Are extended warranties on computers worth buying? -TM
During the holiday buying season, the “opportunity” to buy an extended warranty will likely be presented to most of us when we are at the register to pay. You will have 30 seconds to make a decision on a contract that would realistically take you 30 minutes to read through (by design).
In general, extended warranties (like insurance, playing the lottery or gambling in Las Vegas) favors the house, which is why they continue to present you with “the opportunity to protect your investment.”
Extended warranties are nothing more than another form of legal gambling, so if you don’t participate in other forms of legal gambling, you might want to abstain from this one. Just like with other forms of gambling, you will hear lots of people tell you how their extended warranty “paid off” for them and that they would do it all over again, so if you are the gambling type, make sure you do your homework.
The device you are buying and how expensive it is has a lot to do with whether you should even consider the extra coverage in the first place.
Another big red flag is when the company that is selling you the extra coverage is not the one responsible for providing the service after the sale.
Inexpensive devices or those that have few or no moving parts (like digital cameras and tablets) are the least likely to be worthwhile covering, while even complicated devices like laptop computers are still questionable because of the cost of the coverage.
Another huge consideration: What’s actually covered by the warranty? Often times, things like abuse or user-inflicted damage are not covered, but you won’t know that until you try to make a claim.
With computers, the vast majority of problems aren’t from hardware failure, (which is primarily what most extended warranties cover), it’s software or operating system problems which aren’t covered the way you would want them to be. Extended warranties on your computer that include repairing corrupted operating systems means they will wipe everything off your hard drive and reload it so it looked like it did on the day you bought it.
Imagine not knowing this and getting your computer back with nothing on it. None of your programs, data, pictures, music, videos, printer drivers, network settings and a dozen other adjustments you made over the past year to your computer will be there when you get your computer back. You get to spend the next two weeks trying to find all your program disks, restore your backups (if you even have one), reconfigure all your settings so that you can get on the Internet and print and figure out how to get all of your peripherals to talk to your computer again because none of that is “covered.”
Getting it repaired so that all of your critically important information and settings are retained is expressly not covered; if you can actually get through the fine print, you will see that your data and settings are your problem, not theirs.
If you want extended protection on a computer in the areas that are most likely to impact you, look at some form of coverage that allows you to bring your computer in whenever you want, not just when something breaks. This allows you to ensure that you get value for your money because you are in control of when the computer gets serviced, not the extended warranty company.
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Caring Crisis: Rising tide In Alzheimer’s disease leads to shortage of caregivers
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
Latest Data Doctors
- If you're still using Windows Vista, you might want to consider an upgrade
- Some questions and answers about creating a paperless home
- Lessons and tips we can all learn from 1 billion hacked Yahoo accounts
- Should I consider adding Trusteer Endpoint Protection to my computer?
- Know your options if you are suddenly hit with ransomware