of purchase and I regularly cringed in agony when a family or friend told me how “good” they felt buying an extended warranty for their car or latest gadget because it was going to be “protected now.” I proudly followed a strict line of thought that extended warranties were for suckers and put them in the category of things that subsidize lower pricing for the rest of us.

However, it didn’t take me that long to begrudgingly accept that the logic behind this new advice was sound, especially as intended for the majority demographic of the magazine. It was annoying to have to accept an exception to a rule I enjoyed being a smart-ass about, but then again might regular warranties be shortened and product complexity increased to the extent that this advice would grow even more valid? I filed a mental note to myself that this was an area to watch, as gadget convergence of course continues and more things become expensive, complex and impossible for consumers to repair like the notebooks this advice was based on.

Like many of you, I’ve gone through several notebooks over the years, now plastic baggies full of disassembled useless parts, due to some hardware glitch, hard drive failure that I never fixed, or some hack I half-attempted before giving up and upgraded to a newer, faster model. I have a closet full of junk too disassembled and broken to even throw in a bag of crap. Certainly thousands of dollars spent. Occasionally I might feel a bit wasteful in my consumerism but then again I’m sort of supporting the faster evolution of computing power by upgrading quicker, right?

All in all, I still feel like extended warranties are not for me yet. Some combination of not being able to come full reverse on my original analysis, my guess of the profit margin generally involved, or just that the future thought of trying to get warranty service is too depressing to consider at time of purchase. But, I have come to understand that I’m a higher risk-taking consumer than many of my family/friends and my time value may not apply to them. I no longer react quite so vigorously negative when offered or cringe when I’m told someone I respect splurged for an extra/longer support option.

I’d love to hear Wooter opinions as we balance options. We receive regular requests for warranty offers via email and in the forums—if that was you, now’s the time to speak up.  Defend your requests! Are there items that Woot might sell from time to time such as TVs, notebooks, gadgets where you believe that extended warranty purchase is a logical buyers choice? Is it based on the cost of the item? How about extended warranty on refurbished items? What are your thoughts on appropriate cost of an extended warranty in percentage terms for 2 or 3 year coverage?

thanks for your support
matt

previous entries:
CEO, Interrupted: Crowdsourcing Hot Deals
CEO, Interrupted: LiveShopping aka Worldwide Wooting
CEO, Interrupted: Take your protein pills
CEO, Interrupted: Snapster’s unfortunate alter ego

miniver


quality posts: 0 Private Messages miniver

My experiences with notebook computers has been uniformly positive -- every notebook that I've bought, new or used, has worked well beyond the warranty and any extended warranty that might have been offered. On the other hand, while I might haul a notebook computer back and forth to work, I'm not a road warrior, and I take care not to bash my computers when traveling. Thus to me, the warranty is really just a gauge for how long the manufacturer thinks the notebook will last. Mind you, I do my own maintenance, and have upgraded or replaced hard drives, CPUs, and cd/dvd drives for my notebooks over the years, so I'm hardly the typical case.

If you think there's money and value in offering warranties and extended warranties, more power to you ... as long as you aren't shoving them in my face every time I buy something.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
miniver wrote:My experiences with notebook computers has been uniformly positive -- every notebook that I've bought, new or used, has worked well beyond the warranty and any extended warranty that might have been offered. On the other hand, while I might haul a notebook computer back and forth to work, I'm not a road warrior, and I take care not to bash my computers when traveling. Thus to me, the warranty is really just a gauge for how long the manufacturer thinks the notebook will last. Mind you, I do my own maintenance, and have upgraded or replaced hard drives, CPUs, and cd/dvd drives for my notebooks over the years, so I'm hardly the typical case.

If you think there's money and value in offering warranties and extended warranties, more power to you ... as long as you aren't shoving them in my face every time I buy something.


yeah, that's a key or maybe the key negative fora lot of people - the annoyance factor. I think once you get the most compelling coverage offer negotiated, then the next thing to figure out is how visible to make it so that newer wooters would find it. I'm thinking maybe some account profile switch to turn it off serves both needs?

joshbeu


quality posts: 0 Private Messages joshbeu

The annoyance is a problem, but for me there are two other problems that have made me hesitant:

1. There's a huge hassle factor with having to send the piece of equipment somewhere (sometimes on your own dime) and hope that it comes back. I've heard horror stories of equipment either not coming back or coming back with the hard drive wiped, and that's a big deal to me.

