Digital Crave

Don’t buy the extended warranty – ever

View gallery


There comes a point near the end of most transactions when the salesperson asks you if you’d like to purchase the extended warranty. Many consumers dread this moment because it is a widely held belief that extended warranties are for suckers. But they sound so comforting, so necessary. The salesperson has been ordered to offer this warranty, and to make it sound like a crucial purchase. There must be a time when the warranty is a good idea, right? Wrong.

“Extended warranties are pure profit for retailers as they pocket more than 50 percent of an extended warranty’s cost,” wrote retail expert Louis Ramirez, in a recent a piece for that debunked a dozen tech shopping myths. Still not convinced? Here are five things you can do instead of buying that expensive – and useless – extended warranty.

View gallery


1. Check the manufacturer’s warranty
“Rather than be bullied into buying one the next time you’re at a retail store, take a look at the warranty provided by the manufacturer (which oftentimes is more than sufficient) and research warranties provided by third parties like SquareTrade,” Ramirez says.

You’d be hard pressed to find a gadget on the market that doesn’t come with a decent manufacturer’s warranty, often covering your purchase for one year. A study by none other than Consumer Reports found that most products rarely need repairs during the period of time covered by the extended warranty.

View gallery

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Trade Commission

2. Check with the Feds
The Federal Trade Commission is a reliable source for consumer advocacy and advice. They suggest consumers do their homework prior to purchase. Research the terms, conditions and dates of the manufacturer’s warranty and find out whom to contact if you need service.

Finally, ask about the depth of the coverage. Are all parts covered? Will you still be covered if the device fails because you dropped it? If a salesperson makes a promise orally, such as that the company will provide free repairs, get it in writing. Otherwise, you may not be able to get the service that was promised.

View gallery



3. Check with the state
All states have implied warranties. Almost every purchase you make is covered by an implied warranty. The most common type is known as a “warranty of merchantability,” which means that the seller promises that the product will do what it is supposed to do.

Another type of implied warranty is the “warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.” This applies when you buy a product on the seller’s advice that it is suitable for a particular use. For example, the salesperson that suggests you buy a laptop accessory for a specific need warrants that it will fill that need.

4. Do you trust the brand?
If you’re sticking with the manufacturer’s warranty – and you should – also consider the reputation of the manufacturer.

For instance, Microsoft took a lot of heat for shipping early Xbox 360’s that were prone to failure. However, the company made right by their customers by greatly extending the warranty and, later, releasing a better model. Keep this in mind when buying a popular brand. Companies such as Sony and Nintendo have excellent track records for building quality products. If you’re not familiar with the company that makes your gadget, ask your local or state consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau if they have any complaints against the company. A warranty is only as good as the company that stands behind it.

View gallery

Wii U

Wii U

5. Save your receipt and warranty info
Are you so excited to get that new HDTV or laptop home that you ignore the warranty paperwork in the box?

Don’t be. It is the buyer’s responsibility to keep the receipt to document the date of purchase or prove that the buyer is the original owner in the case of a nontransferable warranty.

While we’re on the topic of responsibility, make sure to perform required maintenance and use the product according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you beat up that laptop or throw a Wii controller through the HDTV screen, you’re probably on your own.

(On an unrelated note: If you’re thinking of trading in your Wii for a Wii U keep your controllers. They work with the Wii U for old and new games.)

What if you’re still not convinced? Although we can’t think of a time when buying the extended warranty is a good idea, there are consumers who disagree. If you are among them, here are some things to consider.

First, read the agreement. This is no fun, but it’s important. Keep your eyes open for exclusions and conditions that would void your warranty.

Second, find out how long the extended warranty lasts. If it says three years, find out if that means from the date of purchase or from when the standard warranty expires. Also, consider if you’re still going to want that item three years from now. If you’re buying a gaming console or an MP3 player that you plan to upgrade in three years, why buy the warranty?

