brooklynboy


quality posts: 0 Private Messages brooklynboy

My respect for Woot will drop markedly if you offer extended warranties.
I suppose if you offer them at a reasonable price, it might be OK.

Don't do to me what happened at Staples. I was buying two 2GB USB flash keys for $12 each. They came with a two year warranty. Staples pushed pretty hard to sell me the extended warranty for $5 each. PAAAaaaAAaaaanCAAAAAKES!? 40% boost in price for a warranty that won't kick in for two years. In two years there won't be any flash keys as small as 2GB. I'll be able to buy something like a 8GB flash key for the $5 they wanted.

Loomis


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Loomis

You know, I've always said that the Woot checkout is just too simple - no pesky offers to decline, no "You might want to consider these accessories..." pop-overs to search desperately for the "No Thanks" link. After I've made a Woot purchase, I somehow feel empty and cheated - deprived of an online experience customized especially for me by the best techno-marketing minds at Harvard Business. Damn it - I want more choices than just 1, 2 or 3 for $5 shipping!

On a serious note, I can't imagine a laptop that is worth repairing after the factory warranty is up - especially if it would costs more to fix than you would have paid for your collective investment in extended warranties. Throw it away (or commit it to baggies) and get a new one with 75x the power at 1/2 the price - that's what WOOT is for. However, if you wish to subsidize lower pricing for me with extended warranty funds collected from fellow Wooters, don't let me stop you!

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
brooklynboy wrote:My respect for Woot will drop markedly if you offer extended warranties.
I suppose if you offer them at a reasonable price, it might be OK.

Don't do to me what happened at Staples. I was buying two 2GB USB flash keys for $12 each. They came with a two year warranty. Staples pushed pretty hard to sell me the extended warranty for $5 each. PAAAaaaAAaaaanCAAAAAKES!? 40% boost in price for a warranty that won't kick in for two years. In two years there won't be any flash keys as small as 2GB. I'll be able to buy something like a 8GB flash key for the $5 they wanted.


yeah, definitely insulting. though I suppose you have to chuckle at the effective subsidy it creates. if enough goofballs select to extend warranties on sub-$20 items the retailer can essentially sell them for no markup or even negative markup and still make a healthy profit. I'm sure someone is taking that into consideration when looking at their ability to offer those on sale, benefiting those sane people who avoid funding the subsidy (see link on my blog post to old NY times article on subject)

(regardless of that point, we would be far to embarrassed to annoy our members with that silly of an offer... eventually it would come back to haunt them, the NY Times article does not figure in the acceleration in consumer training collaborative shoppers obtain)

wootvan


quality posts: 63 Private Messages wootvan

I suggest the "reduced risk" extended warrantee. If, for example, a two year extended warranty costs $100 and you do not use it, you get a $50 Woot credit at the end of two years.

pbull


quality posts: 1 Private Messages pbull

I would almost never pony up for an extended warranty, with one exception. Apple has proven to me on multiple occasions that their Applecare is worth the price.

I used to administer a lab of Macs at a community media center. They held up pretty well, considering they were used by the public with minimal supervision, but there were several times they needed to go in for repair, and Apple was always good about fixing them under warranty, with fast turnaround. Same with a Powerbook I brought in with a frayed connector on the power supply -- they replaced the power supply on the spot, no questions asked.

But, without a good track record to back them up, I tend to have very little faith that an extended warranty will be there for me when I need it. Call me cynical, but I expect most companies to try to weasel their way out of covering them.

heffer


quality posts: 3 Private Messages heffer

I honestly don't know if I'm speaking for your average consumer or just for myself, but I feel that the woot audience is a good bit more technically savvy than the average consumer.

Like I bought a laptop from woot earlier this year, and apparently my foot decided it would look better kicked off the coffee table onto the ground. This resulted in a corrupt hard drive. Joe Schmoe would like a warranty in this case, but for me I'm quite comfortable replacing the hard drive myself, and doing data recovery off of whats still on there.

I'm not saying that every Wooter would be capable of full self-service electronics maintenance, but I still expect that the spectrum of buyers trends towards the DIYer and technically savvy. Hell, it takes a good head on your shoulders just to plan ahead for gizmo purchases rather than impulse buying from a big box store.

That being said, I'd be down for warranties on fragile things that I have no hope of fixing. For instance, I've had bad luck with my Sansa purchases, and knowing what I know now I would get an extended warranty. Luckily I have been within the Woot warranty window when having trouble and have been treated very well by your staff.