2. These extended warranty people seem to be looking for reasons to deny your claim. The only "extended warranty" I bought was for a sofa set, and the warranty company found technicality after technicality to deny the claim, which made me feel like I wasted the money (I think it was 10% of the purchase price, if you want to compare).

I just don't think it will ever be worth it for me. Again, if you guys decide to do it, and it's just a checkbox on the order page or something, that's totally cool.

Josh

rorywohl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages rorywohl

I've only bought extended warrenties twice in my life:

Once for a TV because the salesperson assured me that the remote control was covered and "you know how often remotes break or get lost." Well, it turns out the remote wasn't covered and the $9.99 RCA remote I bought at KMart was a fine substitute.

The second time was for my wife's Toyota Prius. Our thinking there was that the car had somewhat unproven technology (e.g. that big ol' li-ion battery pack) and it was better to be safe than sorry. So far, haven't had to use the warranty.

The one time I wished I'd bought an extended warranty was for a laptop. The lcd screen broke and the manufacturer wanted an ungodly amount of money to replace it. A little digging on eBay, however, and I found a suitable replacement at much less cost.

So, if you're keeping score that's no wins, two losses, and one tie for extended warranties.

After all that, I'm in the same boat as Snapster; extended warranties aren't for me.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
joshbeu wrote:The annoyance is a problem, but for me there are two other problems that have made me hesitant:

1. There's a huge hassle factor with having to send the piece of equipment somewhere (sometimes on your own dime) and hope that it comes back. I've heard horror stories of equipment either not coming back or coming back with the hard drive wiped, and that's a big deal to me.

2. These extended warranty people seem to be looking for reasons to deny your claim. The only "extended warranty" I bought was for a sofa set, and the warranty company found technicality after technicality to deny the claim, which made me feel like I wasted the money (I think it was 10% of the purchase price, if you want to compare).

I just don't think it will ever be worth it for me. Again, if you guys decide to do it, and it's just a checkbox on the order page or something, that's totally cool.

Josh


Definitely agree on 2 - we would definitely have to get comfortable ourselves as well as be able to relay any wiggle-room clauses up front.

On 1, that's fairly notebook specific... I see what you're saying but at the same time it beats not having a warranty and I finally do backups these days. Other than notebooks, say for a TV with onsite warranty, this issue goes away.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
rorywohl wrote:I've only bought extended warrenties twice in my life:

Once for a TV because the salesperson assured me that the remote control was covered and "you know how often remotes break or get lost." Well, it turns out the remote wasn't covered and the $9.99 RCA remote I bought at KMart was a fine substitute.

The second time was for my wife's Toyota Prius. Our thinking there was that the car had somewhat unproven technology (e.g. that big ol' li-ion battery pack) and it was better to be safe than sorry. So far, haven't had to use the warranty.

The one time I wished I'd bought an extended warranty was for a laptop. The lcd screen broke and the manufacturer wanted an ungodly amount of money to replace it. A little digging on eBay, however, and I found a suitable replacement at much less cost.

So, if you're keeping score that's no wins, two losses, and one tie for extended warranties.

After all that, I'm in the same boat as Snapster; extended warranties aren't for me.


shoot - I probably had the laptop screen you needed in my closet

thanks for the feedback.

cindyscrazy


quality posts: 3 Private Messages cindyscrazy

Please do not offer Extended Warranties for APC SmartUPS or BackUPS.

I say this because I will have to enter them and I already have too much to do.

Thank you!! :D

"I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"--from a T-shirt

https://www.etsy.com/shop/cindyscrazyknits?ref=si_shop

flipb


quality posts: 1 Private Messages flipb

I can say that in my retail experience, your suspicions are absolutely correct about the sizeable margins on add-on warranty sales.

