Extended warranty plans! Are they the best ways to safeguard your electronics for a longer time! Let’s find out

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If you are standing at an electronics store to purchase your next smartphone, laptop, air conditioner, water heater, or any other fancy new gadget, the salesperson might urge you to get an extended warranty from the brand, or from a third party so that you can safeguard your electronic gadgets for a longer span of time, even after the brand stops giving you free service or warranty for your product. It seems to be a great deal, right! You will be offered extended warranty plans especially in brand outlets, but less in small and local electronics stores. That’s what I have found personally. Getting an extended warranty might seem to be a lucrative option to safeguard your electronic gadgets for a longer span of time.

Even though the salesmen at popular electronics outlets might ask you to get an extended warranty, you can even get your own extended warranty after you purchase your product from any other third party or from the brand itself, if you need it, as well. Even if you are purchasing your favourite electronic gadgets from online stores, a few popular online shopping portals can even offer it and additional benefits at a very small additional price, while others might offer insurance on electronic gadgets that you purchase from their platform. But the extended warranty and insurance are not the same. I will talk about what exactly extended warranty is, whether it is good for you, and also the points to look at before you actually get an extended warranty if it at all seems to be a viable option for you.

So, let’s get started with the topic of extended warranty for electronic gadgets.

What is an extended warranty? Is it worth to buy?

Before looking into what extended warranty is, let’s find out about run of the mill warranty plans by brands. When you get an electronic gadget, the brand offers you a free service period for certain months or years from the date of purchase. If something wrong happens with the device, or it doesn’t work, as advertised, you can get it serviced by the brand, or depending upon the acuteness of the problem, you might even get a replacement for the same product, or complete money back if a problem happens repeatedly. It is eventually the brand to look into, which one is going to be the best option for you. So, warranty is given by the brand, and they will resolve the issues, if you face any, considering the fact, the brand is liable for the damage, at least within the warranty period.

Depending upon the gadget that you are going to purchase, you will get a warranty of somewhere between 6 months to 1 year and there are even some electronic gadgets or some specific components, which are covered under warranty for 5 to 10 years from the date of purchase, like the compressor of an air conditioner or refrigerator, the heating element within a water heater, etc. Now, after the warranty period is over your brand will offer service to you, but charges will be incurred on it depending upon the level of damage. That’s basically how warranty on electronic gadgets work.

But in case of an extended warranty, you can actually extend the warranty period of your electronic gadget to a few extra months or several years depending upon the agreement between you and the company and a monetary amount will be decided so that you can get the service. Just like, when your product is within warranty, you are getting free service, during the period of extended warranty, as well, you can get the service done, or get your problem sorted out, even if the cost of replacement of the product repair is more than getting the extended warranty for your product.

What type of companies offer extended warranty plans?

Extended warranties can be offered by the brand, you are getting the product from. Talking about consumer electronics, most laptop manufacturers like Dell, HP will offer an extended warranty of 1 year or more, for a nominal charge. Well, it is not just limited to laptops, and most mobile manufacturers too, can offer an extra warranty, but the extended brand warranty is not a lucrative avenue, as most users switch to a new phone after one, two or three years of usage.

There are even some third-parties, which might offer you extended warranties, but at slightly higher prices. To claim warranty, if you have paid for it from a third party, you might have to take your gadget to the third party, and they will get it serviced by the brand, or through their own partners. Now, before getting it, there are a number of points you should look into, no matter, whether you are receiving it from the brand or from a third party. Before moving into the points that you should consider, let’s find the difference between an extended warranty plan and insurance.

The difference between an extended warranty and insurance

Even though extended warranty and insurance eventually covers a product against any kind of mishap that might happen, but each of them works in a slightly different manner.

In case of an extended warranty, it is similar to getting the same warranty that is given by the brand but for an extended period. Warranty is given by the brand and it covers your product likely against those damages, which your brand accountable for. That is the reason, you might not get a warranty if some problem happens due to the mistakes done by you, like liquid damage in case of a mobile phone, as that is likely been caused by you. In case of an extended warranty, either from a brand or third party, you are just getting the warranty for a longer period in exchange for some extra pennies.

In case of insurance, which you are purchasing from an insurance provider, you are insuring your gadget against the damage that might have been caused by you, or accidents, which has been caused by you, for your own carelessness or by somebody else. Either way, you are accountable for that in some way or the other. However, there are even some insurance plans, which will compensate your monetary loss, if you have got your product serviced by the brand or from an authorized third-party after the brand warranty is over that incurred extra charges.