So things like MP3 players, slingbox, maybe vacuum cleaners. Stuff I have a vested interest in keeping around for a while. Not things like USB drives, toys, what have you, that I will either be bored of or have it totally outpaced by modern technology by the time it breaks.

So in conclusion, I dunno. Ups and downs either way.

wfbberzerker


quality posts: 0 Private Messages wfbberzerker

I would, in theory, be in favor of extended warranties if they were reasonably priced. However, in the case of items that are refurbs (for example), the amount of money you might save vs. another retailer (or purchasing the item new) would be offset by the cost of the extended warranty. And, in that case, all you would be gaining would be a warranty that was comparable to one for a new item.

edthebedhead


quality posts: 4 Private Messages edthebedhead
Snapster wrote: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?



I think i'd rather have the option to add each time I purchase an item. So perhaps this info would be stored (via a checkbox a la my shipping address) for fast buying in wootoff's etc, but I'd still have the option to change w/o too much hassle during a purchase.

my .02 cents

edthebedhead


quality posts: 4 Private Messages edthebedhead
zandperl wrote: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.



Another interesting observation:

I won't buy an Apple w/o an extended warranty or "apple care" because my experience has shown them to be quite unreliable.
That said, each person will have a different view on the same issue.

boo hoo nads


quality posts: 0 Private Messages boo hoo nads

I'm against the extended warranty idea, First off I come to woot for a bargain, knowing I'm trading price for what could be an item that lasts a year or 2. If it lasts longer (Toshiba DVD refurbished, that I got that I was sure was only gonna last a week - the condition it came in) then I feel I really beat the man... selling a warranty sets an expectation of the customer that you do not trust the item will last.
Secondly these warranties would not even be offered if someone did not make a lot of money off them. So to me for you to have you 'sell' me an extended warranty would diminish the value of visiting woot beacuse you are getting greedy (profit).
Thirdly the credit card double warranty program covers me for any issues I would expect to see.
Fourthly you are allowing a 3rd party to possibly diminish your reputation in customers minds. I work in retail sales for a major cell phone company. people DO NOT read the details for insurance or warranties and think that when they do something stupid and mess up their item they are covered. Most don't even realize it is a third party that is covering the items. Again the warranty companies will look for a bunch of reasons to deny the claim, this increases profit. So then the customer gets declined and gets all upset at the company that sold them the insurance (or warranty.) even though it is completely the customers fault.

I'm sure there are plenty of success stories of people who have benefited from extended warranties, I am not one of them. I possibly can be burnt out from seeing some of my customers denied time after time (sometimes for legitimate reasons) and the effects of that. In my opinion it is not worth it for woot to get in on the warranty game, just refer people to square trade or whom ever but draw the line and clearly indicate you are not linked to them. maybe a link in the post sale email would be cool but anything more in my mind would be pushing it to me.

edthebedhead


quality posts: 4 Private Messages edthebedhead
Snapster wrote: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.



I have also skipped some woot's (typically tv's) b/c I'd rather go to costco and get a longer warranty. This is because the cost of a TV (new or refurbished) is high enough for me to be risk averse (i'm a student). However, I'll buy leak frogs all day and figure that the cost is low enough to accommodate the potential risk.

I do like the feeling/atmosphere/culture of woot which is all about getting a deal. While there could be an option to have a warranty, I think that I'd leave woot.com's without a warranty program. (I'm also not looking at woot's economics). you are running a business, and it is quite possible you'd make a pretty penny with a warranty program. (but so would the 3rd party company - and risking woot's reputation as noted in the previous post.)

wfbberzerker


quality posts: 0 Private Messages wfbberzerker

Additionally, you cannot put forth the idea of an extended warranty and expect us to believe its a service to the customers. Plain and simple, the only reason you would offer an extended warranty for purchase would be to make money. If you truly wanted to offer an extended warranty that wasn't supposed to be a money-making scheme, you would just increase the warranty period of the original product.

edthebedhead


quality posts: 4 Private Messages edthebedhead
wfbberzerker wrote:Additionally, you cannot put forth the idea of an extended warranty and expect us to believe its a service to the customers. Plain and simple, the only reason you would offer an extended warranty for purchase would be to make money. If you truly wanted to offer an extended warranty that wasn't supposed to be a money-making scheme, you would just increase the warranty period of the original product.



Perhaps you feel this way, but others (those who subsidize your wooting) would feel as though it was a beneficial service.