However, a significant input to any warranty purchase decision should be the reputability of the warranty provider. In addition to thinking about the durability of the product being purchased, consider the "durability" of the warranty. It's easy to research this sort of thing in Consumer Reports or epinions.

There are some very reputable third-party warranty providers out there - the business model is the same as insurance providers - but, like insurance, there are some sleazy operations that will do just about anything to avoid paying out a claim.

hegemon13


quality posts: 1 Private Messages hegemon13

I cringe at the thought of warranties simply because of the lengths (and absolute lies) that salespeople resort to in trying to meet their quotas. I worked for a major retailer, whose name shall go unmentioned, and told many lies about warranties without even knowing it. See, there was no official training or documentation. We had to rely solely on what our management told us was covered. I trusted my boss, and relayed information to the customers.

After working there a year, I had them out to do the annual "maintenance" on my DLP TV, for which I had purchased a warranty. I was told that DLPs had to have the color wheel cleaned. The technician was kind enough to tell me that opening the color wheel casing to clean it is the surest way to make it lock up. I was told that the warranty covered unlimited bulb replacement (the real selling point for me), and that it would be replaced as soon as it reached it's manufacturer-recommended lifespan. We own one TV, so we nearly hit that lifespan the first year. I asked the technician when I should call to have them replace it, and he informed me that the warranty only covered ONE bulb in five years, and it would only be replaced if it BURNED OUT. So, even if the picture was half-brightness, they wouldn't replace it.

I canceled my warranty and turned in my resignation the next day. I have not purchased another product from said retailer.

Moral: Make sure the warranty company you choose is honest. Pick a bad one, and you may make short term profits, but you will lose long-term customers.

msjarrett


quality posts: 0 Private Messages msjarrett

For myself, an "extended" warranty isn't necessarily about the length of the warranty at all, but the level of support it provides.

Complex machinery will eventually _fail. Unless something is subsidizing it, statistically you're going to lose money on a warranty based on longer term failure rates. Unless the item is both very expensive (thousands at least), and fairly critical to my daily life, I'm not going to pay a hefty premium to smooth out that risk.

The biggest issue really is how the warranty is handled. If my item is broken, I want it fixed. I want a bikini model to show up within an hour at my doorstep with a replacement device, and sensuously install it while her friends massage my feet and tell me how handsome I look. I don't want to spend an hour on the phone listening to some tier 1 monkey reminding me to plug in my laptop, or pay my own shipping, or wait six weeks for them to say they couldn't find a problem, or (as Dell once pulled on me) be told that I have to send in an "asset tag change request" and wait six months for processing before they will even acknowledge my $100 warranty job.

I'd rather have a one year warranty that will immediately mail you a replacement no-questions-asked, than a three year warranty that hassles me even slightly. I'd pay a premium for the convenience of guaranteed service.

missakins


quality posts: 0 Private Messages missakins

I'm the sucker that buys the extended warranties.

I had one on a car a couple of years ago. It was only like $500 (used car). It was an almost sexual experience when we had to have the transmission replaced for almost $2000 (there was other stuff too) and it was all covered under the extended warranty.

I'm not overly harsh on my electronics. I have a TV that will be 10 years old in a couple months. That being said I don't often have a spare cash to upgrade as frequently as Matt seems to. I buy the extended warranty so that I can justify buying a top of the line gadget, knowing that unless it's an extraordinary incident that the extended warranty will make sure that I will have it for that long (I usually go 3 years out).

Also, most states have lemon laws, I know here if you get something repaired for the same issue 3x under warranty the law provides for an equal or greater value replacement. An extended warranty can extend this law's coverage on your item.

kayakermanmike


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kayakermanmike

I once did an extended warranty on my Sony Viao I bought at Worst Sale (invertt...). I was concerned it was a waste of money, but when my cd-r drive stopped working 3 times due to hardware failures it turned out to have been a good move. With some effort, and a month of calling asking where my computer was, I was able to cash in and get a new one.

Lets not forget the free battery you can get when the laptop no longer holds a charge. Use it to your ability...