Finally, think about the cost. suggests that if the cost of the warranty exceeds 20 percent of the cost of the product, you’re probably spending more than a repair job will cost you.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Family Heartbroken After 4-Year-Old Is Killed by New Dog Dropped Off Minutes Earlier

      The owner reportedly dropped the dog off less than an hour before the attack.

      Inside Edition
    • Woman who pushed husband out of high-rise window found dead in prison

      An Oklahoma woman convicted of second-degree murder for shoving her hubby out of the window of their high-rise apartment was found dead in her prison cell on Monday, officials said. Amber Hilberling, 25, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence for the 2011 death of Joshua Hilberling was officially pronounced dead at 5:33 p.m. at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, OK, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The medical’s examiner’s office will determine Hilberling’s cause of death, but the woman’s parents who spoke exclusively to KTUL-ABC 8, said that medical staff told them that the death was being treated as a suicide, according to the news channel. Hilberling’s stepfather, Bryan Whitlock, who said he spoke to Hilberling the night before, told KTUL that there is “no way” his stepdaughter’s death was a suicide.

      New York Post q
    • Phil Collins Witnessed Princess Diana’s Affair and 7 More Shocking Revelations From His Memoir

      In his new memoir, 'Not Dead Yet,' Phil Collins shares shocking stories about Princess Diana and Prince Charles, Adele and more — read Us Weekly's top revelations!

      Us Weekly
    • Our 16 Favorite Products From Amazon's Amazing One-day Beauty Sale (17 photos)

      Dry skin and tired eyes plague every traveler, and finding the right beauty products to bring along on the road can be a treacherous task. But today, youre in luck, because Amazon is having a flash sale on some great brands. The online retailer is offering a variety of luxury beauty items from favorites like Stila, Perricone MD, and Jouer at 20 percent off with our semi-exclusive promo code: LUXMAKEUP20. Just enter the code at checkout for a discount on one eligible item, valid until midnight on Oct. 25, 2016. Not sure what to choose? Scroll on for some of our favorite travel-friendly choices from the sale.

    • Teen Girls Arrested After Video of Assault on Man, 62, Appears on Facebook

      Two girls, one 14 and one 15, are accused of assaulting a 62-year-old man who told them to get off his lawn.

      Inside Edition
    • Doctors thought he just had jock itch. Then it spread.

      Late Friday afternoon on Dec. 4, 2014, Stephen Schroeder was waiting to board his packed flight from Philadelphia to Las Vegas for a much anticipated long weekend with his son when his cellphone rang. On the line was an unexpected caller: his doctor, reporting test results sooner than Schroeder had expected. Listening intently, Schroeder was flooded with disbelief as he struggled to comprehend what he was hearing. Using the lip of a trash can as a writing surface, he scribbled notes on the back of his boarding pass, making the doctor spell out each unfamiliar word. Then he sent a terse text to his wife, who was at their home in the Philadelphia suburbs, and got on the plane. Onboard, Schroeder,

      Washington Post q
    • Black Twitter Was NOT Having Marvel's Changes To Riri Williams

      We were so excited to see the images of Riri Williams, the new “Iron Man,” when the first came out. That excitement turned to concern when Entertainment Weekly, posted a collage of Black actresses who would be good for the role. While the original illustration of RIri, by Stefano Caselli, was a dark-skinned girl with coarse hair, the one that appeared on a recent cover looked completely different. She was lighter complected, her hair had a looser curl and the biggest complaint that people had was that this never version of Riri looked nothing like a 15-year-old girl should. Not only does her face resemble that of a grown woman, there really is no justifiable reason that we should be seeing a q
    • Michael Bloomberg nails the 'greatest conundrum' America faces today

      Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg attempted to explain the sentiment of Donald Trump’s supporters, noting that many would be “flipping hamburgers” after they lose their jobs to technology. “One thing that has to be said here is Donald Trump really does represent 40% to 45% of this country. Indeed, this explains why manufacturing activity is up even as manufacturing jobs falter.