Weeheavy


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Weeheavy

I've recently gotten a few warranties with http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/

They are priced right and have good benefits and guarantees. I think a partnership would be awesome, they already have ones with ebay sellers.

PabloPalmeri6837


quality posts: 2 Private Messages PabloPalmeri6837

If you offer make sure the default is set to no extended warrenty. I'd never buy one, nor do I want to have to toggle it off when I'm buying items during a wootoff :-D

munboy


quality posts: 0 Private Messages munboy

I buy squaretrade warranties frequently. Squaretrade guarantees they will fix it in 5 days or refund purchase price. I have started to purchase the accidental damage, too. I just bought a 3yr warranty with ADP for my new laptop. I broke my last laptop by pouring a glass of water in the keyboard, so the accidental damage protection will be most helpful.

Plus, I figure 2.5 years it might fall out of a window of my car while going down I-90 and then I will get my $500 back...

No advertamatising, please.

Toadlet


quality posts: 8 Private Messages Toadlet
edthebedhead wrote:I'll buy leak frogs all day


Coming soon to a Sell-Off near you!

But seriously, here's my experience with extended warranties. I once worked for one of the aforementioned retailers and was always missing my warranty sales quotas, possibly because I refused to lie about what they covered, unlike a few of my co-workers. I think I was also just uninterested in the warranties in general due the way they provided coverage. I bought a few of them back then, but mostly just to boost my own numbers. For the most part, I can't seem to justify the cost for the coverage provided, especialy due to the ever-common credit card benefits.

The two cases where I was seriously interested in them and purchased them were for a used car and a new laptop. In the case of the car, the warranty covered an otherwise uncovered vehicle with an unknown history for several repairs, less a $50 deductible each time. For the laptop, I opted for an extension plus accidental damage protection, which has only recently been utilized for a 17" screen repair/replacement (warranty) and power adapter replacement (accidental). In both cases, the coverage was purchased from and provided directly by the manufacturer's existing network. Nothing out of the ordinary, no third party, just better coverage.

Given my history, I might consider an extended warranty on a refurbished item of high value if the price was right and the coverage was adequate. If it were a new item, I'd give the manufacturer's extension options greater weight. Anything below a certain arbitrary and flexible price I only expect to last as long as its sale warranty.

I appear to be melting.

nuclearsidewalk


quality posts: 0 Private Messages nuclearsidewalk

If it's an Apple notebook, yes.

Still a decent bet otherwise. Seems they're more prone to wacky junk happening inside.

ArtWorksMetal


quality posts: 5 Private Messages ArtWorksMetal

Stick to your gut feeling:

"Extended Warranties are for suckers."

Also, for those that shop at Radio Shack.

If offering EW's gives you an additional revenue stream without having to add overhead, the it certainly makes business sense from that narrow perspective. But from the (savvy) buyers' perspective, it ...don't laugh... cheapens your image.

Asceticism is for those that can't afford Hedonism.

gcason


quality posts: 1 Private Messages gcason

If extended warranties were good for the consumer, no one would sell them.

They are STRICTLY for suckers.

A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met a miserly wine lover. -Clifton Paul Fadiman

ashbee


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ashbee

Warranties= GOOD THING.

I am, at this moment, reaping the benefits of an extended warranty. Essentially I bought a laptop for 1100 bucks two years ago that i took abroad to go to school. It truly got beaten up and need repairs last summer and again this summer. This time I sent the computer in and the warranty company said the repairs are uneconomical. SO.. they are sending me a refund check for the FULL AMOUNT.

Worth it or not? You tell me.

caffeine_dude


quality posts: 13 Private Messages caffeine_dude
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




I agree somewhat, my wife and I purchased a Duet washer and dryer, $2400 ish. When filling out the paper work the sale person said that it has a manufacture warranty of 1 year, i said for a $2400 product??? I said then I will take the 3 year extended warranty. Of course we had problems, some were covered under manufacture warranty some were covered under extended warranty. More problems led us to request a replacement (per contract of the extended warranty). Both companies wanted the other to replace the set. I luckily was reading some legal text books and started siting specific laws that protected the consumer. I did get the new set and have had no problems with it. It was a very, very bad experience and both companies should be ashamed of themselves as I believe that they should have fought with each other not through me with which company was to replace the set.

I send pictures, called service companies who claimed that they had no authority to give me a list of times they visited my house and give me details on what they repaired. Water on my, then carpeted laundry room.

So there you have it the good and bad in extended warranties in one story.

Please don't delete this post, I am trying, honest!