So, to sum up, a lot of headache and hassle, but I did end up with a new laptop in the end.

Sometimes places will offer a no questions asked, replace it warranty, usually a bit more expensive then the plan discussed. I've heard people happy when the RROD issue came up with the xbox 360.

I think you still have to weigh what the item is, what the track record is, and just how much it will cost you...



sparkerjc


quality posts: 9 Private Messages sparkerjc

As a consumer, extended warranties are rip-offs.

As a salesman, I love the commission. 1,000,000% profit.

dirwin


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dirwin

I bought an HP L2000 series notebook on eBay back in fall 2005. This series had just released a few months prior. The seller had purchased the laptop from Sams Club with a 3-year extended warranty (to start after the 1-year HP warranty). I decided that a new and unproven design would be better with the warranty, plus I saved a good bit by buying the machine second-hand (the seller bought the machine for college and then learned he needed a Mac - the machine arrived to me looking brand new). I travel with the computer a good bit, but I have a very sturdy case for it and I'm generally careful when I use it. I'm not an abusive user in any regard, but I do use the computer for mobile computing regularly.

Anyway, 3 years later, I'm really happy I have the extended warranty. My concerns about the new design were valid. Since 2005, I've had the following warranty service done:

2 dvd drive replacements (1 by HP, 1 by Sams Club's tech contractor)
1 Battery and AC Adapter replacement (HP)
1 replacement of the motherboard, LCD Screen, and plastic lid/hinge mechanism (Sams Club)
1 replacement of the bottom of the plastic case, plastic lid, hard drive, and LCD screen and inverter (Sams Club).

The case is designed very poorly and flexes a lot when opened. That's why the lid has been replaced twice and the bottom chassis piece once. It's also why the LCD screen keeps failing. If not for the warranty, I'd certainly have just bought a newer/faster machine, but this one serves my needs just fine (after a memory and hard drive upgrade that I performed myself), so I'm happy to keep using the machine after each round of repairs.

I think the warranty cost to the original purchaser was $99 on a $999 computer. I'm certain that the 3 calls to Sams Club's technicians have incurred well over $99 in parts for me. If my current trend continues, I'll be up for another lid and LCD before the warranty runs out in a year, at which point I'll be looking to purchase a replacement anyway.

My big complaint about laptop warranties is that the value of the machine depreciates so quickly. Sure the decision calculus for a $99 warranty on a $1000 computer makes sense, but what about in 4 years when the computer is only worth $250? In my mind, if you're certain you'll have a yearly warranty claim (as I've ended up doing), it seems the warranty is worthwhile regardless. Otherwise, I don't think the warranty makes so much sense.

dangerp


quality posts: 1 Private Messages dangerp

I'm of two minds on this issue:

On the one hand, it seems to me that attempting to load up customers with warranties undermines the reputation of the seller in the buyer's eyes, not so much because the product may break but because the consumer feels like the company is trying to scam them out of more of their hard-earned money. This is amplified if the sales tactics are particularly persistent/annoying.

Also, keep in mind that if the warranty service fails to meet expectations, the consumer will blame the company they bought the product from, they won't likely blame the third party provider.

On the other hand, there are times that I have thought long and hard about a warranty, such as when I am buying something that is refurbished or previously returned (open-box to a certain retailer). It hasn't really worked out for me, but I understand that there are people much less technologically inclined than I that do want this kind of service. You also have to evaluate in terms of your demographic. Most Wooters (this is my educated guess) are typically either the technologically savvy types, or the bargain hunter types. Neither one is particularly prone to buying extended warranties.

That being said, if you could offer it in a tactful, discreet, but accessible fashion, and made sure that the warranty provider upheld your company's high standards, then I say go for it. Just don't nag.

zandperl


quality posts: 0 Private Messages zandperl

I think that extended warranties for laptops are a must-have. I buy mostly Apples now, which are famous for being more reliable, and I have always needed to use the extended warranties I purchase. They just take so much beating from me, that it'd be silly for me to not do it.

smrose


quality posts: 0 Private Messages smrose

Extended warranties are basically insurance. A basic rule of thumb for insurance is that you should only buy it if you cannot afford to sustain a loss (or if you know something about heightened risk that the provider cannot know). The best example is your house- few of us can afford to replace a house. Another example is your car- even if you could afford to replace it, you probably couldn't afford to pay a claim if you,say, crush a schoolbus full of girl scouts.

Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and most of them are doing just fine, thanks. They make that money by consistently charging more for insurance than is justified by the actual risk (or, common in the extended warranty biz, by simply refusing to pay legitimate claims). Comsumers are basically betting against the house whenever they buy it, and there aren't even free drinks or a $.99 breakfast.

So, except in rare exception, a consumer has to be foolish to buy insurance on small items. Since I know that, and the vendor knows that, I lose respect for a vendor that tries to push it on me. Please don't.

Where Woot! can possibly profit is by offering bundled (that is, no marginal cost to the buyer) extended warranties on refurbished items. By reducing the perceived risk associated with such items, you can move more of them, at a higher price, and presumably at low cost to yourselves, if you've checked the stuff out and it has passed a smell test. That's how both buyer and seller can win.


skyscanr


quality posts: 1 Private Messages skyscanr

Well sometimes they do and sometimes they dont.

I work for a big box store and have seen folks bring in 3 year old zenth projection sets that cost more to repair then the tvs worth and get the price they paid for the set towards a new one . I have seen folks get tvs that after a year start to have a problem get them replaced or fixed for free .

Its the luck of the draw . I tend to get them on the big $$$ items as if something does goe worng I want it fixed . Now the ones for my tv cover in home service from day one meaning what i could save just on shipping cost or time for taking the 40 " tv in make them worth it for me .

A laptop yes they seem like a good idea and have helped me in the past . but you have to fiqure out what the laptop you have will be worth in 3 years or even in 1 year that a new one might be a better choice then a big $$ servce plan

We ust love us some WOOT

fatedgod


quality posts: 0 Private Messages fatedgod

I as a rule dislike extended warranties, however there are always a few exceptions to any rule, and in order those would be on respiffied TV's (including projectors), PC's, and MP3 players.

LCD TV's seem to go bad at the worst times and the somewhat questionable brands that appear on woot form time to time don't really inspire confidence (I don't really want a 40" carp'o'vision LCD TV especially if its a respiffied with a 30 day warranty). If you give me the option of an additional warranty on the item for a modest sum (Ideally less than 15% of the original item cost for a 2 year extension) I will more likely to buy said crappy TV in the first place.

PC's are the same deal: dead hard drive six months down the line and I'll be pissed, but with the option of getting an extended warranty I will only be upset at myself for neglecting to invest.

MP3 players I don't think a ton of explaining; they get beat up and they break. Hey, they already broke once, that's why you are selling last years Sansa right? I may pony up a few bucks if it means I don't have to rebuild my music library again. </p><br>

I don't know how other people feel, but I wouldn't mind seeing a warranty.woot. Even if I don't buy them, they make me feel better about buying the crappy carp I do buy.

Skilroya


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Skilroya

For those of you that feel the need to extend your warranty, what you should know is that many credit cards automatically double the manufacturers without any additional charge. Get it, no additional charge. On top of that little freebie that same credit card will sell you a further extension to that same warranty usually for less money than your local retailer wants to charge. Prime example is this, I recently purchased a new television over the internet, obviously I used my credit card, this doubled the warranty (at home service with a free loaner) same as the manufacturer on top of that I have the opportunity to purchase a extension to the extension and I do not have to make up my mind until the extended extension is almost over.
Mind you not all credit cards offer this so do your homework and save some bucks.

soonercary


quality posts: 0 Private Messages soonercary

On the whole, I understand your feelings about extended warranties.

However, in my experience, they seem to be worth the price when you are buying high-dollar equipment that is of lower quality, such as, say, a great big 17 inch widescreen Toshiba Satellite laptop. Two hard drives, three DVD drives, and one screen later, I'm glad I got the warranty, as it has paid for itself many times over in labor and parts. If only the smug salesman knew how much money was actually lost when he scored that sale.

