Extended Warranties

Wednesday, August 11th, 2004 @ 10:27 pm | Gadgets

I’m not the biggest fan of extended warranties, but sometimes they pay off. Oddly enough, I’ve had some of the best experiences with Best Buy, even though their name seems like an oxymoron at times.

Over the years, I’ve replaced both a car CD changer and a TiVo. Both times, I ended up getting newer models. Total cost of the replacement units was about $30 — the difference in price between the older CD change and the newer model.

Today, my brother got a new HP laptop at Best Buy to replace his slowly decaying ThinkPad. My parents drove to Danvers to pick it up and bought an extended warranty in the process.

(One gripe here — we ordered the laptop from BestBuy.com with in-store pickup at Saugus because the computer was listed as out of stock at every other local Best Buy location. Yet, when my parents drove to Saugus, the laptop was sold-out, but in stock at Danvers. I can understand a store having stock but not showing up online, but what’s the point of letting a customer reserve a product for pickup then not holding one for them?!? WTF?)

In general, I like the idea of extended warranties for laptops. You lug them pretty much everywhere and they have a tendency to get the crap kicked out of them. Certainly, I’ve gotten good use out of my AppleCare.

I don’t know how the Best Buy warranty will be in terms of getting repairs done (as opposed to replacement), but it really shines in one area — it covers batteries!

It looks like the HP batteries run about $100-150. With normal usage, it looks like the warranty could pay for itself without taking the laptop in for service a single time.

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