High-quality electronics and extended warranties

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Dominus Atheos
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High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby Dominus Atheos » 2012-11-06 02:09pm

Recently a family friend asked for a recommendation for a laptop, and I said a Thinkpad T-series as the best in the world; I also told her to get the extended warranty. She asked why she needed the extended warranty if the product was so good; couldn't she just get a cheap laptop and the extended warranty with next-day onsite service?

Off the top of my head, I can't find any fault with this plan. If she keeps her data backed up, like setting windows to take an image of her hdd every night, you should have similar up-time with a device that costs a third as much.

Thoughts?
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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-11-06 02:31pm

If you're paying for a high-end laptop, you're not just paying for reliability, you're paying for what the equipment is capable of, right? If mass-market performance is good enough for you, then why would that capability matter?

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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby Zixinus » 2012-11-06 02:42pm

Or you could tell her that she wouldn't need to buy an extended warranty if she just brought a good quality laptop in the first place?
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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby Dominus Atheos » 2012-11-06 02:51pm

No, most people pay for the brand and not just because they want to show off. Some brands are supposed to be "better" then others even at the same specs.

Please note, this thread is to question that belief.
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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby Dominus Atheos » 2012-11-06 02:56pm

Zixinus wrote:Or you could tell her that she wouldn't need to buy an extended warranty if she just brought a good quality laptop in the first place?


Thank you for restating my question as though it's an answer. That's part of what I'm asking, if you shell out extra to buy a piece of high-quality electronics, do you need an extended warrant?
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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby Stark » 2012-11-06 03:55pm

Terms of warranties and service agreements can be pretty seriously misunderstood by consumers. If someone fully understands what such a warranty or agreement covers, and it offsets higher cost (which is driven by branding and marketing), why wouldn't it be beneficial?

I mean, store warranties would be great if they weren't 50 pages that said 'this covers nothing likely to ever happen'. :lol:

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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby White Haven » 2012-11-06 05:51pm

Two points to make here. First, Lenovo makes some genuinely good systems, both durable and with low failure rates. I sell quite a number of them, and vanishingly few ever come back (outside of viruses, of course). Two, Lenovo's extended warranties are actually quite cheap, and their warranty service (especially on the Thinkpad series, since they're technically business systems) is seriously fast, a combination they can afford only because relatively few people have to avail themselves of it. Somewhat more expensive up-front, but both a lower chance of needing the warranty (in my experience) and inexpensive warranty extensions.
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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby phongn » 2012-11-06 10:04pm

Dominus Atheos wrote:Recently a family friend asked for a recommendation for a laptop, and I said a Thinkpad T-series as the best in the world; I also told her to get the extended warranty. She asked why she needed the extended warranty if the product was so good; couldn't she just get a cheap laptop and the extended warranty with next-day onsite service?

Off the top of my head, I can't find any fault with this plan. If she keeps her data backed up, like setting windows to take an image of her hdd every night, you should have similar up-time with a device that costs a third as much.

If she doesn't value things like build quality, keyboard feel, construction, etc ... then her view is perfectly fine. If she's satisfied with lower-quality goods - that nevertheless are fixable - then good on her?

I generally recommend an accidental-damage warranty, not merely an extended warranty.
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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby Zixinus » 2012-11-07 02:33pm

That's part of what I'm asking, if you shell out extra to buy a piece of high-quality electronics, do you need an extended warrant?


I'm pointing to this part of your OP:

couldn't she just get a cheap laptop and the extended warranty with next-day onsite service?


My answer is: get a higher quality electronics that is less likely to fail, than a lower quality one with extended warranty. Not only because you'd avoid the hassle of trying to apply the warranty (that may or may not apply for whatever fault of damage the hardware has), but also because a high-quality hardware will less likely to fail once the original ,or even the extended, warranty expires. For starters, some warranties only cover factory defects or faults that came with the product before you began using it. Bringing in a faulty or damaged laptop (where that same damage would not have happened on a higher-end machine) has a risks and expenses even if the warranty covers everything (you'd still need to bring it and back, which can be expensive in either time or gas or both, especially if the service centre or whatever is far away). Buying a higher quality hardware has somewhat less risks, because it has less failures in the first place.

I can actually cite an example: I have a cousin who brought a netbook made serviced locally (I think it was IBM's Classmate PC or something). It was one of those 100$ laptop knockoffs with the intent "For education". Aside being ugly, having an irremovable handle (at least, I don't think it could be removed without exposing electronic parts), having poor heat venting and having the smallest keyboard I have ever seen short on mobile-phone keyboards... it has a bad sound-card chip. You can HEAR the distortion. Upgrading the sound card drivers (which were hard to find, naturally) helped a little, but not much. No matter what software you ran, it worked bad.

She got it serviced on a warrantry, the guy removed CCCP on it (yes, I've installed that) and... the problem still persists somehow. This comes to no surprise as it was the cheapest laptop they could find.

Meanwhile, my old EEEPC 904HA still works like a charm. And it is several years older than the brand new laptop. This is a laptop that has a clay jug dropped on it once, not to mention the usual bumps and bruises of my regular use.

So, yeah. Buying a higher-priced and proportionally higher-quality laptop will likely be a better investment of your money than extended warranty.

Oh, and buying an extended warranty for already high-quality hardware? Well, because some people take greater use out of their system and a longer warranty may still be a better investment than a new laptop. Besides, it is sheer force of habit of companies. Why shouldn't they sell extended warranties?
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Re: High-quality electronics and extended warranties

Postby Stark » 2012-11-07 04:47pm

Some service agreements can mitigate much of the hassle of actual claims. If you regularly update your hardware, post warranty reliability may not be an issue.


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