Mattazuma


quality posts: 1 Private Messages Mattazuma

As far as extended warranties go, I'd skip them on anything with a 1 year+ regular warranty.

I have skipped a couple of Woot deals because of the short warranty times. I think it would make sense to have an option to extend the warranty on an item, especially refurbs, to a year. From what I've seen, if it lasts a year it's going to last a long time.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
Skilroya wrote:For those of you that feel the need to extend your warranty, what you should know is that many credit cards automatically double the manufacturers without any additional charge. Get it, no additional charge. On top of that little freebie that same credit card will sell you a further extension to that same warranty usually for less money than your local retailer wants to charge. Prime example is this, I recently purchased a new television over the internet, obviously I used my credit card, this doubled the warranty (at home service with a free loaner) same as the manufacturer on top of that I have the opportunity to purchase a extension to the extension and I do not have to make up my mind until the extended extension is almost over.
Mind you not all credit cards offer this so do your homework and save some bucks.


This is definitely good feedback - I often forget about this and I bet I've had out of warranty stuff bought on my amex that totally qualified for an extension.

Someone should keep an up to date chart of US cards that have this service, short rules summary for each and contact methods. Stick some google adsense up there for a bit of income and maybe even a forum for discussion of practices/experience sharing on each type of card to keep people around. Keep it focused on warranty extension only so it doesn't get into promo offers and rates too much.

Well I guess adding forums makes it sound more like Woot should do it in our own forums somewhere. Easier just to point a link though if someone already has it.

fredfr


quality posts: 0 Private Messages fredfr

waste of money

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
Mattazuma wrote:As far as extended warranties go, I'd skip them on anything with a 1 year+ regular warranty.

I have skipped a couple of Woot deals because of the short warranty times. I think it would make sense to have an option to extend the warranty on an item, especially refurbs, to a year. From what I've seen, if it lasts a year it's going to last a long time.


Thanks, that's an opinion I wanted to hear again. The feedback/requests I referred to us getting via email mostly revolve around that (respiffied warranty extension). It was the main reason for an internal (woot staff) discussion topic I started in March (btw called "an indecent proposal: extended warranties") and now a primary reason for the open discussion here with the respiffied tv's for sale today.

unixrab


quality posts: 11 Private Messages unixrab

IF it's going to break... it's going to break within the regular warranty period... these are for the most part solid state issues, IC's, capacitors, transistors, etc... and they either burn up or they don't ... I will never buy an extended warranty. Even with hard drives... they are going to break in the first year or last forever... and so it goes with most electronics. IMHO.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Bags of Crap = 3 ------> woot 3.0 is DEAD!!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

dangerp


quality posts: 1 Private Messages dangerp

I personally like the "bump it up to a year" idea. After all, you're Woot, you haven't done anything typical to the industry since you started, I would hate to see you follow the same formulaic warranty process as the other guys. Most people don't like to plunk down a wad of cash for three years of warranty on something that will likely be upgraded in a year, and the impulse buyer doesn't want to sit there and consider the pros/cons between the one, two, and three year versions of the warranty.

Offer it on refurbs, keep it simple, stick to a year, and call it the r0x0rs plan.

Turbonium


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Turbonium

I typically use SquareTrade.com for my online purchases, for warranties. For big purchases, having a good warranty is a must SquareTrade has great turn-around time. I'd recommend that to woot any day. I'd even use squaretrade when I buy my products off woot currently.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
Turbonium wrote:I typically use SquareTrade.com for my online purchases, for warranties. For big purchases, having a good warranty is a must SquareTrade has great turn-around time. I'd recommend that to woot any day. I'd even use squaretrade when I buy my products off woot currently.


SquareTrade is a partner under consideration. I welcome other opinion on their reputation.

kurdt


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kurdt

With BOCs and other rejected merchandise being the bread and butter of woot, isn't that proof Wooters aren't the best at making smart decisions with their money?

Bring on my subsidies!

theonlybap


quality posts: 0 Private Messages theonlybap

An extended warranty would sure be nice for those Sansa MP3 players! They are reliable only in the sense that they WILL break down eventually. However, besides that, extended warranties seem to be a waste of money for the most part.

