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there are so many threads and posts asking: 'should I buy an extended warranty on my plasma?'


frankly I don't believe in them: the few times I used them on other purchases and had a problem, the fine print of the extended warranty made it useless


with a plasma, I assume the fine print of an extended warranty would exclude the coverage we really need: burn-in, dead pixels, etc


so the real question to be answered:


has anyone purchased an extended warranty on a plasma or LCD display, and had the need to make a claim? what was your experience?
 

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Not sure what everyone's policy is, but Ultimate Electronics stated that dead pixles are coverd under the extended warranty. Burn in is not.


I don't have a plasma so I obviously don't have an extended warranty for one, but I can share a couple stories where an extended warranty paid for itself...or where it would have.


Few years back my parents purchased a Magnavox 46" RPTV from Best Buy. The warranty stated that if the unit is defective, someone would come in-home and fix it. If it happened to break more then 3 times, on the 4th time they would replace the unit with a new one.

Well, after about 3 years, it had a defect for the 4th time. Sure enough, Best Buy gave my parents $1500.00 in store credit. After 3 years, there were able to purchase a 50" Toshiba RPTV and a microwave with the money.


Seperate instance, Ive purchased subwoofers and amps from Best Buy and bought the extended warranty. Ive blown both subs and amps, both got replaced on the spot without question after being confirmed they are not working.


Finally, I bought a cheap-o LCD monitor from Fry's Electronics about 14 months ago. I did not get the extended warranty.

About a month ago, or 13 months after purchase, it fried on me. Smoke and everything. I was out $300.00. I had to buy another montior, and you can bet this time I got the 3 year extended warranty for $25.00


So bottom line, in my opinion they are very worth it. If you think about it, most of the warranties break down to $8.00 of less per month for the life of the warranty...that's not very much.


There are also some other options, such as purchasing on a credit card. Some will extend the warranty at no charge. Or you can always buy at Costco. :) No need to purchase a warranty, and you can bring it back at any time for an exchange or refund.
 

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The Best Buy warranties can be good on carefully selected products. I have used them 3 times in the past year with new replacement products each time. Obviously not for my plasma however, which was bought elsewhere and rmians under original warranty for 1.5 years longer.
 

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I hope this thread will debunk some misimpressions about extended warranties much as a previous thread did about the burn-in bogeyman.


Information to the effect that somebody, sometime, benefitted from an extended warranty for "something" is, IMHO, pretty much beside the point. The question is, are these warranties for plasmas worth it, as indicated by reports of claims actually paid for that product. (And, BTW, there is a lot of evidence that extended warranties in general are about the biggest rip-off in the world of insurance: typically they pay 20-40% of premiums in claims, vs. 80% or so for other types of insurance, such as car or home coverage.)


I have seen several comments to the effect that people who "never buy extended warranties" make an exception in the case of plasmas because they are so expensive. However, the warranties themselves are proportionately pricey, and what you are insuring against is the cost of a repair (which will probably seldom exceed $2000 or so, even for the most costly plasma), not the original price of the unit.


Several posts have also made the point that the willingness of many credit card companies to extend plasma warranties for an additional year free of charge suggests that such an extension costs the underwriters much, much less than the $250-$300 price of such coverage if purchased separately from an insurer.


I don't know if you will find anyone who has benefitted from an extended waranty claim on a plasma; if they have, it would be interesting to know the price of the warranty and the amount reimbursed under the claim, as well as how quickly the repair was handled.
 

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I tend to agree and when I first saw the thread title, I thought: "Yes, it's paid off for the people who sell them."


The almost indisputable fact is that -- on balance -- insurance is a loser for the buyer. Now, when it's your car or your health, there is a case that it's worth it anyway. But when it's an extended warranty, it's actually hard to make the case. You will -- on balance -- lose badly every time.


Specifically, the expected value of the warranty is lower than the expected cost of repairs in the warranty period.


I concur with steuert with vehemence here.
 

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Have not purchased a plasma yet, but probably would with a plasma purchase. There a couple of reasons for this:


1. They are pretty expensive, and I am sure that any repairs in years 2-4 would be as well.


2. Most on this forum have purchased commercial models rather than consumer models because of the significant price difference when setting it on-line. With commercial models, the normal warranty generally covers carry-in repair. When I checked on the Plasma Extreme site, it clearly states that the extended warranty covers in-home repair. I know that many have said that these extended coverages only duplicate the original coverage, which would mean that it would be carry-in. But, as PE only sells commercial models, I have to believe that that statement is not true, at least for the EW's that Lisa sells.


3. On the above referenced EWs, they are only a couple of hundred dollars, not thousands. And they are for 4 years (three after the factory coverage). That comes to less than $11.00 per month. Not a bad value for the peace of mind that it would offer.


It is all a gamble. If you purchase one of these, you are "betting" that you will have a problem, and the insurance company is betting that you won't. I know that most people won't have any problems with their units. That is why steuert references the 20-40% in claims.


To quote Clint Eastwood, it all boils down to, after spending $3,000 - $7,000, "do you feel lucky?".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by steuert
I hope this thread will debunk some misimpressions about extended warranties much as a previous thread did about the burn-in bogeyman.



plasmas have been on the market for HT's since (approx ) 1999:


there should be some hard data/reports on this form of insurance to see if it benefits/protects the buyer or just the underwriter
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by markrubin
plasmas have been on the market for HT's since (approx ) 1999:


there should be some hard data/reports on this form of insurance to see if it benefits/protects the buyer or just the underwriter
If it didn't benefit the underwriter (i.e.; make a profit for the underwriter), the underwriter wouldn't underwrite them.


The question really should be: Taken as a whole, what percentage of the money collected by an underwriter for extended warranties on plasmas gets paid out to pay for repairs on plasmas under the extended warranty. There's the off-chance that the underwriter doesn't specifically track the use of their warranty coverage by product type, so they may be taking a loss on average with plasmas. If they did, then it probably would be considered that plasma extended warranties were a good deal. :)
 

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I haven't read all of the posts but I have never purchased an extended warranty on anything. If I'm going to give away money, I prefer charity to insurance organizations.


I have however occasionally purchased support contracts which INCREASE my coverage (in other words don't just EXTEND it). Examples include support contracts which guarantee 24 hour on-site service or a laptop warranty that guarantees coverage in the event of drops, spills etc.


Also, I would be very careful to get it in writing. I have found that sales people lie through their teeth when it comes to claiming what an extended warranty will cover. In fact, 20/20 or Dateline did an expose on the issue some time ago. I have a VERY hard time believing as an example that any extended warranty would cover a burnt out pixel.
 
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