Extended warranties - good or bad idea?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ZeeExSixAre, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    Some of you may remember my Coolpix 990 dying, and thus I couldn't do much
    with it here in the US because it's a German camera. I really need the
    swivel body and the CP4500 seems to fit the bill. I see some on eBay
    advertised with a 3-year extended warranty (seems to be about $40 extra on
    top of the camera).

    Does this seem like a good deal? How do I know my stuff will be covered?
    The repair provider is Repair Tech... do they have a website or a phone
    number I can contact them at?

    Has anyone here had good or bad experiences with wrangling with extended
    warranty companies?
    ZeeExSixAre, Jul 1, 2004
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  2. ZeeExSixAre

    MikeS Guest

    time you pay £913.9 it is new for old up to five years,
    for My Nikon D70 which is for the kit lens 18 to 70 mm, which costs £1145
    Insurance costs for Camera is £140 and Lens £42, this gets me full cover for
    theft accidental damage and repair if it fails to work. The camera works out
    at roughtly 10% of value new, the lens is a bit more expensive to insure but
    how much I dont know as I have not seen a price for the kit lens.
    Check your household insurance it may cover accidental damage although where
    you pay the say first £50 repair costs. I suspect in the US of A its cheaper
    as it seems all thing are. also note that the toltal cost when I bought the
    camera was including spare battery and 1 gig solid state memory card.
    Digital cameras are as robust as film cameras but more expensif to repair
    due to the electonics.

    Regards MikeS
    MikeS, Jul 1, 2004
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  3. ZeeExSixAre

    Ihor Guest

    Years ago I dropped my Coolpix 990 and it turned out too expensive to
    fix. (No extended warranty) but that wouldn't be covered if I dropped
    My next camera was also a Coolpix 4500. This time I called my
    homeowner insurance company. My camera is covered under my homeowners
    but with a deductible.
    They recommended a supplemental coverage for my camera. It cost $18
    per year (for $800 coverage) and covers everything, if I forgot it in
    a restaurant, dropped it in a lake, stolen, etc. The best part is it's
    $0 deductible. I insured it for the cost of the camera and
    accessories. I also insured my camcorder.
    If the camera stops working due to a mechanical problem, the insurance
    will also pay for the repair or replacement of the camera. Of course,
    you have to check with your insurance company but most companies in
    the USA offer this supplement.
    It beats extended warranties.
    The negative part of this is that if you put in 3 claims within 3
    years then your homeowner premiums skyrocket.

    Good luck,
    Ihor, Jul 1, 2004
  4. ZeeExSixAre

    Tim V. Guest

    I saw a report on the news several months ago that Best Buy made
    more money last year on their extended warranties than merchandise.

    That makes me suspect most of the extended warranties are either
    unnecessary or overpriced or they wouldn't make money from them. Of
    course, for those who actually use them, it's probably worth it.

    For the most part, I think they are unnecessary for most items, but
    are good for others.
    Tim V., Jul 1, 2004
  5. I know a couple people who work for best buy, and they get ridden hard to
    sell extended warranties. It seems that part of why they are profitable is
    that they work pretty hard to exclude claims (for example, some types of
    damage are covered, others are not). Not sure how this compares to other
    companies, but I am very leery of buying an extension from best buy.
    Justin W. Holmes, Jul 1, 2004
  6. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    Thanks a bunch, good advice.
    ZeeExSixAre, Jul 2, 2004
  7. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    I saw a report on the news several months ago that Best Buy made
    On a digital camera, you betcha! These things are just too damn delicate
    and expensive to repair. I'll definitely buy insurance if I have the option
    to do so, but only if it WORKS! That's the question I'm getting at... has
    anybody here bought an extended warranty for their camera and what was the
    ZeeExSixAre, Jul 2, 2004
  8. ZeeExSixAre

    chris French Guest

    This also applies in the UK, all the major electrical retailers make a
    lot of profit from selling warranties.

    Personally I don't think it is normally worth it - on the whole
    electrical/electronic items are very reliable - or they fail early and
    within warranty anyway - putting the money you would spend on endless
    warranties away in a savings account makes a lot more sense. I view
    insurance really as being there for things that I would find hard to
    cover from my own resources - not for every small potential loss.

    The normal warranty in the UK wouldn't cover things such as accidental
    damage from dropping the camera, which is where the real risks lie. I
    have mine covered under my 'All risks' section house hold contents
    policy as well as my travel insurance for accidental damage as well as
    loss - yes there is an excess, but it's not massive, though I'd probably
    not use it for the camera as it's not a particularly expensive on (A80 -
    about GBP 200 in the UK now - by the time the 2 year warranty runs out
    it will be worth even less)

    And yes I have had to follow my own advice, I recently dropped my camera
    in a puddle on the beach (fell out of my pocket) Repair wouldn't have
    been cost effective so I bought a new one
    chris French, Jul 2, 2004
  9. ZeeExSixAre

    MikeS Guest

    I agree for a camera that cost say up to £400 it doesn't make sense to
    insure one can cover costs ( self insure if you like). But when the camera
    and lenses cost over £1800 it a bit to much to cover ones self. My household
    insurance will cover for accidental damage but not failure to work. I have a
    Nikon D70 which a relatively cheap camera to buy but like most things
    expensive to repair.

    This one way calculate cost effectiveness of insurance. Insurance per annum
    = 10% of camera value/purchase new costs (dependant on if bought second hand
    or new). 10% of £1800 = £180 x five years = £900. If one spread the cost of
    the camera over 5 years it would cost £360 per annum premium half that at
    £180. Therefore the insurance is half the write-off value pa.