Mateo1041


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Mateo1041

Not worth it. You guys realize this is just another revenue stream for vendors, right? Especially when they offer a warranty for everything under the sun these days. Just plain stupid.

I've probably saved $1,000 already by NOT being sucked into these, and so far that's money still in my pocket.

9/7/2006, Saitek Eclipse II Illuminated Keyboard - $35.99 - It's USB, the keys aren't messed with, and it lights up!
11/17/2007, 2 Miniature Express Train Set - $9.98

stewartwenger


quality posts: 0 Private Messages stewartwenger

It seems as though many in this discussion are upset if the warranty company makes more money than it shells out for warranty claims. The electronics retailers are selling the items we buy for more than they paid for them. It is called profit. To say that people that prefer to have an additional period under which the item will be repaired or replaced and are willing to pay a little more are "suckers" or "fools" is probably a bit short sighted. I have AAA, not because I am anticipating a tow, but because of the mental relief it offers me. For some reason, with extended warranties and health insurance, people feel like they have been ripped off if they didn't use it. Fortunately that sentiment hasn't translated into life insurance yet. I would hate to see what someone would do, hell bent on getting their "money's worth" out of that.

Refefer


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Refefer

Warranties aren't for the faint of heart, especially when dealing with laptops. After purchasing a new laptop and getting a refresher on how much it would cost for a 3 year extended warranty, not even including "I fudged it up" protection, it was just shy of $400. $400!!!

Always remember, a company never offers anything that will lose them money in the long run. If the expected value after factoring in costs of repair, parts, and personnel is not in the positive for them, it's not worth their investment.

How does that translate into advice for the consumer? Usually that it can be fixed for less than the price of the warranty and if you're at least marginally competent with computers and operating system reinstalls, the number of "problems" drops dramatically.

Lord of the Rant

ausbun


quality posts: 2 Private Messages ausbun

The last time I bought a printer, about four years ago, I went against Conventional Wisdom and bought an extended warranty. I think it was $20 for two additional years on an Epson that cost $100. I did this because my previous experience was that no printer I ever owned lasted three years. Sure enough, after two years, it broke. I took it back to Best Buy and came home with a new all-in-one for $5 more. I also invested $10 in a printer chip resetter that fools the Epson software into continuing printing on cartridges that aren't empty. It's still working, and when it goes, replacing it will barely cost as much as a new set of cartridges. I don't know if an extended warranty will be worth it the next time. I guess it depends on how much it costs, which is the point of this entire discussion.
I agree with the Consumer Reports (can I say that?) recommendation on laptop extended warranties, especially if you're the road warrior type. I think someone could make money on a data-recovery warranty, too.

ArtWorksMetal


quality posts: 5 Private Messages ArtWorksMetal
stewartwenger wrote: I have AAA, not because I am anticipating a tow, but because of the mental relief it offers me. For some reason, with extended warranties and health insurance, people feel like they have been ripped off if they didn't use it.



I agree with you on the service AAA provides, although the analogy is not quite the same. Tire and battery warranties do you no good when you're stranded.
I think you are misunderstanding the attitude of Woot consumers, as well as trying to talk down to us.
We all do cost benefit analysis of purchases, albeit sometimes badly, or using strange criteria for the benefit. But the general consensus on extended warranties is that they're a ripoff not because they don't get used, they're a ripoff because they are outrageously priced.
My House is insured for over $500,000, for a mere $520 a year.
If Extended Warranties cost $1 or $2 per thousand, we would buy them every time.

Asceticism is for those that can't afford Hedonism.

dmbsituation


quality posts: 0 Private Messages dmbsituation

After working in retail for roughly 8 years, I can tell you that warranties add profit margin, but that doesn't mean they lower the cost. It's completely up to the retail chain and I've never seen a retail chain lower the profit on an item in hopes that adding an extended warranty option will sell.

That being said, I think offering extended warranties are a no-brainer. For people that want them, they'll buy them. For people that don't want them, they'll pass on the purchase. But I've personally been in the situation where I've seen a decent deal on here for a respiffied, but passed because I always buy extended warranties on refurbs. Sure, I end up paying the price of the item new, but I get 3 years of coverage. The new item typically offers only 1 year.

I'd say pricing wise, a warranty should be around 10% or less of the price of the item. I've always had great service with any extended warranty I've purchased and used. But as others have stated, that really depends on the company that's doing the under-writing.

