Friday, April 15, 2005

Thank the Lord for Extended Warranties

I don't know about you, but I get kinda irritated when I buy anything from a printer to a VCR and am offered an "extended warranty". Of course, they begin to tell all the things that "could" go wrong with your purchase after the initial factory warranty runs out. In the midst of this, I am almost always tempted to say, "If your product is so great, why doesn't it come with this warranty included in the purchase price?". Of course, I am never so bold as to actually SAY this, but it's what I think. Anway, I refuse the extended warranty most of the time.

When I bought my previous laptop, I was given the "extended warranty speech" at Best Buy. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of the extended warranty, but since I bought the thing on credit, I hated the idea of something happening to it and not having the money to fix it while I was still paying for it, so I bought the exteded warranty. Sure enough, two years later, the thing quit working. I took it in to Best Buy, they mailed it to a processing center, who mailed it to the place that fixed it, who mailed it back to the processing center, who mailed it back to the store. As you might imagine, this was not a quick process. When they told me what was wrong, the guy at the customer service desk said something that stuck with me. I had asked if the problem I had with that laptop (a Compaq) was a known problem for that model. The guy said, "I don't know if that was a known problem or not...all I know is this. It doesn't matter what kind of laptop you have, something can go wrong. I've seen EVERY brand of laptop come through here."

About a year ago, I gave that laptop to a missionary friend of mine (complete with the transferable extended warranty) and bought a Dell. I did not get the top of the line system, but I got a pretty nice one. When it came time to decide on a warranty, I bit the bullet and went all the way. I paid for 3 years AT HOME service and got the fourth year free. This kind of warranty cost over $300, but again, buying the machine on credit, I did not want it to go down while I was still paying for it.

Well, guess what. This past week, my extended warranty MORE THAN paid for itself. The computer started acting up on battery power...if I bumped it, it went off. Things kept getting worse, so I called Dell. While I was on hold (yet another story) it went down and would not boot back up. After an hour on the phone with technical support, I was told they would come to my house and fix it. You can read my post about Dell technical support, but the short version is, if I did not have my warranty, it would have cost me $900 to get my computer fixed! Thanks to the extended warranty, it didn't cost me a dime and I am back up and running. Thank the Lord for extended warranties.

You can see a picture of my laptop all taken apart by the technician who replaced the motherboard, processor and heat sync fan in 30 minutes!

- Rob

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