    As mentioned in a previous post the risk to the insurance companies does not
    warrant 10% of value as premiums. Making allowance for profit I would say 5%
    would make sense if the one could get a failure to work insurance only and
    insure the accidental damage and theft with ones house hold insurance. This
    is covered by my insurance company here in the UK, but does not cover for
    failure to work. These warranty insurance's have added value to themselves
    by doing more that warranty and offer accidental damage and theft which in
    my view unnecessary. If one could tailor them to meet ones own requirements
    that would be ideal (great).

    It would be helpful if photographers who have had repairs or warranty work
    done to let us know of their experiences?

    MikeS, Jul 5, 2004
  10. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    It would be helpful if photographers who have had repairs or

    Yes!!! I'm still waiting for somebody to chime in to let us know if
    anything bad happens during a warranty repair...
    ZeeExSixAre, Jul 5, 2004
  11. ZeeExSixAre

    chris French Guest

    But of course it's unlikely to cost any where near to GBP 1800 to repair
    if a fault does occur anyway. From my perspective I still wouldn't have
    an extended warranty on it - electrical and electronic items are
    reliable - faults, (as opposed to accidental damage - which is the most
    likely risk) tend to occur in the first year or much later on in the
    products life. Of all the electronic items in the house, very few have
    had a fault develop with in any likely warranty period.

    OK say 5 year warranty on the 1800 camera was GBP 500, spending that on
    repairs in 5 years is unlikely (possible of course, which is why you
    need to have provisions for such things)

    Other people may have a different view of the risks involved, and take a
    different view of course.
    chris French, Jul 5, 2004
  12. ZeeExSixAre

    Bob Thomas Guest

    I bought an expensive digital camera and an extended warranty through
    Mack cameras - the camera broke down, and I had to fight for two
    months to get Mack to pay up!

    Useless service, ignored emails and pathetic excuses were the mark of
    that company, who initially ignored the whole thing and told me it
    wasn't covered by warranty (which it clearly was).

    However, as the cost of repairs to a 12 month old camera was $500
    (AUD) it certainly paid to have that warranty, although I'd choose
    another company if i had a choice.

    Bob T.
    Bob Thomas, Jul 6, 2004
  13. ZeeExSixAre

    pjp Guest

    I just heard/watched a little blurb on TV about someone who bought a digital
    camera at Blacks (Canada) that stopped working within 6 months. She had
    bought an extended warranty etc. at time of purchase. Blacks, using the
    manufacturer as the "excuse", refused to honor the warranty. To paraphrase
    "the camera must have been dropped" even though apparently there was no sign
    of such "damage".

    Hence (along with my experiences with car dealers/manufacturers), I take ANY
    warranty as pure bs as it always comes down to the manufacturer honoring it.
    As far as I'm concerned, there should be a law dictating that any and all
    warranty disputes can be resolved through mutually agreeable binding 3rd
    party "arbitration".
    pjp, Jul 6, 2004
  14. ZeeExSixAre

    Denis Marier Guest

    My understanding is that extended warranties are sold by a third party. I
    read this as an insurance company selling a policy. Most of the time the
    manufacturers or the retailers are not contractually implicated. At time,
    some manufacturers will warranty their product for 3 years or more as part
    of the basic selling price. When we have to pay extra for that protection it
    could be construed that item bought will more than likely need repair after
    the original 1 year warranty from OEM. In the case of Black (Canada) the
    fact should be well documented. The complaint should be escalated to their
    head office. Reputable enterprises will not lose their names over a few
    dollars. This may not be the case with commissioned store managers or
    insurance companies aiming at a high rate of return.
    Extended warranties - good or bad idea? In conclusion: the buyer should act
    with discernment and ask who is backing up the extended warranties. If it is
    backed by a third party the referrals should be validated. Most of the time,
    the vendors are saying you can only get the extended warranty at time of
    purchase not after. This way the deal is sealed and no questions are asked.
    One more thing is if the extended warranty's vendor goes out of business you
    have next to no recourses.
    Denis Marier, Jul 6, 2004
  15. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    Extended warranties - good or bad idea? In conclusion: the buyer
    Excellent info and advice. Thank you.
    ZeeExSixAre, Jul 6, 2004
  16. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    I bought an expensive digital camera and an extended warranty through
    My father had a similar story with Mack. Your story confirms his feelings -
    thanks... I'll stay away from Mack in the future.
    ZeeExSixAre, Jul 6, 2004
  17. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    repair if a fault does occur anyway. From my perspective I still

    Mine have always had their problems right after the first year. I'm sick of
    buying dead-end products that I can't get serviced and am going to insure
    myself. I won't be keeping my digicam for longer than 3 years, so a
    warranty period for that long seems perfect, especially for 10% of the
    purchase price!
    ZeeExSixAre, Jul 6, 2004
  18. []
    I understand that within the EU, two years is now the statutory guarantee
    period. I don't know if member countries can opt out of that, or whether
    it applies to digital cameras.....

    David J Taylor, Jul 6, 2004
  19. ZeeExSixAre

    Bob Thomas Guest

    Should be a law making manufacturers provide decent support in the
    first place! An Olympic camera costing megabucks shouldn't be allowed
    to die in just over 12 months with no responsibility taken by the


    Bob T.
    Bob Thomas, Jul 8, 2004
  20. ZeeExSixAre

    Nash Guest

    This should make interesting reading. The discussion quickly went away from
    the title into BestBuy bashing, particularly about BB's policy of trying to
    sell your extended warranty on everything, repeatedly.

    Nash, Jul 8, 2004
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