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April 26, 2006

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I never buy the extended warranty based on the principle of the matter. I remember when warranties were free and represented the company's good faith promise to deliver a quality product. In the last few years the general quality of most products has plummeted. I don't feel I should have to pay extra for an inferior product.

Extended warranty is basically insurance against having to pay repair costs. The person selling you this insurance has to make money on it (otherwise they wouldn't sell it), so on average, they take in more money in insurance premiums than they pay out in warranty repair costs. All the consumer reports studies do is confirm this economic fact. So if the average service call for your treadmill costs $150, and you pay $75 for a 2-year extended warranty, the odds are less than 1 in 2 that you will ever need to use the warranty.

I think the main argument for getting an extended warranty is that you might not be able to afford the repairs. If your laptop goes up in smoke a week after its warranty expires, would you be able to pay for a replacement? If not, the extended warranty may be for you. But in the long run, having an emergency fund to take care of these kind of unexpected repairs is better financially than paying someone else for laptop insurance.

A few years back my husband bought me an expensive computer monitor and got the extended warranty. Believe it or not, within one week of the expiration of the extension my monitor stopped working. I called the warranty company, they sent me a label to send the monitor back, and they sent me a check for the entire purchase price. I couldn't believe it - something that finally worked as advertised!

The mention of an eliptical trainer hit home. We bought an eliptical trainer from Sears and bought a five-year extended warranty on it. This turned out to be a good thing, because the shaft on which the flywheel turns broke -- twice -- and the whole machine had to be replaced -- twice. We saved beaucoup bucks on that deal. The warranty also includes having a repair person come out once a year and do a tune-up on the machine. Thank you, Sears!

I reckon the reason they can still make money on a warranty is that most folks who buy a strider with the best of intentions end up letting the thing collect dust after a couple of weeks. Ours, however, gets frequent use when the weather doesn't permit walking.

So how about jewelry? You go to these places and buy such an expensive peice of jewelery how can you pass up the warranty? Plus on the white gold they tell you it will turn yellow in a few years and if you buy the warranty they will replate it for you. Ugh... Such a hard decision that I am still throwing around..

Good advice. I've never purchased an extended warranty. Luckily, I've never had to regret that.

Although warranties should always come with any product being sold, I believe that manufacturers shouldn't have to offer "extended warranties". There's just too many factors involved that can make any product break down.

I've worked in Customer Service for over 5 years and I've seen products fail within a couple of days of purchase as well as a little over 30 days. Most businesses only offer a 14 or 30 day exchange/return policy. They offer that extended warranty to assure that you won't have to deal with the issues with contacting the manufacture and their outrageous prices. I believe in warranties not because I sell them but because of things I've witness. You are taking a risk when you purchase a high priced item or an item that is make with complex parts that can cost a lot of money. Do some research on manufactures and see how much they charge when you have a manufacture defect within the first year and you will regret not getting that extended warranty through that company.

Simply put EVERYTHING you buy seems to have a warranty on it or the place offers a Warrenty for extra money. My philosophy is very simple, Be your own insurance carrier. If I paid for the insurance on everything they asked me to, I would be broke and they would be rich. Take a small bit of advie. I have a separate online bank account in which I saved 2k in. this account sits there and gains interest. It is my warranty account. When something breaks, I take the money out of that account and pay for it to be fixed or replaced. This way I get to choose who fixes and if I need a replacement. I then replenish the account after I use gradually again until it reaches 2k. If everyone did this there would be no problems. One day when I bought 3k LCD projection 5 years ago adn they wanted $450 for a warranty, I thought, why not save that in my own account and add to it and if something happens I can either replace or fix. Well I have no regret and after 5 years of having this account I only EVER took 200 dollars out of to replace the projection light on the TV, which still is sitting in the box waiting for the orginal to fail. So overall, I have saved all that money and have never once replaced anything. (Knock on wood).

Thought that I might chime in in this topic. Being in retail this is common conversation I have with customers. I sell high end fitness equipment so I will speak to that and equipment that may be under the same type of stress.
If you purchase any piece of equipment that takes a pounding and is in constant use, that you expect to perform for years. I think its well worth the purchase, I have seen what goes in to the build of some of these machines and even the best of them are subject to fail. Ask your salesman to cut you a deal and that you will consider the warranty purchase. Every company pushes warranty sales but any product under constant abuse warranty worth consideration.

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