Are Extended Warranty Plans Worth It?

Author    Robert Wright

My mother bought a 52in TV from Bestbuy about 4 years ago and after about 2 years the color started messing up. She had paid for the extended warranty plan since the item was an open box, they told her all they could do was give her the money back (not including money spent on tax and service plan) since the cost to repair the TV was more then what she paid for the TV.

With the money she got back she could only buy a 40in, she also had to shell out even more money to get a new entertainment center to hold it and she actually invested in the extended warranty plan again. I personally would have complained and tried to get my way.

when I bought my camera at bestbuy they told me that if I had gotten one that didn't take regular AA batteries I would get replacement batteries yearly if I had the service plan and that if ANYTHING goes wrong with it they will replace it with the most current model if they can't repair it, Which I doubt. I bought a computer from them as well and they nagged me to get the service plan, just about as much as TOL tries to get you to signup for guitar lessons from there website.

I kept saying if it brake - I will fix it myself and I kept getting a shocked look from them I guess they don't think a girl(or anyone other than the geek squad) knows much about computers. In most cases the service plan is a joke! Most times you end up never using it and that’s what they hope for.

I work for one of the large office supply dealers in the U.S. (hint: It's the one with the stadium in Florida) as a technology sales associate. I'm among the top sellers in my district (12 stores and growing) and am generally well liked.

I get the most positive comments of anyone in the district, in a district where positive comments are pretty free-flowing. For my store, the PPP's (the extended warranty) is a nice thing - its simple product replacement, no questions, on anything under 500 bucks. If I sell a 100$ printer, it’s 12$, or 12%.

You get two years - one year of in-store replacement where you get a full new printer. Then a second year of phone-in service, where you get a gift card of the full original purchase price back. I am not a commissioned sales person and I don't really get any bonus, except for money from these PPPs.

I get back 5 percent of the cost of any PPP I sell - about 60 cents in that 100$ printer (a computer the commission is about 5 dollars, while a giant laptop with screen protection plan can be 15 or 20$ all by itself). This is my only extra income in the job - and usually, its good extra. Taking home 15$ extra a week is a bad week - 40 or so is more common. For my work week, that's an extra two days’ work just for doing my job.

Yeah, I probably could make more doing contract work or fixing computers independently, but then there's the worry of transportation, and insurance, and worse to worse : if a customer comes who I simply cannot help and don't want to help, I call a manager and they deal with it.

I like my job, and honestly: the only thing I dislike are the customers who become angry at the offer of additions and PPP's. It's just my job - I don't shove things you don't need down your throat - I'm not pushing web hosting plans with your computer. I will push a power strip or a printer, though. Don't act surprised and don't act insulted. And the PPP is just an offer so you don't get stuck (our computer PPP's give tech support for the term of the contract).

Printers are the worst - Some people buy a 50$ printer, assume they're old Parallel cable will work with the 50$ printer, and then spit on you for offering some extra ink, paper, and they laugh and throw away the extended warranty, giving some line about it only being a 50$ unit (Yeah, and spending 58$ now is better than possibly spending 100$ in 14 months). And I'm not selling you crap - I don't sell crap.

I tell people when a product is crap (epson, I'm looking square at you) the extended warranty is an offer - not something to cover my butt for a bad product - but to minimize your down time if something goes wrong, which is fully possible in electronic devices with lots of moving parts like HDs, guitars, computers and printers.



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