After reading comments about sales people lying about the coverage and later the customer finding out otherwise, I have to bring up something. I've been a manager in retail and seen how changes in warranty can play out. There are 2 options when an under-writer says they're taking too big of a hit:

Option 1: The policy is changed for all future purchases and extended plan brochures are changed.

Option 2: The policy is changed and the changes are RETROACTIVE for all previous warranty purchases.

I was extremely pi$$ed when a retailer I worked for did a retroactive policy change. It practically made my sales people liars to anyone that uses the warranty assuming they would be treated how the plan was originally sold. Very shady.

That being said, I'd offer them in a very simple manner that sleak and quick. If it's overly dramatic and takes up more time for people who aren't interested, then it's a hassle.

laytham


quality posts: 1 Private Messages laytham

I've nothing to say that's not been said before, basically, but I'll add to those opinions.

My problems with extended warranties are such:

1. My initial reaction to extended warranties when they first became all the rage was, "If I'm paying XXXX dollars for this then I expect it to last longer than XXXX days." That logic still holds for me. I basically feel like the retailer is telling me they don't trust the longevity of the product. It's worse when the salesperson gets conspiratorial with you, like "You'll probably want this, because....." So you're selling me a faulty product?

2. I've never bought an extended warranty, but my parents and my in-laws have. For my parents, it was on a used car, and they had all sorts of problems getting them to honor the warranty for a nagging problem with the car. For my in-laws it was on an HDTV (don't remember the brand). They live in the boonies and it took an act of Congress to get a technician to come and look at it (we're talking months, and numerous phone calls). These seem like typical horror stories.

3. I understand it's insurance and the company is in it to make money -- I just don't have to let them make money off of me. And it seems like nothing more than a money-making scheme when they're offering extended warranties on products that cost less than $50, which is what many places are doing now. Even if I'm just paying $5 for that warranty, that's not a smart investment.

4. Often the problem (I believe) is that you've got salespeople pushed to sell them and they either don't know the fine print of the agreement or don't care what it is. Listen, if the product is something like a TV that needs a new bulb each year, and it costs, say, $100 dollars to do it, do you really think the warranty company is going to cover that for three years on a $300 warranty?

5. As many others have pointed out, usually these are extended warranties, generally past the first year. I want to be covered in the event of DOA or short life span (certainly less than a year). After a year, I figure I'm on my own; if a certain brand fails after 18 months, I won't be buying that brand again.

Despite all those problems I have with extended warranties (like Snapster said he was, I'm pretty hard core against them and believe they're for suckers), there are instances where my stance would soften. Primarily, I have no problem with Woot! or any other online retailer offering an extended warranty. One of the reasons many of us shop online is so we don't have to deal with annoying salespeople -- I'll do my own research from other consumers, instead of listening to the salesperson -- so a checkbox or even extra screen is not going to cause me to cancel the sale (you could always make it like shopping in a store, and after you check "No, thanks" on the warranty, bring up a second page that says, "Are you sure? Because.....").

I can see me buying an extended warranty in one case: a respiffied product. In this case, the addition of the extended warranty to the discount for the respiffied could make sense. Case in point: I bought my wife a respiffied pressure-cooker for Christmas online from a place that, well, sells overstocks.... their return policy was only 30 days, so by the time she opened it for Christmas we were already nearly out of the warranty. Sure enough, it lasted only five or so times. I learned my lesson on that one; but I might be willing to try something like that again if it had a reasonably priced extended warranty offered.

As someone else mentioned, Woot! shoppers are generally tech-savvy and/or bargain-hunters, two classes of people unlikely to buy extended warranties. But an unobtrusive offer to buy one wouldn't bother me. I would trust that Woot! would use a reputable warranty service, and it's easier to read over the terms sitting at your computer rather than standing at a retail counter with five people in line behind you.

wmdrummond


quality posts: 0 Private Messages wmdrummond

Hi Matt,

Like you, I too, espouse extended warranties. In most cases, you will never make use of it. The times that you do use one, you wonder if the couple of hundred dollars was worth the sanity you forfeited while dealing with the warranty company.

A few years back I “took over” the payments on a vehicle that my best friend purchased through a car dealership. He bought the vehicle in almost-new conditions and I helped him get an awesome deal. Imagine my shock when he called later to tell me he loved the new car and had peace-of-mind because he purchased an extended warranty. Rather than give him a piece of my mind, I just smiled and congratulated him on his new (to him) vehicle.