2 Chimpanzee Robusto; 1 Sea Chimp; 1 Camisa de los Muertos; 1 Random Shirt; 1 Xmas is Ribs; 1 Know When to Fold; 1 Faders and Meters; 1 Oh Burned!!!; 1 Left Brain vs Right Brain; 1 Maximo iMetal Stereo Earbuds; 1 Everglide S-500 Professional Gaming Headphones; 1 Sandisk Sansa e260 4GB Media Player; 3 Cube Memory 2GB MicroSD Card with SD Adaptor; Maxell DHP-II Digital Headphones

infallible


quality posts: 7 Private Messages infallible

Big Man, your initial skepticism was correct. I absolutely never get any extended warranty that's offered. The only thing that I'd ever consider would be a no-questions-asked, unconditional replacement insurance thing, and even then, it has to be something that I'd be planning to treat particularly abusively (as in, beyond what would be considered normal). Even then, I've never gotten one (and I've also never regretted that choice).

I heard this from Clark Howard on his show: What does an extended warranty really say? It says that a company thinks that this item you're buying is carp, and it will probably break soon. Therefore, you should pay more to cover this shoddy product.

On the whole, they're not a scam, but they are for suckers. I'm all for Woot offering it, if it means that Woot makes more money, and I get to pay less for what they sell. But, personally, it seems like a massive administrative hassle for the company. There's something very simple and direct about, "You gets what you buys, we don't cover nothin' else." (Please read that in the voice of the union construction worker from Futurama.) Does Woot really want to deal with a returns and warranty department?

But, hey, if you other suckers want to buy it, then you go right ahead. You're just making things better for me. Speaking for myself, I'll never get one from either Woot or anywhere else.

19 www.Woots / 1 tech.Woot / 1 wine.Woots / 13 shirt.Woots / 6 sellout.Woots

fiver0013


quality posts: 0 Private Messages fiver0013

A long time ago I had an HP desktop with an extended warranty from Staples. Let's just say they lost the information saying I had even purchased a warranty and it was like pulling teeth to persuade them otherwise. Then they refused to repair the problem, and it ended up a lengthy many hours on the telephone disaster (many hours on many days). I eventually "persuaded" them to abide by their obligations, but they couldn't pay me to take that coverage again. I do all my own maintenance too, but this was a serious hardware failure.

On the other hand, when I bought my Lenovo Thinkpad T43 I made sure to get a model backed for 3 years by Thinkpad (at the time standard warranty was 1 or 3 years depending on model). Considering it has been in 3+ times for moderate/serious repairs, the slight (somewhere between 5-10%) model price premium was likely worth it. I also got a slightly better notebook. Unfortunately, I had trouble with Thinkpad completing repairs promptly and one problem reappeared. It certainly saved me money and they only use overnight/2day shipping, but I don't know if I can say I'm satisfied.

When you're talking about an item less valuable than a notebook, I'd say the extended warranty is never worth it. By the time you exceed the manufacturers coverage, the item breaks, you get the 3rd party warranty to pay for the repair, and you get them to repair the item the hassle far exceeds the value of your time. You're better off just buying a newer and now less expensive product. Consider the 10-20% premium you save on an extended warranty a down payment on your next item. The new item comes with its own standard coverage too.

This service showed up on Cnet the other day, and I have to admit it looks interesting. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10005159-1.html

stewartwenger


quality posts: 0 Private Messages stewartwenger

I love extended warranties. The way I look at it I would rather have it and not use it than need it and not have it. The first purchase my wife and I made after getting married was a 32" Sony TV. Paid $700 for the TV back then. The warranty was probably $80 for a 5 year. Expensive? Yes and no. The TV went out after three years and was replaced, delivered and installed. Warranties are even cheaper now. LCD TV from wal-mart is $60.00 cheaper than many other retailers and the warranty is about $60. So for the same price as other stores I can get a LCD TV and a 3 year warranty. Why not. There is nothing more frustrating than shelling out four figures for something to have it not work in 18 months and the repair cost is more than the purchase price. Let me spend an extra $80 - $100 to ensure that doesn't happen or buy recertified and the warranty for the same price as new.

