Every time I go to Best Buy (when I don’t buy my stuff online from Amazon – better prices – or other online electronic outlets) and purchase a piece of equipment or item, I’m always harassed about purchasing the extended warranty.
If I buy a TV, a receiver, home theatre speakers, webcam, headphones or a computer monitor, I’m ALWAYS offered, nay, pushed to buy an extended warranty during checkout. Heck, even when I buy a video game there’s some sort of an anti-scratch disc protection plan. I always give those clerks a courteous “no” with little veiled disdain and move along. I simply take care of my stuff too carefully. Yes, I know accidents happen but I am not typically accident-prone.
Once in a blue moon I may take a chance and purchase the warranty if my gut tells me to do so. I recently purchased a Bose headset (not the pricey ones mind you) and after losing headset after headset due to faulty wires, shoddy manufacturing or my daughter’s blasted Shih Tzu (Damn you Scruffy!) who loves to eat them (he ate my 5th pair already), I decided to purchase the warranty. It’s good for two years, which is definitely the long end of any decent headphone lifecycle. I sometimes think they manufacture them poorly so that you have to keep on buying new headphones every couple of months.
Conspiracy theories aside, there are some valid reasons to purchase an extended warranty and some products are absolute musts to include them. Any kind of HDTV comes to mind or even video or DSLR cameras. A friend of mine purchased a DSLR camera from Best Buy and added the accident protection plan. While on a white water rafting trip, he got his camera all wet (duh!) and it was subsequently damaged. Best Buy not only replaced it, but he got an updated model as well. When I purchased my HDTV several years ago, I went with the manufacturer’s extended warranty. Both were sound decisions.
A computer monitor is another item that you just can’t skimp on that extra-added security. Two years ago I purchased a Westinghouse monitor (LCM 22w2) from Best Buy. It was a decent monitor at the time and an upgrade from an old clunky CRT monitor. I purchased the extended warranty when offered without a second thought. Fast-forward two years later and the warranty was set to expire. Prior to the expiration date, I received a letter reminding me to renew for another two years.
Bah! I said to myself. They’re not getting another stinking dime outta me. I beat the odds and took good care of my monitor. I guess I don’t need these warranties after all. I threw the letter away and didn’t renew.
Three scant days after the expiration date, I started to notice problems with the monitor. The buttons didn’t respond very well. Weeks later it was a hassle just turning the darn thing on. I purchased another monitor (the excellent LG LED E2350) and for a short time, I enjoyed the major advantages of having a dual monitor setup.
Alas, that pleasure was short-lived as the Westinghouse monitor started to have trouble turning on, sometimes displaying a blank screen and emitting a hardly discernable high pitch noise upon power up. Well, yesterday that monitor died a slow death and will no longer shine that light upon me. Thanks for nothing Westinghouse.
I bought another monitor to match my other LG monitor (LG LED IPS236) from Best Buy. It was $199 and a great deal. When the girl asked me if I wanted an extended warranty for it, I demurred but then thought about the dead Westinghouse monitor.
I purchased the 4-year warranty for $29.99 on the spot. I’ve learned my lesson.