Once I took possession of the vehicle from him a little over a year later, I had to take it into the local dealership for a repair covered under the warranty. My friend spent over a grand on this extended warranty. With me being the first to use it, I paid a $50 deductible and the warranty company paid the other $30. The next time I took the vehicle in for service under the warranty, at least in my opinion, the dealership claimed that the warranty did not cover the problem. One may ask, “What sort of problem did not fall under the extended warranty?” The answer, one of the pistons developed a hairline crack and eventually ruined the entire engine. So, here I am with a vehicle that is less than 3 years old, an extended warranty that cost over a grand, and an engine only good as an anchor – environmental concerns notwithstanding. Yes, I called customer service, and because the manufacturer issued the policy, the office of the president for the vehicle’s manufacturer. I wrote letters, I filed consumer complaints, and, yes, I raised hell. In the end, I purchased a used engine, paid to ship it to a local shop, and had it installed all at my expense. I should point out that the expense totaled more than the cost of the extended warranty. Alas, the old adage about a woman scorned, forget that one, or rewrite it to say, “Hell hath no fury like a smartass pissed.” Do you remember that first little repair I talked about earlier? Well, under the terms of the warranty, if the repair needs repair, or the part needs replacing again, there is no additional $50 deductible. Since the list of problems for the dealership to repair during that first visit included some rattles and squeaks, the service department soon learned that it might have been in their best interest not to duck their end of the bargain.

Like you, I have gone through my share of notebook computers. I purchased a Hitachi P133T many years ago at a bargain price of just under $5K. I wish I had forked over the extra $200 for the extended warranty since the monitor died two months after the end of the manufacturer’s three-year warranty. Rather than fork over nearly $2000 for a repair, I bought another notebook along with the extended warranty. That warranty came in handy just before it expired, saving me a lot more than the cost of the warranty. A few notebook computer purchases later and I continue to purchase extended warranties with them. Unfortunately, very few of the warranties have manufacturers backing them. Currently, my “main” notebook computer is away for repairs under the warranty. This is the second trip for the same problem in the past couple of months. The repair is for the video card, which I could purchase for about $400 and install myself. With top-end notebooks beginning to have user-serviceable parts, my days of purchasing extended warranties may be ending. If you have the skills necessary to remove a few dozen screws of varying sizes, and if you can remember where they go, replacing components in some notebook computers is possible. Quite a few notebook computers experience problems with the power jack. Over time, the process of connecting and disconnecting the cable causes the solder on the pins to break. If you possess even the most rudimentary soldering skills, making that repair yourself is possible – even if replacing the jack becomes necessary.

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing an extended warranty is if that extended warranty EXTENDS that of the manufacturer’s. Nothing is worse than purchasing a 3-year extended warranty only to find out that it expires two years after the manufacturer’s warranty. The semantics alone seem intentionally misleading, making one think that they have 4 years of worry free ownership. After all, when you extend something, you make it longer than normal. Also, keep in mind that nearly all credit card purchases have some kind of extended warranty as a benefit for using the card. Before basing your decision about an extended warranty on that, make sure you read the fine print to ensure that coverage applies to the item you intend to purchase.

I read the same article you read in that consumer magazine. At the time, I tended to agree with the advice. In many cases, I still agree. Large screen TV’s, some notebook computers, and one or two other high-end products may need the benefit of an extended warranty. Washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, garbage disposals, cell phones, music players, etc., have no need of such a waste of money. Most of those seldom need service, or the cost of the service needed during the contract period is less than the cost of the extended warranty. Use that consumer magazine to research the brand’s reputation and their data about how often that brand requires servicing.

Decide on the advisability of an extended warranty before you make your purchase. Do not cave into high-pressure sales pitches that try to convince you to purchase the extended warranty: the pressure exists because the merchant gets a cut of the money for selling the policy. When the sales person first mentions an extended warranty, politely, but firmly, tell them you have no interest. If they mention it again, be firm and not so polite, in order for them to hear your message clearly.


Woot On,


Will


P.S. By the way, if you experience problems with a notebook computer and can access the web, visit notebookforums.com to see if anyone else has the same problem. You may find an easy fix from other owners. (I am a member of the forum; however, I am in no way affiliated with the business that hosts the forum.)

phbigred


quality posts: 0 Private Messages phbigred

I'm for and against. I've had to use extended warranties for vehicles and some electronics. With laptops I believe in giving the option as long as the warranty gives the option of accidental damage as an add-on. I've seen so many computers broken by users carelessness. "Oh my water glass spilled on it, it's okay right" is my favorite. Maybe using a company like Squaretrade may be an option for Woot. I've used them before and the prices are pretty reasonable. Even if an item is refurbed you can still get a year warranty. Just my 2 cents.

j-o-h-n


quality posts: 4 Private Messages j-o-h-n

I never, ever, buy an extended warranty.
Of course, I'm an engineer and capable of fixing most anything worth fixing.
My truck is a '98, my car is an '87 and the one before that was a '72, for example.

