Warranty ripoffs

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Oh I have to vent about this!!
I have a cell phone that I bought less than a year ago. At the time I took out 'Suare Trade Warranty'.
Well I pull the phone out of my pocket this afternoon and the screen on the front has spontaneously cracked and broken. The phone still works.

I don't want to make this a long saga but the company that makes the phone (and who gives a year warranty) tells me that 'any physical damage automatically voids the warranty' (a catch 22 if I ever heard one); the secondary insurance that I bought says 'physical damage is not included in the warranty'.

Does this bite or what! GRRRRRR.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Well that's really annoying.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

That does stink...but I can understand why they don't include physical damage in the warranty. There are lots of people out there who drop their phones and have other careless accidents with them, and there's no reason why the company should be responsible for fixing something that results from someone's carelessness (and if they did cover things like that under warranty, the phones themselves and the extended warranties would cost 10 times as much as they do to cover the costs!).

Unfortunately there's no way for them to write the warranty to exclude physical damage due to people's carelessness but include legitimate problems like what happened to your phone--it would be hard to prove whether a cracked screen was a manufacturing defect vs someone who dropped their phone. Where they do go wrong is in putting the terms of the warranty in those long confusing documents that nobody has time to read (and might not understand even if they did). They ought to be more up front and tell you clearly what is & isn't covered before you sign up, that way you can make an educated decision on whether to get the warranty or not.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Indeed.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

That is awful about buying a warranty and not being able to use it. Of course the warranty company will not believe your explanation, because too many people (like said above) abuse their phones and lie about it. You must be very frustrated.

I don't buy extra warranties anymore for this reason (fine print) and the fact that many warranties overlap. You get a 6 month warranty, then they sell you (for a pricey amount) a year. What they don't tell you (unless you ask) is that the year doesn't start after the 6 months, so you are only buying 6 months.

Some warranties also have you mail in your item for repair. You are responsible for the shipping and then another fee. In some cases if you add the warranty cost, shipping and fee you have paid for a new updated item. (instead of a re-manufactured one)

I guess I get frustrated that companies USED to stand by their product and give you a decent warranty. Now it is all about making an extra buck from these add ons.

I just purchased a vacuum cleaner from a super store. I was asked in the check out if I wanted to add on a warranty, she could do that right at the check out. I could buy bread milk and a warranty. How nice. Grrrrr.


Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Yeah, I can have the phone repaired for $ 30 plus shipping two ways. I don't think I'll do it. I'll keep my eye out for a good deal. For now it has scotch tape over the cracked glass....

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

What a shame!

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

warranties are a rip off 99 % of the time, that is where they make money.

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

When we are asked if he wants to buy the extended warranty, DH usually inquires if that means that the product is inferior and can be expected to fail in a short time. That gives the seller pause.

On a slightly different topic, I noticed that the last CFL bulbs I bought are "guaranteed for 4 years". The terms require submitting of the UPC code (usually discarded with the bulky plastic blister packaging) and the original register receipt. I wonder how many people will take the time to track their light bulb purchases to take advantages of such a warranty. Not many, I suspect.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

no I didn't save my box, or the reciept. And no I doubt they will NOT last 4 years.
I think they mean, they will last 4 years if you don't use them :)

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Having worked in applicance sales years ago I never pressed to sell extended warranties. I saw that with rare exception, they are virtually useless. Extended warranties equal 100% pure profits for the manufacturers. As a result, I will never purchase one.

Sunfarm ~ I will remember your husbands' response for future use. I like that!

Sadly over the years I've adopted a different attitude about electronics in general. I will purchase as cheap a product as I can live with because by the time I get it to the house, it is outdated by new technology. That way when it dies in the future, I will toss it and buy another cheap whatever. I will feel bad but nowhere near as bad as if I had purchased the most expensive item. That is a frugal as it gets these days. There is no one that can work on any of these new electronic gadgets and I'm not inclined to send it to the far reaches of the earth for repairs that will leave me without that item for months.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

True; I recently purchased a new camera when the repair cost on my old one far exceeded the price of the new one.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Tell me what you did with the old one? I feel guilty as heck tossing it but what else can you do?