      Yahoo Finance
    • The Undertaker Showed Up In Cleveland To Support The Cavs, And He Looks Great

      If you were worried that you’d never see WWE legend The Undertaker wrestle again following a reported hip surgery and those pictures of him walking with crutches, this’ll make you feel better. The Undertaker just showed up in full gimmick at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to support the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he looks the best he has in years. Not a lot of context for Taker’s appearance is available so far, but here’s your first look.

    • 7 New Fall TV Shows Already in Ratings Trouble (Photos)

      It happens every fall – some of the new broadcast shows just don’t deliver. Here’s a look at some of the offerings in trouble this season, along with their ratings averages over seven days in the crucial adults aged 18 to 49 demographic, according to Nielsen.

      The Wrap
    • Woman convicted in husband's high-rise death dies in prison

      McLOUD, Okla. — A 25-year-old woman convicted of second-degree murder for pushing her husband to his death from the 25th floor of their apartment has died in an Oklahoma prison, corrections officials said Tuesday. Amber Hilberling was pronounced dead at 5:33 p.m. Monday at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center, where she had been serving a 25-year prison sentence for the 2011 death of her husband, Joshua Hilberling, according to Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terri Watkins. Watkins said the state medical examiner’s office will determine Amber Hilberling’s cause of death. Prosecutors alleged that Amber Hilberling shoved her husband through the window after they argued over splitting

      Washington Post q
    • You Need To Read These Stories About Marshawn Lynch From His Former Seattle Teammates

      Just watch his episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls for proof of all of this. The Seattle Times caught up with a few guys on Seattle’s roster and asked for their favorite Marshawn stories. My first week here, we were outside on the field, and I was talking to Justin Forsett.

    • World Series of Poker player lectures another about being a bully

      Poker is generally a quiet game with occasional banter, but Englishman William Kassouf just doesn’t shut up.

      Sporting News
    • Oops! She Did It Again — Britney Spears’s Bra Top Came Undone at Her Las Vegas Performance

      Whether she’s carrying a seven-foot boa constrictor seductively across a stage, giving us the height of millennial fashion in a coordinated denim gown with Justin Timberlake, or simply displaying her unparalleled ability to Google Image search corn, it seems the singer has got it all under control.

    • Rihanna's Backup Dancer Has Been Found and Is Now Receiving Medical Treatment

      Rihanna's backup dancer Shirlene Quigley has been found after she was reported missing earlier this week.

    • Will he chew gum? Japan wary of Philippine leader's visit

      TOKYO (AP) — The outspoken Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte worries his Japanese hosts. Not just his policy toward the U.S. but also his informal style: Will he chew gum in front of the emperor?

      Associated Press
    • Marco Rubio suffers for Trump endorsement as he is booed by Latino crowd in Florida

      Republican Florida senator Marco Rubio has been booed off stage by a crowd of Latino voters in his home state. Rubio appeared at the Calle Orange festival event in Orlando, which is aimed at the Puerto Rican community, intending to be met by a crowd of his Latino supporters. "Thank you for having me today," Rubio said in Spanish while ignoring the crowd's jeers, NPR reported.

      International Business Times ONC UK q
    • 'Nothing short of a miracle' how kids survived suicidal bridge fall with dad, police say

      "When the officers found the children -- conscious and alert -- it's nothing short of a miracle, that's for sure," said Captain Christopher Depuyt with the Pequannock Police Department.

      WABC – NY
    • A Redskins Coach Exposed His Wiener To Fans When He Whipped It Out To Pee On The Sideline

      One Redskins coach, however, decided to go full Nick Novak and pee on the sideline during Washington’s game on Sunday against Detroit. Ben Kotwica, Washington’s special teams coordinator, grabbed a cup, walked away from the action, and went to the bathroom. If you’d like to see the uncensored picture, Deadspin has your back.

    • Canceled? Our Predictions for Which New TV Shows Won't Survive

      These TV shows haven't even debuted, but we're already worried they may not last long.

      The Cheat Sheet q