Before getting an extended warranty

Getting an extended warranty might seem to be an easy exercise. Simply, pay the money, and get the extended warranty, to safeguard your device, maybe one, two, five or ten years after the brand warranty is over. But, it isn’t that easy. Just the way, chicken wings are available both in KFC and local stores, at different prices, the chicken wings at a local restaurant might not taste as good as the one in KFC. Well, the same goes for extended warranty plans! The level of convenience that you will get, as a customer, and the quality of service, is also a subject to vary, meaning, you will have to compare plans before you pay the hard-earned money to the corporate bigwigs selling extended warranty plans like hotdogs.

The product life-cycle:

This is the first and by far the most critical point that you should consider, before accepting an extended warranty. As I said for smartphones, most users will hardly use the smartphone after a year or two. So, if the salesperson pushes you hard to get an extended warranty of two years for your new smartphone, maybe for around Rs. 5,000 or so, simply ditch the offer and save it for getting a new phone after 2 years. Trust me, that is going to be a better deal

However, if it is a laptop, computer, or TV, which is a long-term investment for most consumers, the same deal is undoubtedly lucrative. But for the minuscule number of users, who change computers, laptops, TVs, every two or three years, it isn’t a cost-effective option for them. So, before you get an extended warranty, make sure, the actual product is going to be a long-term investment, and it is only after that, you should think of getting an extended warranty.

Compare extended warranty plans available:

We all are excited at the time of getting something new. Getting a new phone, laptop, TV, computer, or any other electronic gadgets make us happy, and that’s exactly the point when we care for our devices the most and have the misconception of making it our life-time companion. That’s the vulnerable point, when the salesperson, with a smile on the face, urges us to get an extended warranty, talking about all the half-boiled benefits of getting it. When we are investing several thousand for getting something new, an extended warranty, which is priced a few hundred or thousands, sounds to be a life-saving steal deal for the maximum life of our electronic gadgets.

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But wait, don’t get it, just because the salesperson wants you to get one. There is every chance, the salesperson is doing so to fulfil his monthly sales targets, and get the meaty incentives in his pocket. You can even get it later on, only after looking for the best choices available to you on the plate. Come home with your product, take time to think, how long you are going to use the product, search for the available options on the internet, see the reputation of the companies, and then, go for an extended warranty plan that suits your requirements.

Extended warranty from brand or third party:

You can get it both from the brand, as well as a third party. In most cases if you get an extended warranty from the brand the cost will be comparatively less compared to that of getting the same from third-party, however, the price tag is not the only thing that you should look into. Every time the brand assures warranty for your product, there are certain terms and conditions that you should look into. For example, if you are getting a smartphone, the warranty will not be covered if there is liquid damage, or some problems happen because of your fault. So, there are specific reasons for which your product will not be covered under warranty. In such a situation, if you get it from the brand all such terms and conditions will be applicable even for the extended warranty.

Talking about extended warranty from a third party, you might get additional features, and the terms and conditions might be less strict compared to that of getting it from the brand of the terms and conditions for claiming warranty from your brand. Most extended warranty plans will also offer you additional benefits, which can also seem to be a lucrative option for users in most cases. But if your brand is notorious for not offering service on time, and the third party will get the service done from the brand, and not from their own partners, the service quality might not be that good, and you might face problems in getting your product back within time, and that is sometimes the brand’s fault. So, if you are getting it from a third-party try to know how exactly they will get your product serviced during the extended warranty period. This will help you get a better idea of the service quality that you will enjoy.

Read the terms and conditions properly:

Just like there are certain conditions so that you can claim warranty from your brand even within the warranty period, there will be certain terms and conditions even for claiming it as well. Just because you are paying the extra pennies, doesn’t mean the terms and conditions will be relaxed for you, and you can enjoy complete peace of mind. In most cases, if you are getting stretched warranty from the brand itself, the terms and conditions are not likely to vary. However, if you are getting it from the third-party, make sure that you read the terms and conditions properly, or ask the agent or the salesperson to explain things that you can’t understand so that you don’t regret letter.

That’s when you need to compare the extended warranty plans, which I have discussed in the beginning. If you are getting an extended warranty in a hurry, or out of excitement, you are actually falling in the trap of not reading the terms and conditions, which can be really frustrating later on, and can clobber your finances hard, at the time when you actually go for claiming extended warranty from the third party. If you find something not so cool, and the terms and conditions are not transparent, better choose a different extended warranty plan from another provider.

Look for accidental damage protection:

There is no hard and fast rule that you will get accidental damage when you are purchasing an extended warranty plan. But getting one with an extended warranty can be a cherry on the pie. Most brands offer extended warranty along with accidental damage protection at a certain package which can be useful and can offer you complete peace of mind. The same goes for extended warranty plans from third parties. There are different third-party extended warranty providers, who can offer accidental damage protection and if you find one, you should better go with it. But wait, there are things that you should look, as well.