Tristis


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Tristis

I never bothered with extended warranties until I got my first laptop for college. My parents were adamant about getting a 2-year warranty on it, figuring I'd need another in 2 years.

I can't imagine my frustration (and finances!) without it. I got it through Circuit City and that summer, almost a year to date of purchase, the laptop was plugged in in my bedroom when lightning struck my corner of the house. The room surged, and besides the VCR, router, apparently UPS battery backup that the laptop was plugged in to, and the laptop died. Since the laptop was plugged into the UPS and that failed to save it, technically yes they would've had me covered up to 10k in loss/damage, but it was much quicker to just call in my Circuit City rebate and have a whole new unit shipped to me.

A few months later, the A/C adapter went, and I had a new one free of charge within 3 days. Near the end of its rough life, the battery would only hold a 45 minute charge (not the 2 hour normal) and they replaced that too.

Flash forward to my current laptop, I had a faulty memory unit, replaced free, and then the whole motherboard went dead on me, also replaced free. These extended warranties, with laptops at least, are worth every penny. I can fix components in my PC no problem, but I don't have the experience or tools to do so in a laptop.

So in short, I'm all for the extended warranties on laptops. Everything else, depends on what it is, how much it's worth, and how hard I'd be on it.

tthoma


quality posts: 2 Private Messages tthoma

I've also only bought two in my life - the first on my treadmill, since it would be something that requires in-home repair. The second on the second Sirius satellite receiver I got, as the antenna broke on the first one and they are disproportionately expensive to replace. Turns out that was a good move as the unit itself broke within about two months so I got my money back, and bought a different unit...for which I also bought the extended warranty (technically maybe that's 3 times).

mickeym88


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mickeym88

I could not agree more on Squaretrade. I have bought it many times for items on Woot (Zunes that have lasted much longer that I expected) and ebay (treo that they refunded all of my money on when it died in 90 days) Could not be happier with the way they treated me and there prices are considerably less than if you goto Bestcity or Circuitbuy. Keep the prices reasonable and offer a good reputation for turn around and I will buy them... (they would not sell me one for my roomba or scooba I bought from WOOt and the batteries failed right after the factory warranty on both...

RealifeTauren


quality posts: 0 Private Messages RealifeTauren

I also believe extended warranties to be a rip off, yet there are times when i purchase them.

Case in point: I bought a Sony Camcorder from Target, a display model with a HDD. Their warranty pricing structure is based on the purchase price of the item. As I got 40% off the purchase price for a display model, the warranty came to about $30 for 3 years.

The key to extended warranties being a rip off, is that companies charge too damned much for them, and they are designed to be a huge profit margin generating value-perceived-added item.

Warranties are a 3rd party product, and there is no reason why Woot could not offer them at a reduced mark-up compared to retailer x. Make the warranty fair and reasonably priced.

i would think that Woot could offer some other value added items with many of the items, things we may purchase anyhow. For instance, I would NEVER buy a laptop without a fan pad. So you're forcing me to the nearest box store or online retailer when I could have bought one through Woot and had it shipped with the computer.

I have seen some sites that have product related add-ons on offer when you purchase something, so Woot could do the same. Even if these items were RRP, it's still the convenience factor.

Anyhow, that's a bit more than 2 cents worth.

rgupta


quality posts: 0 Private Messages rgupta

I think that extended warranties are worth it for some very expensive products but not worth it in most cases. And, the price to pay for it must not be more than 5-8% of the cost of replacement. Extended warranties are not worth it most cases and I find that buying stuff on an AmEx card doubles the warranties for many items so there is an automatic extended warranty in that case.

I suspect that if you feel that you should buy an extended warranty, you are a) making an emotional decision based on a sales rep's high pressure sales tactic b) unsure about the quality or reliability of the product you are buying. I would step away from the warranty and/or product in either case. I did buy extended warranties for unproven technology (plasma TV a few years go) so there are some exceptions...but very few.