Should you buy a warranty with your new TV?

Be sure to know what warranty comes with your new TV purchase before purchasing another one. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Dianne M. of Indianapolis)

Be sure to know what warranty comes with your new TV purchase before purchasing another one. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Dianne M. of Indianapolis)

The blank spot in your living or family is waiting to be filled with brilliant colors, speakers, and noise, and you know exactly what to put there - a big screen TV.

You’ve researched possibilities and differences between the choices of a plasma TV, or an LCD as opposed to an LED TV.  You know that whatever model you choose will likely provide 500,000 hours of top-rated TV time. And you know that televisions come in big packages these days, as in up to 150 inches with surround sound and every other imaginable bell and whistle.

Before leaving the store with the giant box in tow, consider the option of purchasing an extended warranty. But keep in mind that an extended warranty is a totally different animal than a manufacturer's warranty. Purchasing both may feel wasteful.

But it’s important to note that a manufacturer's warranty usually only lasts one year. An extended warranty, depending on the package, can be more like the equivalent of a bumper-to-bumper warranty when purchasing a vehicle at a dealership.

Depending on the retailer, preventive maintenance, no cost or reduced cost for covered repairs, in-home service and free pick-up for service, and power surge protection are among the possibilities if you choose to purchase an extended warranty.


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Comments

I purchased a Truetech TV and have had trouble with less than two years ago! I had considered buy a extended warranty which In my case "I should have'! In less than a year the power suppl went out and the tv repair charged a '60 dollar price to say what the problem was'! The repair was made but six months later the screen went blank or white but I had sound! The repair was not covered by the repair shop because their repair was only covered by a three month warrenty! I'm buy a convertor box and bring back in to operation an 'old' TV that I had in storage"!!! I won't be able to get all the channels offered if I had cable but I will have "piece of mind that I'm not contributing to the growth of flat screen throw-away TV industery"!

Worth the money? Yes and no. The two questions you have to ask yourself are: (1) Do I feel lucky? and (2) Can I afford to replace it if it goes bad after the Mfr's warranty runs out? If the answer to either question is "No" then an extended warranty may be worth looking in to. My only recommendation is to purchase the warranty online, not from the selling dealer and purchase a 5-year plan. Extended warranties are huge profit items for the retailer, frequently selling for twice their wholesale cost. Personally I have had good experience with Repair Master warranties, but even here you have to price-compare as they are available from a multitude of online retailers for prices that vary by as much as 50%. Also make sure that the warranty you're considering covers the item (TV, etc) for at least as much as it originally cost to purchase. With Repair Master warranties you do not have to purchase the warranty immediately, but are required to purchase it while there is at least 90 days or more still remaining on the manufacturer's original warranty. Also Repair Master (Warrantech) requires that you immediately go online and register your warranty as soon as you receive it in the mail. You are also required to keep and be able to produce your warranty papers along with the original bill of sale (for the TV) if you need to file a claim, so there is some record-keeping to do. If you sell your TV while warranty coverage is still in effect the extended warranty is transferable for a small fee, usually only $10. However, if the TV is ever replaced, the extended warranty does not extend to cover the replacement. It only covers the original TV. Full replacement cost coverage is included.

In my opinion, buying an extended warranty on a modern electronic device is a waste of money. I've had a TV for 12-years without any problems with it at all. Even Consumer Reports recommends against buying an extended warranty when buying new TVs. Yes, there are TVs that have problems, however, as CR states, most of the serious problems will occur within the warranty period. Check CR for reliability ratings, and avoid those brands where reliability ratings are bad. As I see it, an extended warranty on anything is almost useless. CR views them this way, too. BTW - I have nothing to do with Consumer Reports.

My extended warranties on multiple TVs has saved me thousands of dollars over the course of the years. I would not buy a TV that you intend to keep after the initial warranty runs out without one. Best Buy will send someone to your home to correct the issue. Just remember, some premium credit cards will double the manufacturers warranty.

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