In most cases, accidental damage protection will be covered only once during the warranty period of the product, and in some cases, it can be twice or thrice depending upon the agreement. But before getting accidental damage protection for your product that bears a heavy price tag, with the sole intention of keeping yourself peaceful all the time, just have a look at the terms and conditions to check what kind of protection they actually offer. In case of a smartphone, if you are getting accidental damage for screen damage or liquid damage, and for your laptop in case of screen damage, that can be a great deal, as you might face such unexpected consequences anytime. However, if you find that a company is covering certain conditions under accidental damage, which are unlikely to happen by accident, just don’t go with the accidental damage protection by paying your hard-earned pennies.

What if the product can’t be serviced during the extended warranty period:

This can be a real problem if you are getting it from a third party. If you are taking an extended warranty from a company for 2-3 years, the spare parts might not be available by the brand till then, and in such cases, the third party who is offering the service will have no choices than to deny you any service at all. This is unlikely to happen with extended warranty plans provided by the brand, as the brand will be well aware of the availability of spare parts, and will not offer extended warranty for the products after a certain point of time, and that also applies, if they are in an enigma about the availability of spare parts till the time, the extended warranty will last. In most cases, if your product cannot be serviced within the warranty, the company is liable to give you a full refund of the product’s price.

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The same should go for extended warranty plans, even if you are getting it from a third party. However, some companies might keep you in the dark about it and might offer you half, or one-fourth of the price of the product, if they cannot offer service, in exchange for the actual unserviced product. But if you are getting an extended warranty from a reputable company, there should be a clause in extended warranty terms and conditions, which will tell you what you will get if the product cannot be serviced during the extended warranty period. Ethically, they should provide a full refund for the product, however, I will recommend you to have a look at the terms and conditions, and if you can’t get any information about it, ask about the same from the agent or the salesperson. If the agent of the salesperson is also in the dark about this matter, better avoid the extended warranty plan, and go for another.

This is an important point, which most users or customers do not pay importance to, or forget to ponder on, if they are getting an extended warranty plan out of the excitement of getting a new product, right after purchasing the same.

Read the reviews online:

There are numerous websites, where you can find uses complaining about the problems they are facing after getting an extended warranty or insurance plans from certain companies. There are also some review portals, where you can find the overall review of a certain extended warranty service providers. Even though some reviews can be fake, but you can definitely find certain reviewers who are complaining against the companies with proper evidence. If you can’t find any complaint about a certain extended warranty provider, chances are there, you will not have to face a lot of problems in claiming it from that company.

Beware, don’t look for the testimonials on the official website of the extended insurance provider. The testimonials section shows only the positive reviews, and have every chance to be fake, as well.

Find some other important details by talking to the salesperson or agent:

Most extended warranty service providers who will not be offering onsite service support, which basically means, they will not visit your home or office, to pick up your product and get a service done, you will have to take your product to the nearest service centre office of the company, who is offering you the warranty service. Go for an extended warranty plan, the office of which is located close to you. If you are choosing an extended warranty plan just because it is available at a very justified price, but the service centre is located several kilometres away, reaching the service centre can really be a significant hassle. Besides that, there are even some weird extended service providers, who will not cooperate with you with the contact number of the service centre, or the nearest office, so that you can contact them before you visit. One of them is resQ by Reliance. If you contact the customer support team, they will only give you the address of the nearest service centre, but they will not provide you with the mobile number or contact number so that you can ask for the directions right from those who are sitting in the office.

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In most cases, such small pieces of information are obtainable from the salesperson or the agent. You should also make sure that the company, from which you are getting it is a reputable one, and you are not getting it from a company which is likely to go bankrupt after a year, or within the period of extended warranty. If you find a lucrative extended warranty service provider online, don’t hesitate to contact the company to get answers to all the questions that are budding in your mind, if you can’t get the information about the same on the website.

This, that is a lot of things that you should know before you get your extended warranty plan. If you can check all these points before getting it in the state of excitement, when you are purchasing a new electronic gadget, you are ready to go. Let’s be honest here! It is impossible to check all these points within a very short span of time, and if you seriously want the best-extended warranty plans for your new electronic gadget either from the brand or from a third party, you should check all the points, and it is only after that you should make the move. 

If after considering all the points I have mentioned here, an extended warranty seems to be a viable option for you, just go for it. Do you have any questions about extended warranty plans? I will be glad to answer your questions in the comment section below.

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Sarbasish Basuhttps://www.how2shout.com/
From B.Tech (Hons.) Electronics & Instrumentation Engineer to Photography and Writing blogs; he ultimately has answers to everything. Oh, and he's also quite good in rapidly building a relationship and set up the trust; his articles are proof of that...

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