Higher prices AND crappier blanks, no thank you

soliver


quality posts: 27 Private Messages soliver

I think that offering the warranty is fine and if someone wants to purchase it then fine. I word of caution is that unlike the salesman who sold you the warranty, Woot will still be here when it needs to be used. I am sure that any and all complaints about warranty service will make it to you, regardless whether or not you can do anything about it. Whoever you choose to partner with for these warranties will need to carry the full faith of Woot.

Rainbowelp


quality posts: 1 Private Messages Rainbowelp
Snapster wrote:SquareTrade is a partner under consideration. I welcome other opinion on their reputation.



I just bought a refurbed iPod and the SquareTrade warranty was so inexpensive I couldn't afford to pass it up. The eBay seller (WeRiPods) solicited the deal and I picked it up after they offered a good discount a few days after product delivery.

If I'd done the same thing with every single product I've gotten made by iRobot (2 Roombas and 1 Scooba) I'd be in a lot better shape than I am at the moment.

I checked around and after doing a Google on Square Trade could find absolutely no negatives on what they do and how they do it. I especially like the fact they'll do a warranty on most anything including refurbs without a second thought.

davidfawcett


quality posts: 0 Private Messages davidfawcett

Do heed this suggestion, I beg of you. I'd hate to hate Woot! I purchased a cel phone at Best Buy based on their assurances that with the extended warranty, I could walk in and they would fix it or hand me a new one on the spot (my cel is essential for my work). I even went to the store manager to verify the terms of the warranty, they were very proud of it.

Six months later it breaks, I bring it in, and all has changed. Not only do they keep it for a week or two, but the warranty doesn't kick in until AFTER the manufacturer's warranty ends. I went all the way up corporate on this, they say they have the right to change extended warranties any time without notice. Needless to say I nor my loved ones shop there EVER.

The point of this story is that YOUR reputation will ride on these warranties, so I would suggest you go with a reputable and reliable company, even if more expensive, because the calls and reputation hit will be going to your door. I might buy one now and then, but if I do I want one that WORKS. Your daily products don't always claim to be first rate, and we understand that, but this product will be YOU and your WORD.

MISMan


quality posts: 0 Private Messages MISMan

I personally agree that warranties are worthless FOR ME - but I 100% agree that you should MAKE THEM AVAILABLE AS AN OPTION - DO NOT FORCE THE MEMBERS TO BUY. I am Charter Member #3 - the 3rd customer you have had and I have dropped nearly $100K with you since you opened (I am OK with that - just letting you know how much I buy) and I almost always pitch something if it breaks beyond repair. I am comfortable going and buy a replacement LCD, motherboard, HD, RAM, or whatever for a notebook, but I know that 97% of the public is not and would be scared to do it (though it is insanely easy). My limited experience with extended warranties have been negative - take so long to get returned you end up buying a replacement anyways (that is why I do it myself) but I hope you can make some $$$ by selling warranties - and are subsequently able to offer more items / lower prices. I would hate to see you start to give discounts ONLY if you bought a warranty - that would be kind of unfair. Your business model has been stolen by many companies out there and several offer extended warranties. YOu might consider doing the warranties yourself and have it underwritten. Keep a % of your products for parts / repacements. The Math is in the favor of the insurer. Heck, I'll run your facility (I live in Kansas City - so you can have a triangle of business locations llo).

MISMan


quality posts: 0 Private Messages MISMan

I don't mean to be rude - but you got suckered. How could anyone rationally think that Best Buy would be able to FIX SOMETHING WALK-IN REGARDLESS OF THE PROBLEM. That is not even feasible. There is no way they could have all the parts and all the software needed to repair everything in each retail location.