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

throw it in the trash.

there isn't anything else you can do, unless you toss it in a yard sale and someone else buys it thinking they can use it for parts or whatever, bottom line is, it will eventually end up in the trash anyway.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Around here there are places you can take old electronics, TV's, etc to be recycled. I don't know if it's just a California thing, but I imagine other areas have programs like that too.

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

About a year ago, I dropped my 8 megapixel Minolta digital camera on the ceramic tile from a height of about 5 feet. I somehow forgot to hold on to it. It bounced 3 or 4 times. When I turned it on again, it wouldn't focus. I contacted Minolta's service department and was told to send it back to them. It was no longer under warranty. I was very upfront about telling them I dropped it. They would check it out and tell me how much it would cost to fix it. I was to pay for shipping it to them. Fair enough, I thought. I love that camera, it fits well in my hand, I have the underwater housing for it, let's go for it.

About a 2 weeks later, the service department called me to give me the laundry list of everything that was wrong with the camera, including a missing rubber grip on the body and the missing hot shoe flash connection cover. Total damages: $189 and change. I asked the clerk if he had a garbage can handy. He said he did. I told him to throw it out because I could buy a brand-new, even better one for that price. I hung up after saying he had been very helpful and good day.

The next day, the same guy called me back. It turns out they could fix the whole list of problems they had listed the day before for a flat rate of $49.95, including a firmware upgrade worth $19.95 and free shipping back to me. They even threw in an extended 1 year warranty on parts.At $49.95, I agreed and I had my camera back in my grubby little paws in just over a week. I think I was lucky on that one but the little guy has to win once in a blue moon.

On the subject of extended warranties, I NEVER even consider purchasing any. When I purchased our high-capacity stainless steel washer at BrandSmart USA's clearance/scratch-and-dent liquidation center for $275 a year ago, the salesman tried to sell me an extended warranty for $240. I told him that I would come and buy another washer when that one failed. He didn't think I was very funny but he didn't press the point.

I am all in favor of fixing and reparing stuff instead of just plain replacing it but nowadays, you can get brand-new for the price it will cost you in parts and labor and don't even get me started on finding a reliable repairman to perform the job.

Take care, all.
Sylvain.

Irvine, KY(Zone 6a)

Too many products these days are designed as throwaways--cases can't be opened without destroying them, parts are riveted or spot welded instead of being put together with screws. One solution I have found with small appliances I like is to find the same make and model on eBay and buy a spare (or replacement if the previous one has already developed problems).

I did this with a breadmaker. I bought a nearly new one there for $12.50, and didn't even have to pay shipping as the seller was in a city where my son lived. Though the electronics had failed on my old one, I have an extra pan, mixing paddle, case, and heating element that I was able to save. I did something similar with an expensive digital camera that developed a problem with the electronic viewfinder. I bought a near-mint used one and got not only another camera, spare battery and extra charger, but also a case for 1/10th the original cost.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Consumer Reports has had articles in the past about which extended warranties make sense to buy and which don't...unfortunately I can't remember off the top of my head which ones they said made sense but I know that for the majority of purchases they said it wasn't worth it.

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

This link will take you to a Consumer Report's article titled:Why you don't need an extended warranty. Good reading.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/news/november-2006/why-you-dont-need-an-extended-warranty-11-06/overview/extended-warranty-11-06.htm

Sylvain.

(tish) near Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

There are probably a hundred phones simular to the one you had selling on ebay. I don't know how much your warranty cost but it would probably be just as well to replace it with a used phone "if" something happened to it and save that extra $$ incase nothing does happen.

Maybe you should donate the phone, the battery and charger are still good.

My first digital camera...the screen cracked. It was going to cost more than the camera to buy a replacement for it! So had to buy a new one and my husband bought a warranty with it and never had to use it...I'm sure now that its expired we are biding time, ha. The old one still works, just can't see what the pictures are until they are downloaded...tried to buy another broken one with a good screen on ebay, but the bidding always went too high.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I'm still using the phone. Other than the cracked screen it is still working. Scotch tape took care of the screen.

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