I also disagree that it is Woot's name on the line. Unless Woot does it themself - it would be CLEAR THAT IT IS AN AFTERMARKET WARRANTY and BUYING IT MEANS YOU AGREE WITH THE TERMS. So, are you saying that you would pass up deals if this third party does not satisfy you? That is saying Woot's Reputations is hurt everytime UPS loses a package they shipped, or is damaged, EVEN THOUGH UPS PAYS FOR A REPLACEMENT. People are smart enough to know who is who. Best Buy has a bad reputation because of HOW THEY SELL IT - they LIED to you and therein is where their reputation is hurt, NOT THE FACT THAT THEY OFFERED ONE. Just my opinion - and it vacuums that Best Buy Lied to you - but get used to it. Don't believe anything people tell you unless you see it in their Legalese (Black & White in the contract) because at the end of the day - their responsibility is in the Terms and Conditions of the ACTUAL CONTRACT. I HATE Best Buy too - I have not bought anything there in YEARS. I can find EVERYTHING cheaper, and get it nearly as fast online (heck, I have been an Amazon Prime Member since they started it - I hardly leave my house and I have saved so much money (and spent a lot - I think I had my accountant check and it was almost $700K in the last 4 years but it kept me from buying it locally.

davidfawcett wrote:Do heed this suggestion, I beg of you. I'd hate to hate Woot! I purchased a cel phone at Best Buy based on their assurances that with the extended warranty, I could walk in and they would fix it or hand me a new one on the spot (my cel is essential for my work). I even went to the store manager to verify the terms of the warranty, they were very proud of it.

Six months later it breaks, I bring it in, and all has changed. Not only do they keep it for a week or two, but the warranty doesn't kick in until AFTER the manufacturer's warranty ends. I went all the way up corporate on this, they say they have the right to change extended warranties any time without notice. Needless to say I nor my loved ones shop there EVER.

The point of this story is that YOUR reputation will ride on these warranties, so I would suggest you go with a reputable and reliable company, even if more expensive, because the calls and reputation hit will be going to your door. I might buy one now and then, but if I do I want one that WORKS. Your daily products don't always claim to be first rate, and we understand that, but this product will be YOU and your WORD.



gdinero


quality posts: 1 Private Messages gdinero

I've had overwhelmingly positive results from extended warranties:
(1) From Best Buy - and I have no idea how the dude above had such problems - I purchased a 3 year extended warranty on my first cell phone in 1999. It came with an automatic new battery each year - nice touch. After two years, the flip on my phone broke. The way the warranty works - you bring in the phone, Best Buy verifies it's broken, and they give you full purchase price credit toward a new phone. I got a phone that cost less than my original, and a $75 gift card credit.
(2) With my $75 credit above, I purchased a Playstation 2, and an extended warranty for that. Within the ex warranty period, my PS2 bricked... I had to mail it in this time... 2 weeks later I had credit for my full purchase price. But, the price of the PS2 had gone down by $100 ... so again, had a store credit to use even after getting a brand new PS2.
(3) purchased an extended warranty for my ford mustang... and boy did that pay off for me.

All of the above said, I really don't buy these things very much. It's been 4 years since the last time i purchased an extended warranty. I tend to buy them when my gut feeling is I'll need it and/or - as in the case of the cell phone from best buy - if it's battery operated and free replacement batteries are offered... that's cool.

For Woot... I would never ever purchase a refurbished battery operated device where the battery is not user replaceable (like a BT headset). But if you offered a no hassle ext warranty ... i'd probably consider it.

For Woot #2: I have never seen this next concept... but it sure would be cool to sell a blanket extended warranty policy that provided limited coverage for ALL woot purchases... kinda like the Amazon Prime of warranties.

skyedog


quality posts: 0 Private Messages skyedog

I did once purchase a notebook extended warrenty. When I had a problem, I brought the notebook to the big bo store where it was purchased. No problem, they would fix it up, take about three weeks!

I bought it over to a private computer tech firm and it was fixed in two hours for less than the cost for a good lunch for two at the local diner.

On the other hand, I got a vacuum cleaner with an EW that went bad. Brought i to the store and they told just to pick out another one.

Lesson learned, if purchasing an extention find out the repair interval and what fix or replace exactly means.

rmeden


quality posts: 14 Private Messages rmeden

Like most wooters (it appears). I seldom buy extended warranties.

However, Woot often sells refurbished items, and items from unknown manufacturers with very short warranty.

Case in point.. My Mother-in-law just had her 32" TV die. (RCA 14 months into a 12 month warranty). Estimates to repair are about $250. We're leaning towards a new set... Google searches show that model has lots of problems.

Woot just offered a respiffied 32" LCD for $400. It only had a 90 day warranty. Not enough. If an extended warranty was offered we may have bought the set.

We're leaning towards a $500 set from Worst-Buy... for $50 it's covered for 4 years. That will make my mother-in-law feel safe.

Robert